Are you active on social media? Odds are if you’ve found your way here, you are. Social media is such a driving force in today’s society. It provides connection, influence and power, it can even serve as a source of income. It has many amazing benefits, but there are also some pitfalls.
On Friday, I shared on Insta-stories asking followers the following questions:
- Why are you on social media?
- Who are you following and why?
I know it sounds a little odd to pair these thought provoking questions with social media use, but the reality is (whether we realize it or not) we all have a why when it comes to our social media use.
Question one is a bit broad…it refers to your posting and sharing, as well as your interaction with others on social media. But all-in-all, why do you log on each time? What is your motive or purpose?
For some, the purpose may be to simply keep up with friends and family. For others, it is more about seeking some sort of affirmation, a quest for acceptance. There are some who access social media simply for financial gain…their jobs depend on it. For others it is about having a platform to share opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Some people would argue it is “just for fun,” but the truth is, if we would pull back the curtain for just a moment we would discover that there is more to it than that.
I was curious if anyone has actually done a little “scientific” digging in this area, so I did some quick research. It didn’t take long for me to come across an article that aligned with my own perspectives and thoughts on the whole social media thing. You can go check it out here. And yes, I will now be analyzing everyone’s social media posts thanks to this study.
Just kidding…sort of.
The second question addresses who we follow on social media. I know, you’re thinking, “Why does it even matter?” But the truth is…it does matter. Whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not, people are ALWAYS watching. Isn’t that the whole point of having followers on social media…to have the option to watch and keep up with everything that person does/posts?
We also have to keep in mind that those following us, are likely looking at who we are following as well. If I claimed to be a follower of Christ and my goal was to encourage other followers in their daily walk, yet I was following people who dressed inappropriately, cursed, talked badly of others, etc. you would question my validity, and likely not quite look at me the same anymore.
You also have to realize that if you are following people who often post negative, degrading, or inappropriate content you are allowing this into your daily life. In fact, it is just the same as condoning and promoting it. What we watch and listen to has influence on our lives.
You see, I had a follower message me on Instagram this week with a link to another account, asking me to go follow it. I told them I would be happy to go check it out. A few minutes later I was asked why I had not yet ‘followed’ that account. I was very honest and told them that although the page was in no way negative or inappropriate, the content did not align with the type of content my audience was looking for. It is my policy that if the account, page, etc. is not applicable to my followers/readers I will not follow it.
I know they didn’t like the answer, but they certainly respected it. And that is what really got me thinking about my ‘whys’ when it comes to social media. If it does not make me happy, bring me joy, encourage me in some way, challenge me in a positive manner, or align with my values…it needs to go. There are enough voices out there seeking to tear us down. Why should we arm social media to do the same?! And why would we want to unintentionally lead others to such?!
So what are your whys?
Do you need to clean up your friends list or unfollow some accounts?