Social media can be a source of entertainment or a powerful tool to market your art/business. Like anything, when it’s used in moderation, it can add goodness to your day. If it’s used too much, we can lose touch with reality.
While some influencers and lifestyle vloggers/bloggers can be a little guilty of showing they’re richer or more successful than they are, is the average hobby poster or artist/author trying to show off an unrealistic image of their life? I honestly do not think so.
Why I Don’t Think Most People On Instagram/Tik Tok Are Staging Their Lives
I come from the perspective of a fellow creator. I’m not a passive scroller on social media, so I understand the preparation, work, and creativity needed to market your books online. As an author, I like to promote the books I’ve worked hard to write. That’s how readers tend to be interested in your books – they connect with some aspect of your vibe/energy/personality then they’ll check out your books. Instagram and Twitter are two mediums I use to promote my books, but I do this pretty rarely in comparison what is recommended for regular sales. All of my posts (Including my blog posts) are just snapshots of my life. I’ve never once tried to portray my life is as always neat, perfect, or easy. I’m not sure why someone would think posting a book photo or posting about having tea in the forest is staging a life, but it’s happened in the past. To me, sharing a nice moment from one’s day is a nice thing to do for yourself and others – it creates a nice positive buzz. It’s a little hint of what someone might be up to on their day off/free time. Casual posters (People who don’t post for business or promotion reasons) may take selfies or photos of anything they find interesting. I don’t think they are trying to paint an unrealistic picture of their life either. Usually, people post with the intent of updating their friends/family on what they’ve been up to, or they want to share a mood/vibe with the world in hopes of finding like-minded accounts.
When Influencers Do Stage Their Lives
There are certainly people who do stage their days/lives on social media since their main source of income is generated from this work. They will make sure every setting and pose is aesthetic and looks as good as can be since their brand is themselves and their lifestyle. That can give an impression that their lives are perfect or far easier than the average person’s. Some people want to look more successful than they are and that’s unfortunate to them and their audience; I don’t follow those kinds of accounts. There are influencers who are more transparent about their actual lifestyle and they’ll show footage of their messy bedroom or their bloated tummy or whatever to show people that everyone is normal even if they’re famous on social media. Your average author, artist, or fashion blogger probably isn’t posting to show how great they are or how superior their life is. They could very well lead a very nice life, but posting a few photos or blurbs per month isn’t staging one’s life.
Envy & Projection Will Always Exist
Long before the Internet existed, envy existed. While no one was posting a snap shot of their picnic at the beach or their new outfit, someone’s neighbours or peers would see them around town and perhaps judge them for creating a false image. “They look so happy, but didn’t she say she was sad two weeks ago? What a fake!”
If you have anything worthwhile, there will always be someone who envies it. Anyone can be envied by someone. It’s an unfortunate part of life. Sometimes you’ll post about a nature walk after a busy, stressful week and someone will comment with “Wow what an easy life you have” as though all you do is go on nature walks. That is where projection and assumptions come in. Because someone posts about having a nice dinner out with a date, someone might think they are “staging” a fancy life. When in reality, they’re just sharing a snap shot of something nice from their weekend. It amazes me how many people have asked me if I’m a world traveler. I’ve never purposely given that impression – I happen to live in an area that is close to the sea and nature, so I can go to a nice place right after work if I want to. Heck, someone told me they thought I’d have a British accent based on my look. You can’t blame people for not matching what you assumed they would be like.
Marketing You Work Can Make You Look Stuck Up To *Some* People
I think that’s the tough part about being an author or artist – your brand isn’t just your work, it’s *you*. A big part of book marketing is to let your personality show a little. It doesn’t mean you have to create some elaborate image of yourself, it just means you are allowing people to see a little window into your life. You decide how much you want to reveal. Along with that comes criticism and judgements. Especially if people aren’t really in the market for what you’re promoting, they might not like seeing your content. And that’s fine, they can unfollow. The reality is when you’ve created something to promote, this opens you up to criticism. One of the things you might be accused of is giving a false image of who you are. It really isn’t that deep in most cases. Sometimes you felt really cute that day and wanted to post a selfie.
You Can’t Control How People See You
The reality is many people have different goals and intentions when they log in to social media. Depending on your generation or how you were raised, certain types of posts might seem distasteful or like they’re oversharing. Others read too much into someone’s life based on one picture (I.e. someone posts about being at a swanky venue for a wedding, then someone says ‘why are you trying to look like you’re rich and fancy when you’re not’?”) We can’t control how others see us – in the end our job isn’t to please everyone else. Post what you like and the right audience will come. Some people will relate to what we share and they’ll be uplifted by our message, while others won’t get it at all and they’ll complain.
The bottom line is: we should let people post what they like and try not to judge. If certain accounts are bothersome to you, it’s best to unfollow them. I personally follow accounts that I find to be uplifting, encouraging, or relaxing. Anything that adds stress or annoyance to my life is removed. This in itself limits a lot of judgmental feelings.
Thank you so much for reading today!
Have you ever been accused of giving off a false impression of yourself/your life on social media?
It was a long time ago. Your article has some genuine suggestions.
Thanks so much. ❤️
Sarah, I agree!
Glad to hear!
As an author, I try not to market too much as it can be off-putting, but it is tricky to maintain a balance of making connections with readers/other authors, entertaining your followers, while still bringing awareness of your books.
I barely market. 😂
I agree with what you’ve written here. My approach to social media is similar to yours.
Thank you. I’m glad you can relate.
Very interesting post. Thankfully I don’t recieve much envy from people, even on other platforms where I have a larger follower base, though probably because I barely market the stuff I make let alone myself. The very few I do get can be quite telling on what their insecurities are.
That’s a good point !
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