All credits to Tees and Tankyou for my shady shirt. LOL. But kidding aside, it is the world we live in now. Like what everyone says, “Instagram it or it didn’t happen” as if we need validation from people behind their screens, who at the same time, value your relevance as a person by the numbers – your following, stats, reach, engagement. Shallow as it may seem but still relatable in this “millennial era” where social media is the next best thing after a slice of bread.
It’s really exhilarating, especially for bloggers and Instagrammers alike, when a notification hits your screen telling you that someone “liked” your photo you spent hours editing; when a brand emails you for a collaboration because they “loved” your ~aethetics~; when you get a heart or thumbs up emoji from your “social circle”, it makes you feel like you are, somehow, important. Honestly, I became attached to statistics, too. When the infamous algorithm took over, I was one of the many ‘grammers who hated it but also immediately switched to Business Profile so I could check the “stats” of my reach because why not, everyone else jumped in.
But then, I just woke up one day and realized that these numbers didn’t matter at all. Actually, no. It took me months of anxiety and a whole lot of realizations before I fully accepted the fact that numbers can’t sum up who I am. I still fuss about that monstrous algorithm, though I am not too affected like before. I still check my likes but it doesn’t matter anymore which post performed better. In fact, the reason why I am writing this is because I feel so much better now than I did months before. It’s simple, I went back to basics.
1. Switch to Personal Profile
The first thing I did was to switch back to Personal Profile. I read that branding yourself as a Business Profile will likely make you a target of low engagement because then, Instagram will force you to pay so you would be more visible to your followers. Some of my friends online advised me to do this for the sake of beating algorithm. I did. But the effect was much more than that. It became a healthy process for me to slowly bring back my personal reason why I started in the first place: to share what I love. I decided to stick with it and right now I am free from statistics. I don’t have a daily reminder of the number of “likes” I should have gotten compared to what I actually got. Plus, my engagement became better. There wasn’t a huge difference, let’s get that straight, but it became a real-time engagement. It still depends on the quality of your post, but I noticed that my posts became visible to the people who weren’t seeing them before. It was the best choice for me. Now I feel like I’m in the good ‘ol days!
In adddition to being “personal”, I also went back to blogging personal stuff. I missed writing down whatever I like – be it a daily musing or an emotional blog post. Hence, this. 😉
2. Say Yes If You Mean It; Say No If You Don’t Like It
This is intended for invites and collaborations. I was more of a “YES GIRL” when someone asks me to work with them. I said ‘yes’ to almost everything just to feel established. I thought it was exciting and fun. But it became so dreadful. It was more of feeling toxic than having fun. So I started filtering my emails. I read them and if I don’t think it will fit my personal style, I say NO. If a big company couldn’t pay me and they pay other bloggers, I say NO. I won’t undervalue myself for them. That wasn’t how I grew up. That wasn’t why I am here for. But if I like what they pitched in, if it would be something I’d personally use or wear, I say YES. Even if there’s no monetary payment invloved, even if it is not book-related at all as long as I am happy, it’s a win-win situation. See, that puts me to number 3…
3. You Can’t Please Everybody
That’s why it is important to “Post Whatever You Like Whenever You Like”. Upon learning to say ‘no’, I also learned how to say YES to collaborations even if it’s not about book-merch. I love all-things-bookish and books will forever be a huge part of me, there’s no denying that. But I figured, I don’t read ALL DAY, ALL THE TIME so why not share some things other than reading? I don’t want to be boxed, anyway. Besides, I started this blog to write about everything and anything I desire. I am no food critic but I know good food from a so-so, hence, my restaurant visits. I am no fashion blogger but I do like dressing up – casual, laid back and old fashioned (they call it ‘vintage’ haha) – and that’s okay. It’s who I am. I won’t filter those parts of me anymore. If people raise their eyebrows (yeah i know some of you lot are lurking) because I’m doing it, I don’t really care. People will say whatever they like if you don’t meet their standards BUT if you know who you are and what you want to do, those made-up standards don’t matter. I learned that at the end of the day, it’s MY account, it’s MY choice. This is me, staying true to myself and to my ~aesthetics~. LOL. Also, I post when I feel like posting. I post once, twice or never at all. I take a break if I need to and I don’t even apologize for it because no one should ever feel obligated to apologize for taking care of themselves first.
That’s just how I roll now. I flip my hair and fix my fringe. Ha!
Three basic steps that I had to re-learn to become happier on social media. Though, happiness doesn’t really equate to what you post, does it? For the answer, please refer to my t-shirt. 😉