Value of Sharing on Social Media
Blogger, influencer, creative, digital nomad - these umbrella terms define a career that celebrates online accessibility, twenty four hours a day, everyday, and challenges our basic need for time off. How dare we? Our engagement will drop!
In June, I took 2 weeks off from “sharing,” both on my personal channels and on here. It was not intentional but rather intuitive. I simply had nothing that I wanted to share. This pause led me to a realization that has shifted my personal and professional conduct: realizing the value of sharing!
The digital landscape is ever evolving and ever consuming. Tied up in it is always that feeling of needing to keep up with the Joneses to stay on top of one’s social game, to stay relevant. Hey, as a so-called “influencer,” I feel it all the time, the pressure—the pressure to always be doing something, the pressure to look a particular way, and the pressure to post, especially.
Whenever, TryMus clients ask how often to post, I always advise that the best rule of thumb is when you have something to say, something that adds value to the person reading or looking at an image or video. Value is intrinsic and relative; however it is rarely self-serving. Disappointingly, I admit, this is not advice I’ve always followed myself.
Yes, to grow social media channels requires consistency. However, the bigger question comes down to value, assessing how posts will add or take away from our and our audience’s lives. At times Instagram has given me anxiety, both personally and professionally—a feeling I’m sure that’s become all too familiar for many of us.
Sharing together in the virtual world is a fine balance. While we constantly feel the need to share, the act of oversharing alone leads to burn out. In fact, The World Health Organization (WHO) included burnout in its International Classification of Diseases, claiming that it “refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context…a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed…” The WHO noted that the syndrome was characterized by three dimensions: 1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy.
In our world, where passion can be a double-edged sword, and burnout is just a click away, perhaps being mindful of our digital behaviour and sharing habits is the first step to finding a balance between living life and documenting it. For me, that first step involves allowing myself to not feel the pressure to create content when I do not have the motivation or reason to. Participating in the digital landscape is both my job and a piece of my personal reality. Finding a way to stay motivated without burning out means realizing that, as in a job, we all need a moment to step away from it.