Followers. Fans. Subscribers. Likes. Page views. Visitors. You name it – it’s a game of numbers in the online world and they can be absolutely infuriating.
It’s really quite the phenomenon how those digits can cause people to lose sight of what the whole purpose of social media originally was. For many, the numbers have becoming intertwined with self worth or talent. It’s a popularity contest for some, while for others, a validation of skill. Social media has evolved but perhaps the way we think of it hasn’t quite caught up with its main purpose is now for many people. At least, sometimes I forget and focus on those numbers.
To me, social media has two sides: it is a means of staying connected to friends and family as well as a business and branding tool. As a creative, I like to see it as a platform to share my work and I put a lot of thought into the things I post. Here’s the thing, and perhaps this will sound familiar: as those numbers yo-yo up and down, the negative thoughts creep in. Before I realize it, my focus is closely directed at those numbers and what I can do to affect them positively. It’s a slippery slope into passionless posts that carry no personality or meaning. On the flip side, one can pour so much heart into their content and get disheartened by numbers and lose sight of their amazing content. It can become a dark cloud that creeps into your mind and overshadows the beauty you wish to share.
Here’s something I was recently told when I was letting those numbers bounce inside my head a little more than they deserve:
Numbers aren’t everything. Social media is just one communication channel. It’s a vehicle to get your message out: not the message itself. If you only focus on the numbers, you’re missing the entire point of your art and your craft.
Social media is the vehicle to get your message out. Social media is not the message itself. The numbers you see are not your message and they aren’t mine.
Don’t let the numbers take over and kill your creativity. Do the work, share it and appreciate those who genuinely appreciate it. Those are the people, not numbers, that matter.