I guess I am what you call a food blogger. Some emails and cooperation requests are even telling me I am an influencer. Well if I am all I want to do is to influence people to use their own head, confront themselves with their emotions and problems and find solutions that in the end will make them happier with their lives.
What I see is that social media is ….an insane thing! After shutting down any mobile devices for almost two weeks now I can see things more objectively again.
Some people, a very small percentage though, seem to be able to really and fully participate from their work on social media. I recognized though that it is predominantly the people who manage to TRANSFER their online based work and CONTACTS to REAL LIFE, make real life friends and build a business that actually includes working with people face to face.
Another relatively large percentage thinks that they like their work in front of a laptop or their mobile phone. They truly believe this because …like you can get creative, you are your own boss, you get recognized for what you’re doing, you decide on your working times….wait you actually don’t. Because if you want to do this professionally, if you even aim to make a living from this you won’t be able to decide about free time and working time anymore. You will have to be available from the moment you wake up in the morning till you go to bed at night..at least mentally. So this is my experience and opinion at least. Feel free to counter if you share a different one.
I mean there must be people who manage to build and maintain this perfect work-life balance I always wished to instal in my life. For me it seems impossible to practice this if your working in the field of social media, online marketing and in general the www. Sometimes you get requests and customer projects that have to be done within just a few days, sometimes you only have a few hours although those tasks take lots of time for preparation, outworking, publication and postproduction. Moreover you always have to run behind you money. Most firms aim to pay a minimum or even nothing at all for your work and time consuming efforts as a blogger or they refuse payment after you completed your work. In general this job is absolutely unpredictable.
You have to constantly answer hundreds of comments and messages a day. This is essential for building a proper community and I personally feel responsible to get back to people that support me and share some of their precious time investing it into connecting with me. On another note you won’t be successful with your SOCIAL media if you aren’t social. Community is everything but community costs incredibly much time DAY BY DAY. There are no holidays. Taking a step back usually means losing engagement, reach and in the end MONEY.
So my day basically consists of preparing food, insta worthy food of course, shooting it, editing pictures, preparing two posts a day (which is the desirable goal though one would be enough of an effort to be honest), create a post and write a caption (which ideally contributes to my readers “needs” in any kind of way because I still want my work and my account to have a meaning and convey a message), answering your comments, commenting my friends’ pictures, answering mails and direct messages which sometimes are just super cute telling me how much people love what I do or which hold a simple request on a product or on health issues, vegan diet, taking food pictures etc. And then there are people who are absolutely desperate for whatever reason, sharing their life stories with me, searching for help, suffering from an eating disorder etc. And then there is me who really wants to help….and then there is you having your own life and problems and everything …
I feel the worst part is that as long as you are caught in this circle of having to post regularly without exception, of FUNCTIONING, honestly like a machine, like a robot, day by day, preferably sharing your content at the same time each day as followers get used to that time and so you will get more engagement, more likes, more new followers… you don’t dare to step back, to take a break, to initially listen to your inner voice and sensing if you are exhausted of all this, if you’re still happy doing this, if you feel fulfilled…
Social media is an apparatus asking for and functioning based on aspects and influences from mathematics (think of the algorithm) and psychology, running to the principles of advertising mechanisms, asking for a talent for literary exposure and the wisdom of how to create visual(ly) (and) special effects.
In the end we are haunted by our own expectations of ourselves, our own ambition and this surely is an issue of today’s society.
While we get so consumed by all the INFLUENCES we actually consume being an influencer ourselves, we don’t see the bigger picture anymore. We get routine-blinded. We lose ourselves. We even dare to lose our REAL LIVES and this fact honestly makes me so sad. Not (just) for me but for all the mostly young people who live this dream or want to live this dream that sometimes is more of a nightmare or easily becomes one if you lose track of what was your initial intention that should never have been earning lots of money or getting famous in a way but sharing a certain story and in my case helping others sharing my experiences.
If you want to be a blogger, an influencer or call it however you like to, you have to be really dedicated and it will cost lots of time that you won’t get back.
I still love what I am doing and I got to know a few people that I don’t want to miss calling my friends anymore. I love the ability to share my thoughts and meet an audience actually reading and discussing it with me. Sharing what is inside me is kind of therapy. It really helps me clear my own thoughts, find solutions. I myself can learn from others. All this is why I am still doing this.
Taking a break from social media always feels like a process of awakening and I am incredibly grateful and proud of having the courage to do this more often meanwhile. Only one year ago this wouldn’t be imaginable for me. If you go back a step you start seeing the whole picture with all its disadvantages and advantages and in my opinion this is what is really important. Being aware of what you do, what you spend your LIFETIME on and if this is something you want continue doing or if you maybe want to continue on a different level, setting your priorities differently or even stop it for good.
Life always happens behind the screen. Life happens when you’re connecting with real people. Life happens when you are physically there. You can imagine the sun, you can post a beautiful picture of the radiant sun, writing you #tbt caption about last summer. It will never make up to the feeling of warm sun rays on your skin tho, of actually sitting there in nature, listening to them birds in the bushes and sensing the warm wind in your hair neither will you get a sun tan 🙂
If I can give you one advice: Try a social media detox once, once in the near present. Just to see and understand what this article is about. I am not telling anyone to quit for good. I am not intending this myself but we have to be more cautious with this new media.
I never have felt more aware than I did in the past couple of days. It felt like healing. Day by day I got more present and mindful. I started observing birds or flowers in my garden I did never see before. I watched people in shopping malls and on the street and thought about what might be going on in their lives, if they needed help carrying their bags. I sang to songs on the radio. I went for long walks with my grandfather and recalled shared memories. I barely used my mobile phone AT ALL!!! It was beautiful to not be distracted from all the outside influences for once and I feel we all need those time outs from social media soooo much especially in times when we are struggling and in general for our personal growth. We keep ourselves so small if we don’t dare to break out from the vicious circle of functioning and creating content and comparing and competing…
I wrote this article with good intentions only as I don’t want people to make the same mistakes I did.
I love you guys. Be happy. You deserve it.