Near the end of last year, I took a break from social media as I was experiencing a great deal of anxiety from it. I did not understand where it was coming from initially, as I love social media and it is something I have become passionate about. While reflecting as I was taking a break from posting content, I discovered I was anxious for a few different reasons.
- I am too much of a perfectionist when it comes to creating cohesive content. I use a planning app to plan my feed beforehand and to make sure my Instagram feed is aesthetically pleasing. I spend a lot of time making sure all of the edits on my photos are cohesive and look the same.
- Although I look at analytics and I have an app that tells me what times are best to post, Instagram’s algorithm affects my engagement on my posts and it can be discouraging as a content creator when you feel your audience is not seeing or reacting to your posts.
- Comparing my consistency and sometimes even the quality of my content to that of other creators started to take a toll on me and I stopped posting in an attempt to improve my own content. This made matters even worse because it is impossible to be more consistent when you are afraid to post at all.
- As I am probably the most indecisive person I know, I kept making irrational decisions, such as re-vamping and re-branding my brand and blog to improve it, when I am completely happy with the outcome of the new layout I decided to use as well as my branding thus far. I have wasted countless hours re-branding when I ended up sticking to the basics and what I have already had.
Social media can be a blessing and a curse, but like anything, it is what you make of it. Here are some ways I have been able to get through my social media anxiety:
- Just do it! Write the post. Post the picture. Whatever it is, just do it and stop overthinking every little detail.
- Post and go. After posting a picture on social media, I post it and go about my day. I don’t even have notifications turned on for any of my social media. I know I am producing quality content, so this has helped me focus on quality over quantity and to stop caring about the amount of likes or engagement I am receiving. Give it an hour or so to come back and engage with your audience. Spending less time on social media will help you overthink less.
- Look at the bigger picture. My goal has always been to create authentic content, so as long as I am achieving that, I find peace in it because I know the worth of myself and my content.
- Stop comparing. Some people say money is the root of all evil, but comparison in my opinion is. It hinders you from self-reflecting and focusing on yourself. It is a wonderful thing to be inspired by others who are doing what you want to do in the long run, but do not lose sight of yourself and your own journey. Everyone has a different path and focusing on others will not get you there quicker.
- Take breaks when necessary. Breaks are important so that you do not experience burnout. Consistency will come with focus and dedication, but mental health is always comes first.
I am glad I tackled my social media anxiety and have been able to move on. I also take pride in knowing when to put everything else on a temporary pause to get my mental health in order. If you too have experienced any of this, I hope my tips are helpful and can get you through it. However, if social media takes too much of a toll on you to the point where you don’t feel like yourself, you may need to take more extreme and serious measures. Take a break. Re-align. If you are passionate about content or even social media like me, you will find your way back to it.