Take a deep breath. Close your eyes, even. (Seriously try it, it feels nice.)
Ahh, I’m feeling better already.
When’s the last time you took a second to literally just close your eyes, breathe, and enjoy a moment of peace and calm?
I’m writing to you to hopefully put some things into perspective in the light of social media algorithm changes, Shadowbanning, and whatever else is happening to bog you down.
An Open Letter to Bloggers
I’m not coming from a place of arrogance; I get it. I’ve been there too. But I couldn’t keep quiet when I see so many of you, for lack of a more eloquent term, freaking out over the changes.
I get it
You’re vowing to swear off Instagram forever. You’re threatening to throw the towel in – yeah, take THAT, Facebook! You’re mad, sad, pouting, and downright throwing tantrums – I’m not exaggerating, these are all things I’ve witnessed. And I get it, it stinks to be doing things the right way and getting punished. It’s annoying to be missing opportunities for engagement without even knowing why. It’s like this – has anyone ever felt under-valued or cheated at your job? You work hard, play by the rules, are genuinely committed yet are overlooked? It feels horrible, I get it.
A trivial piece of the puzzle
But here’s the thing; social media is not life. It may be a part of your life, part of your passion, part of your job, and a piece of your income, but it’s not your lifeline. In fact, my plummeting engagement hasn’t stopped me from any opportunities.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our little blogging world where everything seems just so important – and I’m not saying it’s not important – but it’s not life or death as the Insta Stories rants make it seem. It’s not the end all of your blog or life as the Facebook status proclamations make it seem.
I’ve been there, totally immersed in my bubble, actually CRYING over an Instagram bully ( a story for another day); I’ve been there throwing my own inward tantrums back when I tracked who unfollowed me, and the data actually ruined my whole day.
First, you have to just stop – stop tracking your unfollowers. If you haven’t done that already, get rid of any app that tracks who follows and unfollows you – I’ll give you a moment to delete that now…
Next, stop the tantrums. It’s not fair? I keep seeing this term – it’s not fair that the algorithms change; it’s not fair that I’m doing things the right way and get punished. While you may be right, it just makes me smile because my two-year-old is going through an “it’s not fair” phase, and just as she folds her arms and proclaims it’s not fair that she can’t have French fries every day, it makes me smile that something that’s actually so trivial is ruining your life. You’re all too wonderful to let this happen; I want more for you.
I’ll suggest what I do with my toddler; have your moment – go on and rant, because there is truth to what you’re feeling and there’s no use stifling it – but there’s also no use dwelling on it. Get it out of your system and take a breather.
Keep posting great content. Focus on what you love, not what you hate, and if you really hate it that much, then actually quit instead of threatening it. Your negative energy is stuck and doing you no good otherwise. Take a break from social media and I think you’ll feel a weight lifted from you, too.
Now take a moment and scroll through your Instagram feed. Go to three of your friends’ feeds. What do you see? What do you feel?
What I see
I looked through mine and felt proud; my feed has come a long way from when I started. I feel joy – I love seeing my favorite pictures of my little girls. I also feel motivated; I finally got a real camera and can’t wait to learn how to use it and start shooting better pictures.
Then I looked at my friends’ feeds; they made me smile, seeing Paige’s hilarious and adorable little boys and her witty captions. I felt inspired by Chelsea’s captions, proud of her professional style photos and in awe of Supal’s ability to be an actual digital storyteller.
I laughed at Jaelan’s caption of her sweet, tiny strawberry picture, felt joy from Tiffany’s seriously exuberant smile in her last photo, and drooled over Amanda’s new bubblegum pink Tory Burch bag. Annie’s cheerful tulips brightened my otherwise gloomy Chicago day, and Brittany’s sweet, airy, and encouraging feed reminded me that I need to get together with her.
I’m doing this as I’m writing, my warm computer fan lulling my nursing baby to sleep while my toddler’s artfully messy bedhead curls flop as she shakes her head spastically at me for some unknown reason. The news is on in the background, left on by my husband, and there’s a breaking report about an Isis attack in Paris, a reminder of why I stopped watching the news. My soul weighs heavily with every local, national, and global exclusive I hear, each somehow more horrendous than the next.
I have this intense juxtaposition of all that’s pure and good in the world, literally sitting just on one couch cushion, and all that’s evil glowing at me from the television screen.
This is real life, the best and worst of reality.
As all of my blessings swell powerfully in my heart, stemming from just two little human beings as we sit in our jammies doing nothing on my couch, I’m hit with a reality check.
And I hope you are too.
Keep up the good work; good things will come.