I don’t use Instagram like everyone else and that makes me feel weird but like a good weird.
Hear me out.
I’m a slow processor. I like to have experiences, examine them and then come back and tell folks how I feel.
But if I’m on here every day then I might miss some of those experiences. So on most days, I abstain.
By the way. I’ve done it before…
Been consumed with capturing content every day. Going places solely with the intention of capturing content. Going home and uploading sed content. Then responding to what people think of my content.
It was giving hamster wheel.
But before we go any further on this proverbial hamster wheel. Can we as the United Internet of America create a filter system from which we separate art from content?
Like if you feel pressure to post every day it’s probably content. But if you have an actual message or you wanna share; something you’ve been working on or maybe going thru, then it’s art?
I don’t know, I’m not the Michaelangelo of the internet and this is not a knock-on content creators either.
I wish I could be a content creator. Honestly. It sounds so cool. “Content Creator”. *jazz hands*
I wish I had your stamina. I wish I had your sense of routine. I wish I had the time, energy, and brainpower to just make shit every day.
But truth is I’m tied. I can’t commit to a schedule. Or a campaign. I’m allergic to going live. So it’s like, outta all these features yall got on here, I really just need two.
I wanna use text and photos. Dats it. Maybe video here and there? Ala Instagram 2017? But I’m not finna be a producing every day.
Shit. I don’t even do IG stories anymore because of the level of editing that was going into a single day’s worth of footage.
I started to ask myself questions like, “Who am I doing this for? What is the pay rate for this activity? And how are those other fifty-leven things that you’re working on, coming along?” I struggled to answer.
And then I started noticing that before I would post, I would check the googles to see “iS It a GoOd TiMe To pOsT oN iNsTaGrAm?”
Can you imagine? Like, you have a message Destiny. Anytime is a good time to post…right Google?
The fact that my human ass felt it necessary to ask one robot bout how I move on another robot, was weird to me.
So I started to develop this practice. Every time I felt like getting on Instagram, I would instead go to Pinterest – the most unproblematic platform on earth.
There’s no noise on Pin-Pin. It’s quiet. Instead of being bombarded by an onslaught of people’s opinions, I am welcomed by a dreamy array of images that I had a hand in curating; a never-ending, portable vision board, if you will.
And just like that, I’d adopted a new healthy habit.
So then I was like, “Ok. What else can we do to reframe this relationship?” And that’s when I start making Instagram appointments.
This is where I’d intentionally engage and scroll for a few minutes or however long it takes me to catch up on the top 10 posts because usually the first 5 or 6 accounts I really fuck with or are people I genuinely love to support.
Then I type in my lil search button, “bloop, bloop, bloop” S-h-a-d-e-r-o-o-m and I sit on my toilet, I mean my desk and I catch up on 3 days worth a nigga news.
I mean seriously. For bout 15-20 minutes, I have the time of my life being nosy, judgy, and reading comments. Black blog sites are like digital cookouts.
Once I get caught up I go back to my feed. It has likely since refreshed, I see another 3 or 4 accounts that I enjoy, I sprinkle a handful of love and support in the form of kind words and emojis and that’s it.
This has been how I’ve moved on the gram for the last year or so and I love it here.
But even still, in the pit of my millennial stomach, there was this dull, yet persistent panging. This relentless nagging that over and over again would interrogate me.
Yes, taking into account my new healthy habits but also asking one very important question, “What about the money, honey?”
I was suffering from a disease I just made up. called F.O.M.O.I. S – Fear of Missing Out on Internet Sales.
Like many-a-millennial, I make money online and while it wasn’t my only stream of income, my new relationship with Instagram had directly altered my relationship with customers and my business as a whole.
I have spent the last 6 months trying to find the balance between burnout and bankroll.
But recently this digital disconnection has gotten deep, giving rise to a real-life revelation that has bought on a new interesting challenge. And that revelation was, “Think bigger than Instagram”.
Yall. These four words have been both agonizing and freeing for a “slow processing” business owner like myself. But above all, it’s made getting on and off the hamster wheel a little easier.
I feel like I’ve given myself this permission – this permission that my grown-ass had all the time to start this awesomely, enlightening newsletter I’ve been dreaming up for so long.
To use these rock-star editing skills on youtube for a possible ad check, rather than Instagram stories for free.
Permission to pitch my perfectly-imperfect stories to publications.
This new license to capture all my floating thoughts and put’em in a podcast. Permission to write my bo….
You know what? I’m not even gon say it because recently I looked over some old blog pieces and realized I have been “wRiTiNg mY bOoK” for 4 years.
I pledge to not talk about it until it is complete or at the very least has a physical cover.
But that’s why getting off this hamster wheel was so important. I felt beholden to the lamb of a solid social media strategy and it just wasn’t working out “for me”.
Do the kids still say, “for me” at the end of every sentence?
It’s scary to start over. I built a business here. I cultivated a community. And granted I don’t have a huge following.
Side Note: 2000+ people is huge I don’t give a eff what yo online coach told you.
Because listen, my teeth would be chatterin like hell if I did a public speaking presentation in front of 2000+ people so miss me with that mega-influencer talk.
I’m what they call a nano influencer because I don’t influence not-nano-no-body and that is ok with me.
I just cackled. But it’s true. Let ya, momma, influence you. Studies have shown I am not the one. I’m on a slow-n-steady path to find 1000 True Fans. And that is success to me.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what’ll happen when this app is dead and gone and everybody treats it like myspace.
Sure there will be another one to replace it with because, uh duh, humans but I bet you a bowl of soup that there’s a Generation Z’er in his Momma’s basement right now working on a way to code the fuck out of your attention.
And tuh, I wanna be something too. I wanna have some real accomplishments not just a bunch of reels. What I’m gon do with that? Everybody got that.
It really makes you ask yourself. It really makes you wonder, how can I push myself? How can I push the needle? How can I stretch myself outta this algorithmic comfort zone?
It’s not all doomsday though. That freedom that comes with, “Think bigger than Instagram” has also afforded me “permission” to just play on Instagram; not take things too seriously. Post when I wanna post or don’t. Big deal.
And since I wanna dabble in so many other things this is a place where I experiment and explore, ya know?
And I know what you’re saying, “But you talkin to us from this mothaphucka now! You promoted this very blog piece on Instagram ma’am!”
And yeah. So what about it? After I post this I’m finna go back to experiencing those experiences I talked about earlier. I don’t scroll. I don’t chat. I don’t wait for likes. I tend to comments and DMS at the next interval of my day and I “let that be that” as my Grandma used to say.
I have friends that say, “But I have a business so I don’t really have a choice”. And I’m all like, “Biiiiitch! I know right! What’ll we do?!”
So. I on’t know what to tell you. (Also an old adage from my Grandma). All I know is It’s just getting too noisy on IG fuh me chile. I can’t hear myself think.
I could be totally wrong. My PayPal account says I’m wrong. My friends and fellow entrepreneurs tell me I’m wrong. The online gurus that they paid $600 to tell them they doin it wrong, say I’m doing it wrong.
But you know how you get good at something? By practicing. And I’m just at the point where I wanna get good at something other than being distracted.
So again. Please don’t listen to me. But by all means. Listen to yourself. It just so happen that “myself” told me, “Think bigger than Instagram”