Social media leaves you with an array of emotions. You can be inspired and infuriated all within five minutes. Why do we beat ourselves up over nonsense? Aren’t we on here to have a good time?
Specifically I am talking Instagram (our favorite and most popular platform to work on ). It’s a visual feast of photo-shopped images that leave you wanting more, wondering how they filtered that so well, and if your photos are ‘good enough’ to live in this space. We send out polls to our followers to feel better about our aesthetic- ‘do you guys really care about a touched up photo?’- with responses filtering in about loving ‘real’ content. Ok, me too, for sure. But don’t act like you don’t hover on a bright, white and gray washed out, perfectly-posed photo with beautiful smiling people at a scene that seems unattainable.
In efforts to build up Buffalovebirds, creating an aesthetic is something I KNOW needs to happen if I want just an average scroller who doesn’t usually double-click-to-like to follow us. But I don’t always do it. Is it a numbers game when we say it isn’t? Sure. So I am trying to stop thinking so much about how to get a follower increase by being better looking and just remember that everything falls in to place when I DON’T overthink.
A few bullsh*t things I got caught up on in 2019 that I am going to diligently work on letting go for 2020. It’s going to be easier said than done but it’s in writing now, so I suppose that means I need to hold it in a higher realm. Here is what pissed me off in 2019 that I will be working on:
Not Being Everyone’s ‘Friend’
Ok, that sounds harsh. But it’s not. We started following accounts years ago when we first started that we had a lot of respect for. Heck, still do. But just because you have been ‘friends’ with someone for a while, doesn’t mean they support you as much as you do them. If I like your photo, shouldn’t you like mine? Example. I had given shoutouts on Instagram and in-person when I spoke to people about an account I considered to be really cool to follow. I believe in camaraderie and staying true to what you say through actions. For whatever reason, I noticed this account never ‘liked’ my photos and never commented. Ok, so what? It pissed me off. Not because I didn’t have an extra like. Because I had been genuine in my support and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t reciprocated. It irked me when I noticed they commented and liked repeatedly on a new account that they never had met and therefore I fell in to the Middle School trap of ‘wait, what’s wrong with ME?! ‘Oh wow. I guess it’s that this account just might not like me.’ Oh my gawd, so petty of me. Yes? No? I say no. Because it made me snap out of the ‘I need someone to like me’ mindset. I spend enough time on social media interacting with people because I like- so I can filter out those who don’t support me. People can like what they like. Period.
People Assume Sh*t and That’s OK
Back in spring 2019, I was very pregnant and trying to put my best face forward and *hopefully* inspire other prego women to feel better about their appearance (if they felt negatively about it). I started doing more try-ons, doing my hair and makeup consistently, and linked outfits I had purchased with real reviews. I always want to make others feel better. At the same time, we had a super cool contract with a national company that we were really excited about. AT THE SAME TIME, I had a flow of friends sending me some screenshots of some Twitter trolls that were mocking and hating on Buffalovebirds. Dude, why? Worst part was it was one of the very first Buffalo-based accounts I had ever followed on social back in 2013. Had respect for the account. As I scrolled and read the nasty things (that were by only a handful of folks who I didn’t even know), MY HEART WAS RACING. I was pissed and upset and confused and laughing all at once. Ok, wait. You’re commenting on my toddler in my video and bashing that we have a deal with a company? First things first- we always incorporate real family life. If a toddler isn’t on video pulling on your leg, is the toddler not pulling at your leg off video? Yea, right. Second, fun fact: Beau and I TURN DOWN DEALS if a company or product doesn’t fit our brand, lifestyle, or beliefs. *gasp!* Hey, if a big company that was a sponsor for a big event in Buffalo that week noticed us and wanted to work with us- that means we’re doing something right. Third- I am not sure people understand the amount of work we do in our community and the number of businesses and people we have built relationships with. It ain’t easy. It ain’t magic. We do it because WE LOVE IT. And if you haven’t seen all the things we have talked about or done in WNY, then clearly you don’t get it. I don’t need party-poopers raining on our happy parade. Stop watching us then.
I Can’t F*cking Do It All
I work a full-time day job. It’s not Buffalovebirds. I am a Mommy to two babies. I have an incredible husband who is an equal parent, partner, lover, best friend. I’ve sat on Boards and committees. We volunteer regularly. We have a house we need to maintain. I have been teaching Higher Education for 9 years. I attend networking events for my day job. I’m in school for myself. Somewhere in there I get to wash my hair. But then add in Buffalovebirds. We are constantly on-the-go and that is just us naturally. We visit businesses, eat at restaurants, try new things, host events, answer people’s questions in the DM box all day long, try to maintain our emails we receive daily, have meetings and conference calls, have to time out content and photos when our toddler is cooperating and we have daylight…The list goes on and on and I’m not here to make it a b*tchfest because it’s not. WE LOVE THIS. My point is- I needed to stop beating myself up. Beau decided it was time he took on a bigger part of Buffalovebirds and has stepped in to help with contracts, emails, calls, and meetings. Why? Because I can’t f*cking do it all.
So there you have it. My list of three. Three things that held me back, wasted my time, and stressed me out in 2019. Maybe when I stop worrying about everything and everyone else- and focus harder on what WE are doing- things will naturally build up. And even though I have 100 ideas in my head on even more collaborative, innovative, community-focused things- let’s face it. I can probably only do 5 of those in a year if I want them done well. Yay! I have already followed my 3rd statement- I can’t do it all!
Whether you’re just on the gram, an influencer yourself, or trying to build up your account- just keep doing you. None of these examples are focused on just one solo account. It happened a handful of times. We shouldn’t expect everyone to like us because we like them, we can’t beat ourselves up over the algorithm, we shouldn’t get caught up in overthinking, and we need to worry about ourselves. We need to JUST BE US. I’m talking to all of you. And if you hear me whining about this on stories, send me a message to remind me that I’m supposed to be better than that.