Today, April 1st – I took a step in faith and pressed pause to evaluate and pray. I’ve been hemming and hawing for months on how to change the way I run social media for The Hopewell Homestead.
The very platform that has opened many doors for me has begun to feel uncomfortable. As a creative, I enjoy sharing aspects of behind the scenes, fun tips and tricks as well as interacting with others through direct messages and commenting and the like.
Unfortunately, “best practices” continue to be a moving target on how best to utilize social media to grow your business and online presence. While the general consensus has always been to engage with those engaging with you authentically, and posting regularly- more and more of these practices sneak into personal time, family time, and “off” hours. The direct messages with genuine questions, the comments and tags, the flashes of stories from those I personally follow and the discover tab with new and exciting information or accounts. The pleasantries I don’t mind as I have time carved out to “take care of business” and reply, interact, messages, tag, and comment. The part that fatigues and gets to be beyond my “scope of business” is the push for creatives to be available 24/7, as well as creating 24/7. Reels, guides, subscriptions, private stories, public stories, photos, carousel, and automations.
Some accounts have opted to play the controversial card which gets them excellent reach and great engagement (polarizing topics “sell” because it evokes strong emotion). Some accounts now pay for support from various platforms in order to continue to be able to reach their current audience and grow beyond their current following. Some of us are taking a step back and realizing this isn’t quite the game for us anymore. Maybe we need to be more “flexible” or maybe we just take a step back and think for a bit. Can we continue on the way we have been doing things? Is this worth our time and energy? Is there a better way?
While I think the majority of my posts on social media are relatively surface, simple to take in, and somewhat helpful, or funny and entertaining, If I’m honest, I walk away feeling convicted that I’m only adding to the noise, the flashing 30 seconds of movement and music and in doing so – silently encouraging/enabling others to do the same or putting unspoken pressure out there to stay on that app like it’s “worth something” when realistically time, energy, or effort is better utilized elsewhere.
I also feel the same as a user of social media. It’s not always an inspiring and pleasant viewing session. One minute, I’m inspired by a gorgeous Scottish castle or interesting historical facts to then be bombarded by anxiety inflicting news headlines, or divisive echoes, or distasteful humor, or anything that takes my attention for longer than I’d prefer. Sure, will-power and utilizing the app differently could play a role here but sometimes, it’s in your face and there’s no keeping it out.
This post isn’t meant to be melodramatic or serve as a chiding of anyone who chooses to utilize social media the way that they do, or be a passive aggressive slight at those who interact with me in any of the ways mentioned above, in fact, I appreciate you tremendously as that is one of the major ways The Hopewell Homestead has grown and has been as successful as it is today, as the Lord has willed. This post is meant for me to share my heart and what’s going on internally right now.
Being in the ubiquitous world and attempting to abstain from blending into it is a real challenge for me. I want to shine my light to the ends of the earth but the way that I do so is and should be different than how others are called to do so.
At this current juncture, I feel called to step back and reevaluate the social media piece of The Hopewell Homestead. It’s not a numbers game for me. I don’t mind growing slowly but the social media piece isn’t really working the way it once did. Instead of pushing through and doing what I’ve been doing how I know to do it, I’m actively choosing to sit still and listen. I don’t want to waste efforts that may need redirection and put to better use elsewhere.
The subscription, the website, and email list are still active but I’m not going to be on social media for a while. I may come back and do things differently but I also may not come back at all. I’m praying about it.
I want to encourage you to feel free to opt out of the way others do life. Opt out of sharing in disgruntled banter, news headlines, keeping all the information abreast. You don’t have to do everything like you’ve always done and you don’t have to stay and suffer through if things feel off to you. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Is this stuff bringing you closer to your God-given calling? Is it drawing you closer to Him? Is it giving you peace to live out the gospel? If the answer is a maybe or a no or sometimes, drop it like a hot potato.
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.