The social media popularity contest.
Instagram. Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. Sound familiar? It should. The world runs on social media. The grasp of social media platforms has expanded across generations, with everyone from young children to adults, finding themselves immersed in the world of technology. They have been sucked in by the second to second updates on everyone's lives. They are also concerned with numbers. Let me admit, I too have been obsessed with these numbers. So many aspects of our lives are determined by the number of likes we receive, the number of comments we get, or the number of followers we have. We believe that the more we have, the more popular we are, the more important we are, or the more money we can make. WRONG. We need to stop defining ourselves, our successes, and our confidence based on these numbers that more often than not, are not even real.
Small fish, large pond.
Being a small business owner makes you more aware of the impact of social media and followers and likes and comments. Blah, blah, blah. The stages of acceptance on a social media platform are interesting to watch. Nobody really pays much attention to you when you only have a few hundred followers. Once you hit 500 or 1,000, people start to take notice, but you are still a small fish in a very large pond. 2,000 followers? Great. 10,000? Now you're getting somewhere. But wait. Do you know these people? Do they like your photos? Do they comment on your posts? How does someone have 60,000 followers and get 300 likes? How does someone who has 1,500 followers get the same amount of likes? You really want to know?
We are being tricked into believing that we are less because we have less. Less followers, less exposure, less popularity. But do we really? When you can pay for followers, and you can pay for likes and comments, and praise, how much of your Instafame is actually real? Do we really want Instafame? What is Instafame? It's ridiculous is what it is.
When I first joined Instagram as a small business, it was hard. Not going to lie, it was frustrating and draining. If you aren't at the top, you are nothing. That is how it felt. I'm sure many of you can attest to how this sort of shunning of the lesser, smaller people makes you feel. You see...I'm all about hard work. I'm all about working together to build amazing things. When I discovered the #communityovercompetition movement and found the individuals who believed in it also, things changed for me. I am surrounded by supportive individuals who believe in me, who challenge me to be better by being themselves, and who inspire me to reach further than Instafame.
I do not believe in paying for followers, likes, or comments. I believe in immersing yourself in your passion, working hard, supporting others, and getting your hands dirty. I don't want it handed to me. I want to struggle, I want to fight, I want to get to the top. You can't be the best if you don't work to get there. Just to be clear, the top is not a place where you can look down on others from your platform and gloat. The top is a place that you create. Remember, you determine your own success. You determine your goals and dreams and work to achieve them. You know when you are there. The top for me is being satisfied. Being satisfied in what I am doing and how I am doing it. Being satisfied that I love what I do and I am not forcing myself into anything that I don't want to do. There is no end goal. There is no finish line. This is life. It ends when you die. Until then, you work hard, you love fiercely, chase your passions wildly, and never give up. Don't let the liars, and cheaters, and gloaters get you down. Rise above! Keep pushing! Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people like me. People that want you to make it, and genuinely believe that you will. You want to know why? Because I am you. I get down, I fall for the tricks, I have played the games, but I am done. I will no longer compare my success to others. Always remember, we do matter, we are awesome, and wonderful, and talented, even if we don't have tens of thousands of followers.
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