She’s sold her soul, or the slippery slope of social media

She’s sold her soul, or the slippery slope of social media
August 26, 2011 Alison Faulkner

Watch out Instagram. We're here!

So last night I joined Instagram!

If you aren’t totally sure what Instagram is here’s how they describe it on their site:

“It’s a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.
Snap a photo with your iPhone, choose a filter to transform the look and feel, send to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr – it’s all as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.”

You can then “follow” people and they can follow you so you can keep track of each others pictures. The only catch is you have to have an iPhone. But! If you do have an iPhone, or an iPad…

My username is TheLittleTiny if you’d like to follow me. I’ll try to keep things interesting!

In other news we are back home, settling in, doing laundry, and pretending to THINK about cleaning up the aftermath of Craft Lake City. But only pretending.

Now for the part of the post where I wax prophetic (poorly I’m sure) on social media: 

I’m sure it’s no surprise, but I’m kind of an insomniac. Sleeping is such a chore for me. But when we were on vacation I fell asleep every night with ease, it was fantastic. However, for the last two nights (that we’ve been home) I’ve been tossing and turning non-stop. Last night it was almost 4 hours before I finally fell asleep.

I just can’t turn my brain off. It’s infuriating having so little control over something I’m supposedly in charge of. I’d make a horrible Buddhist. But as I tossed and turned last night, then started searching through Instagram, I concluded things like Instagram are probably a large part of the problem. To borrow my husband’s sentiment, social media is a slippery slope.

Here’s how my rabbit hole was created:

I’ve blogged for years. I love blogging because I love writing and I love affirmation. But I also love crafting. For a long time I didn’t mix the two, it seemed odd to do so. As a solution I started a second blog. This was too much to keep up with at the time, so I quickly abandoned it and went back to one.

Then I started incorporating my crafts/baking/cooking into this blog. Then I had a baby. Then I decided that I needed to start a craft empire.

So then I created The Little Tiny.

I’m on etsy, always checking orders, renewing listings, returning emails. And in order to promote etsy I started blogging more. Creating tutorials, thinking about the blog, checking analytics, networking with other bloggers. It’s a full time job if you really take it seriously. I take it about 50% seriously. And it’s still a lot of work.

I had avoided facebook for years, but to promote The Little Tiny and connect with people, I buckled and created a Facebook Page. So, I try to keep tabs on that. And then there is Pinterest. I think Pinterest is really phenomenal, but again, it’s a marketing tool in a way. When items from my blog or etsy shop get “pinned” it sends people to my blog or etsy shop.

Oh, and we’ve forgotten Flickr! I had to join Flickr because it’s the best way for me to upload pictures to my blog.

And that brings us full circle to Instagram. Because when I take pictures with Instagram they can automatically upload to Flickr. Are you exhausted? I am.

Most of the time I’m about 30 seconds away from disconnecting from it all. I tried to force conversation with Eric last night while he was sleeping peacefully and I was writhing in bed…and he concluded I could probably abandon it all, but not the blog. And that might be true. The blog is important to me. But it’s hard to participate in one social media outlet, and not spill into others. Because if you really want to make it happen (whatever “it” is), you almost HAVE to. Maybe we don’t?

What are your thoughts? Does my weariness date me? I’ve never been concerned about being “dated” but as I searched through Instagram and saw a 16-year-old girl with 3500 followers, I wondered if maybe I’ll never be able to do what she does. Her pictures are boring and mundane. Her number of followers has NOTHING to do with content, and everything to do with knowing how to grease the social media machine. Which is true for a majority of the things that go viral.

I guess at the end of the day you have to just do what you love, and if others love it too, great. If not, just keep on keeping on. And if that’s the case, maybe unplugging is the best option? Because then you’re not selling your soul? I guess that’s the artist’s eternal struggle.

Please, feel free to pipe in.

Either way. I love you all.

xoxo,

Alice

12 Comments

  1. andrea 6 years ago

    Social Media is one of my biggest dilemas! I have a couple blogs, but I quit facebook a year ago because I wasted too much time and decided I wanted to live my own life instead of wasting hours looking at other people's lives… i have LOVED life without it.
    However, I work in a social media dept so I constantly have co-workers telling me I'm stupid for unplugging and that I need to "network more". What is a girl to do?
    P.S. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era.

