So I'm going to tell you a little secret that might be controversial for social media gurus-
Ever since I turned off social media notifications, I've been happier, more sane, and all around more successful.
In the digital age, we are SO connected. Don't get me wrong- I am a huge fan of social media (duh.) I'm even bringing you this information via blog post. Obviously, I like the internet.
But with HOW connected we are, I feel like we are all going a little bonkers.
A few years ago, one of my music photos of a famous singer went a tad viral (well viral in terms of my normal social media engagement) on Instagram because she liked the photo, therefore showing her millions of followers in her feed what photos she liked and bringing a lot of attention to it. My phone blew up. I didn't know what was going on or why. I was amazed, but hella stressed. I don't really have anxiety, but that situation right there gave me MAD anxiety. I should have been excited and proud but instead I wanted to throw my phone. I couldn't do anything on my phone because every 5 seconds I had push notifications popping up everywhere. That was the first time that I was like woah, those people online that are Instagram famous must have these moments every time they post a photo. I couldn't believe it. Then after talking to a blogger friend who has thousands of followers, she was like oh no we just turn our notifications off.
BINGO. GENIUS. SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DON'T CARE.
It was weird at first- not getting any notifications that Sally liked my photo or that Bobby commented on something. I felt like something was missing. But then I got more productive throughout my day, because I wasn't obsessing over WHO liked something I posted or HOW MANY people showed affection for what I was doing. I have friends who literally freak out if they don't have a certain amount of likes within minutes of posting their photo or they have a panic attack because a certain person liked or didn't like their photo. Then they use those insecurities to fuel what type of content they do or don't post, thereby losing their authenticity and creative control. This type of obsession will CONTROL YOUR LIFE, kill your creativity, break you down mentally, and then make you go crazy.
By turning off notifications, it was like the chains broke loose. I was no longer a slave to "followers" or "urgent" messages that needed to be responded to. I was suddenly able to DO WHAT I WANT without immediate gratification or feedback- things that I feel like you don't really need in order to have a successful digital presence. Once I got that clarity, I SWEAR my social media following started to grow.
Tell me you don't get stressed out when you see 10839058 notifications on your phone?! It's the same psychological situation as having a to-do list with 5 things on it or 100 things on it. Which one is going to make you feel more confident and motivated?
To this day, I manage multiple social media accounts and platforms and I have ALL social push notifications on my phone turned off. Half of my text conversations are on do not disturb LOL. Things are dealt with when I log on- not immediately when they happen throughout my day. This can be hard to stay on top of, because a lot of times I will take a while to respond to a DM or a comment, and especially on Instagram you can only see so many notifications before they disappear. But you know what? WHO CARES.
Remember back in the day when people would call your home phone and you wouldn't answer because you were busy eating dinner or something? Times have changed so much to where we feel guilty when we don't immediately respond to a text or an email or an Instagram comment. But by turning off notifications, you put the ball in your court and keep control over your focus and your sanity throughout the day. People can wait. I always have to remind myself that if something is truly urgent, law enforcement will find a way to get in touch with me.
Usually by the time I get around to responding to whatever message on whatever social media platform, I have more clarity with answering and sometimes the problem or question has already solved itself. (Don't even get me started on Facebook messages those are literally the bane of my existence. I refuse to turn on notifications on my phone from the "Messenger" app, which I feel is completely excessive to have in the first place- consolidate your shiz into one app, Facebook! I get on Facebook on my computer a few times a week and I will read the messages when I feel like it. Also people who try to personal message me on Facebook for business related inquiries need to email me!! If they can't find my business email in my bio, then I might not want to work with them in the first place. Ok rant over.)
Maybe this sounds like I am selfish or ungrateful, or like I'm running a sketchy business. I am just here to tell you that social media is used for my business, but at the same time it's used for my enjoyment. Ever since I turned off my notifications, I truly feel like I have been able to breathe and create content at my leisure and my own pace. I don't get as worked up over if people give me likes or follows or whatever, because I'm not getting a play by play throughout my day to stress out over.
When people ask me how I stay consistent with posting I always tell them it's because I've turned off my notifications. I rarely check to see who liked my photos- my boyfriend actually does that part for fun (he told me he likes seeing who likes my photos?) and gives me a report at the end of the day haha. There's no use getting worked up over stuff that happens on the internet! You will get infinitely more done in a day if you just check your emails, Snapchats, DMs, Facebook, and Tweets manually and consistently at your own pace.
I'd like to hear what other tips you have for staying sane on social media? Let me know in the comments!