You Are More Than Your Social Media Bio
In the earliest days of human civilization, one cavewoman saw another cavewoman’s club from across the meadow. Envying the club’s size and shape (and oh, that beautiful little rhinestone detail!), she vowed to find a club just like it.
Once she found one—on sale!—other cavewomen sought their own. Rhinestone clubs became the it piece for the Paleolithic Age. And folks, that’s how influencer marketing was born...come to me for all of your history lesson needs.
That above story may or may not have happened, but influencers were around long before the era of social media. They are those instantly recognizable, categorizable people who have that one thing you’re always hunting for.
Social categorization happens in our brains without us even realizing it; it’s in our nature to instantly categorize others and assess what survival tips others can provide for us. No matter the era, expert influencers have fit neatly into a category—e.g. fashion, wellness, beauty—in order to identify themselves as purveyors of some good or service. Those club-wielding cavewomen were just the first fitspo models (who were definitely on the Paleo diet...okay, I promise I’m done now.)
So why am I still so bothered—both as a content creator and consumer—by the idea of fitting so neatly into one of those categories? If you want to have a blog in 2017, identifying yourself as three or fewer keywords seems to be the law of the land. When I started My Pink Docs up again this year, I remember working with my incredible coach at Mavenly + Co. (hi, Kate!) and having the hardest time fitting myself into a label. I’d lament to her:
“Well, I love fashion, but it’s not just a fashion blog.”
“I’m not scared of the word feminist, but I don’t want to shove my views down people’s throats.”
And my personal favorite:
“I also want to write about the real things that affect people in their 20s. Let’s just call it ‘Everything Else’.”
Talk about indecisive!
But Kate did such an excellent job in reassuring me that I could be all of those things and still feel successful. That’s when we came up with a word that I think needs to find its way back into our generation’s social media lexicon: multifaceted.
If you ever look at an influencer’s feed and think, “Wow, all he does is go on vacation!” or “She has a new bag every week,” remind yourself that you’re only seeing one of those few keywords they have chosen as self-identifiers; they are so much more than that.
And you are too.
FEED YOUR FEED
If you “care” about your Instagram/social presence, then you know how easy it is to worry about how a photo from your everyday life “fits” into your feed. You might’ve even left it off altogether so as not to disrupt your “aesthetic”. Sound familiar?
One of the first ways we can bring back being multifaceted is by feeding our feeds: we’ve got to put our real life experiences into our accounts and worry less about how our photos compare to each other. We’ve got to tell real stories in our captions. We've got to tactfully engage. We’ve got to embrace our multifaceted-ness (Multifaceted-icity? Multifacetitude? You get it).
To be clear, I'm not anti-filter or anti-creativity. I'm just anti-homogeny.
LET GO OF A FEW NON-NUTRITIOUS ACCOUNTS
In sticking with the “feed” theme here, it’s time we let go of accounts that only bring us comparison or don’t otherwise enrich our digital experience.
For example, I used to follow one of the most popular female influencers on Instagram. She’s a model, actress and self-described activist so I was excited to see how these three intersections would show up in her feed. After following her for OVER A YEAR and never seeing a photo of said activism, I decided to unfollow her. I realized I was only looking at her photos and comparing my body to hers...or angry that she wasn’t sharing more activism, given her enormous soap box. Nothing against her, but the photos she chooses to share just don’t resonate with me.
While this isn’t to say you should only follow accounts you agree with, you should reevaluate who you follow and ask yourself how their presences affect you. Are they creative? Are they funny? Are they thought-provoking? Are they just attractive (and that’s okay, if that’s what you want!)? A good rule of thumb is to just remove whatever makes you feel negatively about yourself.
“SAVE” ROOM FOR SECONDS
A new-ish feature I’ve loved from Instagram is the “Save” option. For those unfamiliar, it’s a small flag on the right side of each Instagram photo. Tap it once to save the photo to an archive within your account. Only you can see what you’ve saved (cough a million puppies cough).
I love using this feature for blog photo inspirations, pieces I’d like to buy/DIY, and cute dogs (what else is the internet good for?). If I’m having a bad day or feeling uninspired, it’s great to look back and see what I’ve collected over time.
It’s also a great way to remind me of the myriad things that make me, well, me. Here’s a screen grab of my Saves.
I've got a little bit of Marnie the IG-famous dog, some outfit/decor inspirations, some stats on the recent Alabama senate special election, and a reminder that The Nanny will be streaming on CoziTV starting in January (you’re welcome).
The bottom line is that there are 800 million of us on Instagram each month, meaning that there is absolutely no way we can all fit ourselves into three keywords. Instead of working so hard to stand out under one category, why don’t we stand out by just being ourselves?
Chew on that while I go get a snack...all of this "food" theme has left me hungry!