  2. Elle Keeps Moving 6 years ago

    alison, alison, alison. you are a mind-reading genius. i lose sleep over this EVERY night while jared, blog and etsy and fb-free (technically he has a page) sleeps like a baby next to me. bah. i don't have any answers, but i totally what you're saying.

    i guess the overarching question for me is: when my kids are grown, will i think all of this social media added to our family experience and my own growth, even capturing this time in some way, or did it just detract from it? was it really worth it for a few extra bucks and a creative time-sucking outlet? i have no idea how i'll answer that.

  3. Elle Keeps Moving 6 years ago

    i didn't mean to end that so melo-dramatically. i should've said: i just don't know!!

  4. the fowlers 6 years ago

    james puts me in check. he threatens to throw the computer out in the yard at least once a week. it works. also, ellie is old enough to (literally) force herself between me and the internet by climbing on my desk or making a horrific mess if i'm not paying enough attention to her.

    it helps me from getting too nuts online.

  5. Jenna 6 years ago

    I hear you. I'm in way over my head. I'm thisclose to throwing in the towel altogether!

  6. Collins @ Life. Mostly Sweet. 6 years ago

    it doesn't date you at all….i wonder about it all myself. i don't know how people keep up with it all!

  7. blueeyedfreckle 6 years ago

    I'm a friend of annie's so that's how I found your blog, though I think I pinned your tutorial off of interest a couple months ago. Any who …. I think you are the same person as me. All the posts i read, including this one, are well written versions of things I think in my head all the time, but never really articulate, ESP. On my blog. Bc I really don't have time unfortunately. Just thought I'd say hey and you rock:)

  8. hanner 6 years ago

    well… i could write a book on this, i think. my personal view on social media is that it is the THING and is going to continue being the thing for a while. and because of the field i work in i'm especially interested in it and how it can change how people interact with other people and with things around them. my tack is to dip into every social media tool (i like to be hip and with it) and dive deep into the one i like best (that would be my almost TEN year old blog [ack!]). and personally, i don't really get the whole "i don't do [fill in the blank with any social media tool]" thing. i mean, that's cool if you don't want to do it but i will try anything once. that is why i don't have myspace anymore.

    anyway, you are right. it can be a waste of time. all of it. we are so present all the time it is crazy. like you, i LOVE being around other people (and personally, i love attention 🙂 so that is why social media tools are great for me. i'm far away from friends and family and i use different ones to keep in touch with different people. i also really like meeting new people in person OR online, and blogging/twitter has really facilitated that for me (umm i totally ran into a twitter-only friend on the street a few weeks ago and it was awesome) or i use them for creative outlets. i don't know, i think it can be a really good thing. you have so many other great hobbies and talents that you are constantly working on improving that i think that it all balances out in the end.

  9. hanner 6 years ago

    also, that picture of ginger just brings a smile to my face. she is so freaking CUTE!

  10. hanner 6 years ago

    also, i don't know if ANYTHING i said is relevant at all. if it is any consolation, sometimes i lay in bed mentally composing blog posts. haha. but then again, i have done that for a long time, before i felt like my blog needed to be a certain way in order to be, i don't know, something people would want to read. but now i just look at it as something that any writer would do to try and improve their own content. (i guess.) okay, i'm done now. love you long time.

  11. Sarah loves it all 6 years ago

    Oh Alison! I hear everything you are saying SO clear. I usually just neglect everything and pretend I'm still into it. My poor blog goes a week frequently without a new post, and I agonize over it, but I just can't feel good about taking the time when there's kids to love and a husband to feed. Ya know? It's the time that is so killer for me. I'd love to figure out a schedule or timing so I can post more frequently, because I DO love it. I too am guilty of being a total lover of affirmation. (I LOVE that you were honest about it) we all need it! It's my designated love language…I think we just have to do what we can and learn to accept and feel good about it. I HAD to stop making comparisons of any sort, since it becomes completely poisonous to my own creativity and integrity of identity. I promised myself I would keep blogging and not give up no matter how crappy I feel about it at times, because I've determined that as much as I'd love for it to turn in to a booming business, I do it regardless for me. For a hobby. For therapy. For a creative outlet. Please excuse the excess of commas. Also, I frequently talk to my husband while he's asleep. Most of the time I don't realize he's asleep, sometimes I do and keep talking anyway.

  12. Sarah loves it all 6 years ago

    Oh, I forgot the affirmation! You are an extremely talented girl! You have fabulously modern and edgy taste that is hard to come by. I love reading your blog and benefiting from your craft tutorials. I totally made my sister the fringe necklace for her birthday!! You're making a difference in the world! 🙂

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