I’m an introvert. It took me many, many years to figure that out, and when I did, it was like the missing piece of a puzzle sank into place. I felt whole and right, knowing why I felt certain ways about certain situations.
When I began to describe myself as an introvert, I realized that there are a lot of misconceptions about introverts out there. People think we’re strange or weird; I mean, who doesn’t go out on Friday nights when you’re 21?!
What?! You’d rather read a book than go out with us?!
So I took to social media and lessened my outside interaction in person. That was a great move for me, since I had primarily extroverts as friends and keeping up with them felt impossible.
I don’t know about you, but social media is my JAM. I can spend hours a day interacting on that when I wouldn’t be able to last 30 minutes in the club with my girls, or even at a house party with some coworkers. There are no face-to-face expectations, like wearing jeans (ugh – where are my stretchy-pant ladies?!) or doing your hair… because ain’t nobody got time for that when you’re trying to whip out excellent content for your next blog post at 5am.
Even though I love social media now, I didn’t always love it. Let me go over some of the reasons it didn’t resonate with me immediately and provide you with some social media tips for introverts.
I didn’t know my limits.
I attempted to do everything for everyone all at once. I got so excited and overeager to be online and have “friends” and do big things that I thought I could win over the world in one day. Know your limits; don’t take bites that are far too big for your mouth. Because I wasn’t paying attention to my limits, I wasn’t able to complete my morning routine, have normal excursions out of the house, etc.
I friended everyone.
Yep. Even people I didn’t really like. I thought that’s what you did on social media – right? You just friend everybody, no matter how you feel about them? Wrong. My social media accounts became places of stress and high levels of anxiety because there were feeds from people I didn’t like and people who didn’t like me popping up everywhere and that wasn’t a healthy environment. Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, should be a place of fun and productivity. Don’t friend people you don’t like, or who can’t benefit you in some way.
I had shiny object syndrome.
If there was a new social media network, I jumped on it immediately. I wanted to be in the know all the time and stay up to date on everything. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it compromised my quality of content. I wasn’t spending enough time on ANY of the networks to make an impact, so I was eventually forced to reduce my accounts to a managable number. I now have Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Facebook didn’t work well for me as a bizbabe, so I don’t use it.
I compared my account to others.
This is probably the hardest thing I had to move past. Every time I would visit a new blog or social media network, I would fall in love with their design and think, why can’t mine look like this? Clearly, I have to hire a designer to whip something up at a $2,000 cost to me in order to be equal to these people. I’d think: “they probably have 5,000 email subscribers. I mean, look at that ridiculously awesome freebie! My poor little ConvertKit account only has 300 subscribers.”
Comparing gets you nowhere except to frustration.com. I recommend producing excellent content 100% of the time on whichever networks work best for you, and I can guarantee that people will start to follow you. They don’t care if your Twitter account accent colors are yellow or pink and purple polka dots. (That’s not possible, btw. Just thought I’d throw it out there that I TRIED.)
In a nutshell, know what you’re capable of doing every single day.
- don’t friend or follow people who stress you out
- don’t sign up for everything just because it’s new and someone else has it
- don’t compare your account to other accounts (they’re probably doing the same thing)
Once I began following these little guidelines, my attitude toward social media changed almost overnight. It suddenly felt like a refreshing place to be. I went through my Facebook and Twitter accounts, removing people I didn’t think encouraged me or that left me feeling dull.
I also blocked people on Instagram whose photos were discouraging or depressing. I started pinning images on Pinterest that made me feel enthusiastic instead of only the images I thought were appropriate. I began to truly enjoy my social media experience.