I don’t see the big deal about Instagram. Probably because, well, I have trouble seeing. And for a legally blind gal, a social site with a singular focus on photos (that you can’t zoom) is like treating a vegetarian to a good old-fashioned Texas barbecue, every single day.
Nevertheless, I joined Instagram this week. As a social media enthusiast, I know that Instagram is considered one of the hottest social sites. As a businesswoman, I knew I had to get on there to extend my online presence as CoachKamna and reach a demographic that may not be on Twitter or Facebook.
I can see why people who can see love it. I get why millennials, and others who don’t like to read, are all over it. But what I don’t understand is why so many people blindly flock toward sites for reasons they cannot explain.
We’ve all got friends and acquaintances like this (and maybe have even done it ourselves). Their profile picture is a silhouette and the last time they were active on the site was 217 days ago. They likely signed up one night when they couldn’t sleep and they never came back because either they didn’t understand it, thought it was kind of stupid or because they found a new series on Netflix to binge watch.
Because of my disability, I have no qualms about not having a personal Instagram (or Pinterest) account and can easily explain this absence of choice to others. But you don’t have to have a disability to avoid jumping on every social network bandwagon.
Simply use these 3 principles to decide if a social network works for you.
Lose the FOMO mindset. Social networks are here to stay and new ones are popping up before you can find all your friends on the old ones. But you don’t have to try them all. That would be like grabbing every box in the cereal aisle, and who wants to only eat breakfast for five months straight? Be selective, and find a therapist to work through your fear of missing out.
Don’t do it just because the cool kids are. There seems to be a widespread assumption that anyone under the age of 27.3 is an expert on social media and predictor of tech trends. If that were the case, we’d all still be on MySpace. The point is, understanding what your kids like and where they hang out is one thing, assuming you’ll like it simply because you fancy yourself as being hip is right up there with dressing like your teenage daughter. It’s not about age, it’s about recognizing the right fit.
Know why you’re there, and make no apologies. I’m on Instagram for my business, and so that I can easily limit my time on this site, I’ve told myself that I’ll only follow other businesses or coaches. (And my teenage nieces who aren’t on Facebook, because nobody uses Facebook as one of them told me a month ago – except 1.5 billion users I refrained from correcting her.) I determine what I use each social site for, and how much time I spend on it, based on my preferences and what makes sense for me. It’s that simple, and that clear. Don’t feel like you have to do everything on every site. Stick to the things that make you happy or are of use to you.
The beauty of social networks is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a video junkie or voracious reader, the better you get at choosing what works for you, the less work being “social” will feel like.
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