You hear a lot of people talking about how toxic and damaging social media can be. I’m not saying I disagree with those statements. Social media can do a lot of damage to young people’s mental health (which I’ve written about here). I’ve definitely been a victim of it in the past. But, I want to talk about the positive sides of social media I’ve recently found.
Starting To Take My Travel Instagram More Seriously
Last year, I made a conscious effort to put time and effort into the Instagram account for my travel blog. Initially, I was really just looking at it like a job I had to do. I wanted to work on growing the account and the engagement. And, I did do just that. However, something unexpected came along with the growth. I found a community through my account.
Starting To Find My People
I started to follow a lot of New England based travel and hiking accounts. Those were things that were relevant to my niche. And, of course, they also happened to be things that I was interested in.
I was loving the content I was seeing and engaging with their content. In return, I found them engaging with my content. We are all like-minded people who just have a genuine love for exploring in New England and beyond. I found myself really looking forward to their content.
As I began to recognize the accounts and become familiar with them, I began to respond to their stories more and engage with them privately in DMs. We would talk about our experience as creators, talk about different places we’ve been going to, places we’re hoping to visit, etc. Later, I began to share memes back and forth with some because I’d see things that made me think of them. I truly found people that I genuinely connected with through my account.
Curating Your Social Media Feed & Making Friends
I think one of the great things about social media is that you can truly curate your feed to be something that resonates with you and brings you joy. I love going on my travel account and seeing what everyone is up to. It helps me discover places nearby that I had never heard of.
Recently, someone I follow did a seal tour out of Newport, RI that I never knew existed. I actually did the same tour yesterday because I asked her for the details. When I planned the trip, I told her thank you so much for telling me about it!
New Photography Friends
I’ve made a few new photography friends through my account as well. One inspired me to get back into bird photography because she just recently got into wildlife photography. We message back and forth about wildlife we’ve seen and we engage with each other’s content.
Another photography friend I’ve made is just as into waterfalls and taking long exposures of them as I am. So naturally, we go back and forth about waterfalls. It’s honestly been so awesome to just connect with people who are so into the things I am. And, they’re relatively local, which is awesome. One is in Connecticut and the other is just over the border of Connecticut in New York.
I find myself really looking forward to everyone’s content. I really feel like they just get me. And, I love seeing them engage with my content knowing I’m also helping them to find new places to visit or photograph at. Finding this community has really helped to change my view of what it means to be a creator on social media.
Now I’m more focused on posting content I’m actually passionate about. I know my followers are here because they have similar interests to me. Seeing their genuine comments and responses to my content is refreshing. It’s made me care less about going viral. And, I’m just enjoying being a part of the New England travel scene on Instagram. I love supporting their content and having their support in return.
Finding A Community On Threads (Meta’s Newest Social Media Platform)
I’ve also recently gotten really into Threads because it is full of photographers who are just supporting each other. There are a lot of travelers on Threads as well, but I’ve found myself really connecting with other photographers on the platform because that’s really where my background is. I’m getting back to my roots.
Right now, Instagram is just full of video content and I’m so burnt out by it. I hated feeling like I had to get video footage everywhere I went. I’m more of a photograph kind of gal. I also love how low-key it is on Threads. Oh and I love not feeling like I am at the will of some stupid algorithm. Everything just feels less forced. It’s a platform where people are really happy to engage with each other.
Have you found a community or people you really connect with on social media? Does social media feel like a safe space for you?
If you haven’t found your people yet or if social media feels uncomfortable for you, here are some tips to make social media a more enjoyable place for you:
- Find and follow accounts in your areas of interest. On my personal account, I pretty much have my feed curated to show me memes and cute animals. On my travel account, I have it curated to show me travel and hiking related content. On my photo account, it’s curated to see other artists photos from birds to landscapes. On Facebook, I’m in a bunch of wildlife and bird groups, meme groups, and groups of interest for me (like Twilight, The Office, etc). Eventually the algorithm will start showing you stuff related to your interests.
- Hide content that you don’t want to see or that makes you uncomfortable. If you tell the platform “I don’t want to see this” or “hide” it will eventually catch on to what you don’t want to see. It might not feel like you have control over what comes on your feed, but you really do have control. Hide those things you don’t want to see and unfollow or block accounts that you do not want to see content from.