Restoring the balance

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, podcasts and blogs.

We have the opportunity to take in a lot of information every single day to the point where we can become overloaded.

But more importantly a lot of this information is other people’s thoughts, opinions or just things we don’t need to know or don’t benefit us.

I think online content is great in moderation but if you find yourself at a point where it feels like too much, the best thing to do is reduce your consumption.

That could mean unfollowing, unsubscribing, logging out, taking a break or setting a time limit.

You need to do those things for long enough so that you can restore the balance between online and offline or creation and consumption.

The balance should always be in your favour so create more than you consume or be offline more than you’re online.

The consumer doesn’t care

The viewer or the consumer does not have to care about what went on behind the scenes. They are there for the art not the person and I think that in some cases that’s the way it should be.

In other cases, like on social media, the consumer is often there for the person just as much as if not more than they’re there for the art (or whatever creative thing that the person does).

This is why people with highly dedicated fans/followers will be supported no matter what they do.

I think that because of social media there are now blurred lines between what is business and what is personal.

But it is important to know that just because you’re visible online and people may know what you do it doesn’t mean that they care. Some people are there for the work, not for you and that is perfectly alright.

So, if you offer a product or service and the customer is not satisfied they might voice how they feel. If it is not considered good enough the customer doesn’t necessarily care that you did your best and that you will be better next time. They care that they bought someone thing they are not happy with.

And so your job is not to find customers that care about you personally but to instead to show up, create great work and deliver.

Conscious consumption

Over the past few weeks or months, there has been an increase in posts related to social media. In particular, I have been writing about Instagram more.

Aside from the fact that I find it interesting, I also find that writing about social media enables me to consume it a little more consciously.

Instagram has become such a prominent part of many of our daily lives, at times it can become a little excessive.

Writing about Instagram (or just social media in general) means I’m much more reflective when it comes to what I use it for and how I feel about it. But I’m also developing more of an interest in what it can be used for and how it is changing.

All of this combined has changed my thoughts on social media and made me want to use it much more intentionally but also use it a little bit less.

The best place to share your work

Coming up with an idea of who your customer or target audience is incredibly helpful. For example, if you are trying to attract a younger age group you would use different methods than those you would choose to attract an older age group.

That could mean promoting your work on a Tik Tok account instead of setting up a Facebook page.

But you can even take things further and really carve out what sort of person would be interested in your work.

Perhaps it is someone that spends a lot of time reading, isn’t on so social media much. Maybe they are introverted or they prefer meeting people in person rather than online. Keep going with that until, you eventually begin to cultivate this conceptual idea of a person and then you’re able to look at different ways of reaching that person.

Ask yourself, ‘Would this person want updates on twitter, insta stories or by email?’

Once you can answer these questions, it can provide a useful base for figuring out the best place to share your work and promote your stuff.

Becoming obsolete

One of my most memorable scenes from Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory comes quite near to the beginning.

Charlie’s dad worked in a toothpaste factory screwing lid onto each tube one by one. Then one day he lost his job because the factory he worked in bought a machine that could do his job quicker and cheaper.

Just like that his job role had become obsolete.

That’s happening more and more these days.

A prime example is self service machines instead of a cashier. Instead of a shop having 4  people working on the tills you can have 4 self service machines and one person there to oversee and assist if necessary.

Granted some people prefer being served by a person instead of serving themselves. However, the main point is that the cashier role is no longer as necessary as it used to be.

Does the customer determine value?

I recently saw some things for sale and my first thought was that I wouldn’t buy them. In my opinion the items weren’t worth the price they were being sold for.

But people were buying the items.

Turns out that that even though I didn’t value the items at the price they were being sold for other people did, which got me thinking.

Who determines value?

If you’re selling something for £50 and nobody buys it, is it actually worth £50.

Or does value come from what the customer is willing to pay for it.

In my opinion it is the customer that determines the value because they’re the ones willing to pay for it. However, it is worth noting that just because you’re unable to sell to one group of people, doesn’t mean you’re prices are too high.

It might just mean that those people don’t see the value in what you’re selling.

But maybe another group will.

Temporary excess

If you’re someone that regularly consumes content online you’ve probably noticed that right now there is more stuff than ever.

More photo’s and videos than you even have the energy to consume, it’s overwhelming.

Some days people are all sharing the same thing, telling you what you should think, telling you what you shouldn’t be doing or selling something you don’t want.

I guess the problem with more stuff is that when it isn’t helpful, useful or interesting it’s just more stuff to wade through until you can get to the bits that you actually care about.

But just because there is more to consume doesn’t mean you need to spend more time online.

Try giving yourself a time limit, being selective about what you consume and unfollowing anything that isn’t benefiting you.