Social Media: Genuine Connection vs Focusing on Numbers.

Never having been on Instagram before in my life, I started my account six months ago when we launched our blog.

Of course, it seemed everyone had more followers than me and—as I started learning about The Gram—it appeared that’s what everyone was focused on! I learned that when you get 10k followers, IG would grant you the “swipe up” function—a feature that definitely would be nice so people could see our blog posts with a swipe up instead of a “click link in bio.”

The focus on trying to grow followers to have bigger numbers can be a huge distraction. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or another social media platform, the focus on numbers seems to be pretty universal. And honestly, there were times I felt like I had to get more numbers to prove that we’re a valid site—like numbers will validate my work or my abilities or what I share.

Bahooey! You know what? If we continue to approach it like that, there’s nothing in store for us but riding a rollercoaster of ups and downs. And if you and I feel like we need numbers to validate the quality of our work or the scope of our abilities, we are in a TRAP!

Some of the most talented people I’ve seen don’t have massive followings. (This doesn’t mean everyone who has a massive following isn’t gifted in different ways.)

The truth is that social media is built to reward certain kinds of activity and certain kinds of behavior.

You are not in charge on their platform; they are in charge.

They decide how many users see our content on their screens; we do not.

We are using their platform to hopefully help us with our goals. And by doing that, we are helping them with their goals. There’s a trade. (Is it a fair trade? That’s a convo for another day…)

Over the past 6 months, I’ve seen the vision of what I’d need to do to be “Instagram Successful.” You know, those certain kinds of behaviors they reward.

But I’m not sure I want to adopt many of those behaviors. Not because they’re inherently “wrong” or “bad,” but because they wouldn’t be me. I treasure authenticity and depth not only in my friends but in myself.

Let’s get back to our roots. Why did you start your account in the first place? For me, it was a way to

1. let people know about our blog,

2. share ideas to help others, and

3. genuinely connect with people.

GENUINE CONNECTION is one of my great loves, as those of you who know me can attest. 🙂 I love reading your comments and responding and sharing stories—and I love the fun feedback on stories! I want to do more of this moving forward.

I want to get to know YOU! (Well, those of you who want to be known. Some aren’t there yet and that’s okay!) I have so enjoyed those of you whose paths have crossed with mine, and we’ve connected over something(s) and we like each other and we send texts and voice messages and make each other laugh and we grow as we interact. WE MAKE EACH OTHER BETTER! Imperceptible bit by imperceptible bit, every day, week, month…

When I think about focusing on genuine connection with those of you who are here versus just trying to grow numbers, my heart beats an emphatic “YES!”

True confidence on social media looks like sharing our own unique images and our own unique words while not caring “what the numbers say” or even what people might think (because you can’t control anyone’s thoughts, even on your best day).

True confidence says things like

  • I believe what I’m sharing is good.
  • My motives are genuine. I share to help others; I share to connect with others.
  • People can like it or not like it. I like it.
  • I’m proud of what I’m doing. It’s my best, today. And every day I will get better, but I will enjoy today and I will enjoy my journey.

And no one can take that away from you, not even the IG algorithm. No one can take away our genuine connections and friendships. No one can take away the way we’ve helped people or all the notes that say “I’ve done xyz because of you! Thank you!” No one can take away the joy we get from our work and the joy we spread when we share our passions.


are where it’s at, friends! (And not just on social media but in all of life!)

After six months of watching and learning, I’ve realized where I stand on this. And from now on, I’m focusing SOLELY on genuinely connecting with you and not trying to get “my numbers” higher. I’m not into playing that game in 2021. Get me off THAT merry go round! 😂

I’m looking forward to connecting with you—starting today!

PS: You can see another one of the reasons I have a blog—the way I best express myself in words is often too long (either slightly or by a lot) for social media accounts. Jess needs a blog! 😂

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