Don’t read the comments

Well not yet anyway.

I consume a lot of YouTube and social media content, most of which comes with comments. Something I’ve learnt is that reading the comments before watching the content can totally skew your view.

You might not even realise that your opinion is not your own but simply a mix of the other peoples opinions you’ve just read.

I think it’s important to be able to watch something or look at something and form an opinion about it without knowing what other people think first.

7 types of people to unfollow on Instagram

I regularly update who I follow on Instagram. I do this because I understand that even if it is only in a small way, who I follow impacts me. Social media can have you invested in the lives of strangers, influence you to waste money on things you don’t really want and serve as an unhelpful comparison to judge your life against.

Here are some ideas for who you might want to unfollow on Instagram:

People you don’t know

Following people you’ve never met can lead to learning or even friendship. However it can also result in you being over invested in total strangers. You wonder if something is wrong when they don’t post for a day and keep up with their life with great eagerness but perhaps that time could be better spent doing something else.

People you don’t personally interact with

If you don’t watch their stories and you don’t like or comment on their posts then maybe you don’t need to be following them?

People that constantly want to sell you something

I recently unfollowed a bunch of fashion/lifestyle content creators. I enjoy their content but everyday I was being recommended this amazing product that was equally as good as the one they recommend the day before. And I understand that it’s part of how they make a living, I just realised it wasn’t something I wanted to see so often.

People whose content you don’t find interesting

Sometimes I come across an account that I like the images of and decide to follow. But a few months later if I’m not interested in the content or interacting with it then there’s no keep following the person.

People who make you feel bad

This may be people with more money than you, people that constantly post upsetting content or who post things you can’t afford to buy and places you can’t afford to go. They might not necessarily make you feel bad but if the people you follow don’t make you feel good, then what’s the point? Obviously there is a case for learning to not be impacted by things but the chances are whatever is on social media isn’t important enough to be the thing that teaches you that lesson.

People whose lives you’re not interested in keeping up with

Maybe there is a person you went to school with but haven’t spoken to in 5-10 years. You probably don’t interact with what they post and you have no intentions of rekindling any sort of relationship with them. Keeping up with their life is totally unnecessary because you don’t actually care.

People you don’t agree with

As much as it is good to take in views or opinions that differ from your own, you don’t need to do that on Instagram or social media in general, especially when it’s coming from strangers. You can have conversations in person, watch shows, listen to podcasts or read articles to hear other peoples views.

When free is better than cheap

Most people that sell things that are ‘expensive’ also give things away for free.

Maybe you do some sort of one on one coaching but you also do a free weekly podcast or YouTube video. Doing so allows you to make a living from what you do whilst also ensuring that those that can’t afford your services still have access to your work.

Free stuff also allows potential customers/clients to consume your work before deciding whether they consider your product or services to be worth spending money on.

On the other hand you could have it so that nothing is free but instead is either cheap or expensive. However, I’ve found that overtime free stuff can help build trust. Whether it’s buying a book written by someone who has a free podcast or paying for a membership on a site run by someone who regularly shares useful information on social media.

When the stuff is free you take what applies or works for you and pass on the rest whereas if you pay, even if it’s a small amount you’re likely to be much more critical and judgemental.

The thing that has made me buy what a person is selling is when I’ve gotten great value from what stuff I haven’t even paid for. I’d have been much less likely to buy the more expensive stuff if I was already paying for the podcast, blog posts or newsletter etc.

Reasons to unsubscribe from an email list

I recently unsubscribed from an email list. Afterwards, I got thinking about why I did it for that particular brand and why I’d do it in general.

We all already get way too many emails and so an additional 5 a week from a company you bought hair products from once and don’t plan to buy from again is just too much.

Just because we place one order with a company, doesn’t mean we’re interested in their email marketing. We might want updates on sales or new products they come out with but everything else is just annoying.

And lastly, we want to feel respected. Just because someone now has our email when we’re being bombarded with emails every few days or even weekly it feels like excessive. I think we’d all much rather read emails that feel important to us (not just to the person sending them) even if their intention is to get us to buy more stuff.

But the more emails we get the less helpful it feels and so we decide that we’d rather have no emails at all and we click unsubscribe.

