Keeping up with strangers

Social media makes it really easy to keep up with everything going on in the world around us. From crises happening across the globe to personal details about people we’ve never met.

And on an average day for many, I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming that little thought goes into it.

How often do you find yourself questioning whether you need to know all this information you’re consuming?

I’m guilty of clicking on trending topics out of curiosity but on reflection I know that this information isn’t something I need to know.

The goings on of celebrities (and even just people we’ve never met) has always been a popular form of entertainment which is why gossip magazines were so popular. I guess those magazines have now changed to social media, something that is free and consumed by even more people.

And as much as you control who you follow, you can’t control what they post, tweet, re-tweet, like or share on their stories.

But what you do have control over is your active consumption. As much as knowing certain things might tickle your fancy, upon reflection would you really choose knowing details about a strangers personal life over reading a book, working on your craft, writing, planning ahead etc.

Of course you can make time for both (if you so wish) but this is more about being intentional with what you consume rather than getting swept up in it all.

If you leave the twitter thread, video or post feeling fine that’s great but if you feel like you’ve wasted time then maybe you need to start making some changes.

Putting more thought into branding

As much as you might want to focus on other stuff, it will always be worth putting some time into branding. It’s important to think about how things look to an outside eye and understand if you’re able to deliver your intended message.

I’ve always wanted The Daily Gemm (TDG) to be a space with writing and simplicity at the forefront and that’s what I focused on when I started posting to the Instagram account a few months ago.  However, I’ve realised that although the simplicity element works well on the blog, it doesn’t translate the same way on Instagram. I realised that I might need to do start doing things differently.

After giving it things more thought and thinking about the grand scheme and my future plans and aspirations, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the TDG Instagram account to represent my long-term plans as a brand, rather than just to represent this blog.

And so over the past week or so I’ve been coming up with ideas for how I could do things differently in a way that works for me.

One the first things that came to mind was more visual content and more colour. Currently the TDG feed is full of quotes from my blog posts in black and white. But it turns out the ‘just words, no pictures’ philosophy that I have for this site doesn’t fit for Instagram.

On one hand my grand plans for Instagram have come crashing down but on the other hand it taught me a lot. I’ve now gone back to the drawing board and spent time planning and creating things that I’m looking forward to sharing.

What do these likes mean to me?

It doesn’t feel particularly good when you upload a picture on Instagram and it gets significantly lower likes than usual. You didn’t post it for the likes but you hoped it would perform as good as usual or at least only slightly lower.

But when your image gets 40% of your average likes, you can’t help but start to question things.

Why is nobody liking my picture?

Did I post at the wrong time?

Was my picture really that bad?

Maybe if I come off Instagram for a little while the likes will be there when I go back to it.

As humans many of us have this habit of attaching meaning and feelings to situations that could be totally neutral. Share a picture because you want to share it and leave it at that.

If you feel some type of way about the numbers of likes you’ve gotten ask yourself ‘What do these likes mean to me?

Often the answer is some form of validation, that what you’ve shared is good enough. Many of us take it one step further and attach that validation to our sense of self.

Breaking news

I went on to Facebook and saw a post from Seth Godin. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll have seen my many references to and mentions of Seth Godin.

People like you and people like me

What would Seth Godin say?

Less Seth, More me

Telling stories and being heard

Godin, writers block and the inner monologue

Anyway the post on Facebook said that Seth is back on Instagram  (his last post was a few years ago).

So of course I went straight from Facebook to Instagram and clicked follow.

It’s a small and perhaps insignificant thing to some yet it brought joy to my day. Seth is someone who I’ve learnt a lot from and for those that don’t know, he’s the reason I started this blog.

If any of you are interested follow Seth Godin @sethgodin on Instagram.

Wasted curiosity

Whilst browsing on Instagram a week or so ago I came across the account of someone that I haven’t seen in years. My curiosity got the better of me and I clicked to see what was on their feed. It was one of those times where I knew I didn’t need to look but I just couldn’t help myself.

Sometimes I hold onto the past and live as though the world will stand still and give me time to adjust but as The Jezabels sing ‘it goes on’. That reality is kind of beautiful whilst also making me realise how easy it can be to waste time.

I have spent so much time ruminating on things that don’t matter and it only seems like they do because I give them so much attention.

So here’s to being more present, I guess.