Recently, I wrote an article about how we can spend less time on social media. But in this blog, I would share my ‘sweet and sour’ relations with social media. So, my social media journey started in 2012, when I was in class 6. During my summer vacations, I made an account on Facebook. Facebook was a craze back then. But I hardly had access to any smartphone or Personal computer to use Facebook, which was considered evil for youngsters by every parent.
I used to find different ways of logging into my account. From using parents’ phone after they slept to deleting chrome history of my PC, and even visiting cybercafes multiple times a week; I accessed my account just to see what’s new on the feed. Today I literally laugh thinking about the efforts I once made to access an application that pisses me off now. As months passed, social media was easier to access. And in class 10th, I finally got my first smartphone. Soon, I started using Instagram too. I used both the platforms for sharing pictures and connecting with friends through chat. I remember I used to get an internet package of 1 GB for 28 days, which isn’t sufficient for even a day at present.
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Social media is something we easily get addicted to. And I was one of those social media addicts, who tapped on the social icons as soon I got any notification. Realizing this, I decided to deactivate my social accounts. (Mainly Facebook and Instagram). From class 9th to 12th, I kept on activating and deactivating my social media accounts so that it doesn’t affect my academics negatively. All my close friends know how I used to disappear from social media when they didn’t find my account to tag xD
It is only after passing out of school when I have started using social media properly. Here I used the term ‘properly’ because since then I have been using social media for not just my ‘social life’ but also ‘professional’. As someone with an online jewellery business and a website, it is difficult to imagine a life without social media. If you want to look beyond the social angle, there are a variety of things you can do on social media. For instance, follow pages of your interest and awareness to keep yourself updated, grow your business online to reach a whole new market segment and learn from others’ experience by sharing yours. It isn’t that I don’t use social media for personal or social purposes now, but as soon as I feel like I’m losing control over it or simply wasting hours scrolling through the feed (even if there’s nothing new), I deactivate my account or give myself a break. Now, most of my social media usage revolves around posting pictures of my stock, responding to queries and taking orders, following current affairs and pages that interest me, and of course being involved in some trends (challenges, games etc.)
BUT WAIT! is it that easy balancing your personal life with an online business? NO! IT ISN’T. Whether you are online for chatting with your friends or even for academic purposes, you are bound to receive queries. There’s a natural expectation that if you are online, you need to respond within a few minutes, and if you don’t, you’ll be bombarded with messages :/ (YESS! Even at 2 AM).
How to use Social Media for Business?
Well, the very first need is to have a separate phone or at least WhatsApp and other applications that you use for your business. For instance, using Business WhatsApp for your business and general WhatsApp for your personal life. Similarly, creating a separate business profile for your business instead of putting images of products on your personal Facebook or Instagram account may help.
For me personally, what has worked the best is fixing time for everything so you don’t need to stick to your work throughout the day. For instance, for my business it is Monday-Saturday: 10-11 AM and 8-9 PM for new stock updates (or posting), 11 AM-12 PM, 4.30-5.30 PM and 9-10 PM for queries and new orders. Trust me, it really works! Not just for the manager of business but also the stakeholders (mainly customers), as they would know when to expect your reply. This would also bring professionalism to your business. But, make sure you post these things and not just keep them to your own self as your clients must be aware of it.
How I view Social Media?
Social media is definitely an excellent platform for connecting with friends virtually and sharing moments and experiences. However, today it has evolved itself as a medium serving multiple purposes like building brands, promotion of products by reaching a worldwide audience, attracting traffic to your website, among others. Using social media for social purposes also comes with a lot of negatives like competing for likes, low self-confidence, addiction etc. Therefore, it is important to use it in limit and for purposes that enable you to use it optimally. You should have control over social media, your social media shouldn’t control you. It is definitely not bad to share your pictures on social media, but if ‘less number of compliments’ is affecting your confidence or self-love, you should re-consider using social media, the way you are using.
This was my social media journey from 2012 to 2020. What does yours look like? Do share in the comment section, how much time you spend on social media and for what?
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