Creators and consumers

One thing I have observed over the years is that there is a very clear difference between being a creator and being a consumer in the online space.

It is first worth noting that all creators consume and all consumers create. However, the title you choose or align with most is based around what you do the most but also how you do it.

Secondly, you don’t have to have a big number of followers, make money or work with brands to be considered a creator, it’s more about the intention behind what you put out.

It could be someone with 237 followers sharing photos of what they eat at home each day, where they spend time and care on the presentation of each meal, in order for it to look visually appealing. It could also be someone with 52,375 subscribers making fashion videos that give their audience outfit inspiration.

For creators, I think it is important that you are creating more than you consume otherwise you end up getting swept up and spending your time in a way that does not benefit you.

Sending emails to your mailing list

When sending emails do it from a place of generosity.

How will this benefit the receiver?

As much as you may want to generate sales, bombarding a customer with emails is a poor tactic.

It doesn’t make a person want to read the emails let alone make a purchase but it might lead to them unsubscribing.

There are exceptions to this rule which generally apply to those that aren’t trying to sell anything. Those that make it clear how many emails they intend to send and actually stick with it.

Emails from these kinds of people or brands work well because it feels generous and the intentions are made clear from the start.

None of it matters as much you think it does

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all so heavily integrated into our daily lives that to be without them (even just for a few hours) is difficult.

Suddenly, you’re having to figure out what to do with your time instead of spending it scrolling.

Conversations that have been going for days or even weeks have now come to a standstill but you still have so much to say.

And now, you have no idea what the the people you are connected to online are doing, eating or wearing.

Somehow all of this stuff seems important yet at the same time, when those 3 apps went down on Monday 4th October 2021 you also realised that none of matters as much as you often think it does.

3 small ways to change the way you use social media

Social media plays a significant role in many peoples lives. However, when used in certain ways it can come with negative implications such as wasting time, unnecessary feelings of jealousy and distracting you from what you really care about.

Here are 3 small ways to avoid or at least reduce those negative implications whilst still using social media:

Set a timer for how much you can use it
It could be 1 hour a day or it could be 15 minutes. If your aim is to regain more time try and figure out how much time you spend on the app before it begins to take you away from things you’d be better off doing.

Regularly update who you follow
Every few months I update who I’m following and unfollow the accounts I’m no longer interested in seeing. It could be a content creator who shares amazing photos but is always trying to sell me something, someone I went to school with 10+ years ago who I haven’t spoken to since and rarely interact with or someone I came across a few months ago whose images don’t interest me as much as I thought they would.

Use your phone to post and your desktop to browse and interact
I’ve found that I spend much less time browsing on Instagram and twitter when I’m on my laptop compared to my phone. And so if you’re able to, try just using your phone for posting and do everything else from the big screen.

Expensive online courses

I recently came across an online course that I had no intention of taking but I was curious of what the price would be. It was the kind of course where someone was selling something they had taught themselves to do. I personally thought it was quite expensive and I couldn’t help but wonder the sort of person the course was aimed at.

I knew that people would be interested in the course, it was just a matter of how much someone was willing to spend. I also realised that the person selling the course had created something they could continue making money from in the months and years to come and it would require no more effort.

I got thinking about it more and more and began to think about how in order to charge a price that is considered expensive, you have to put yourself in the position of a leader. You need to be someone with something to teach, someone that people can learn from but also be trustworthy. That’s what makes people feel like what they’re paying is worth it.

Why are you online?

There was once a time where we would tune out of ‘real life’ and go online. These days many of us live online and tune out to experience ‘real life’.

We go from Instagram to Twitter to YouTube to Amazon to clothes shopping to reading articles to watching webinars. Not necessarily in that order and many of us frequently going back to social media throughout the day.

In the past we would go online with a purpose and once that purpose was complete we would log out and get back to our lives. Perhaps it was to play games, chat with friends or watch a show. But once you logged out you couldn’t access those things until you logged in again.

We had reasons to go online but these days online has expanded so much that we often struggle to find a reason to go offline.

I think it’s important, even though we’re online so much more than we used to be to still give yourself a purpose. Get out of the habit of simply going online just to be online especially when you become aware that it’s distracting you from your real life.