I spend a lot of time on social media. Half is for mindlessness, half is for music.
I do the same things that the rest of you do. I get caught up in dog photos on Instagram until I call my dad at 3am and ask him to get me a puppy (not my shiniest moment). I scroll through memes of old TV shows. I embrace the gen-Z in me and watch Tik Toks. But I also work a lot on social media.
What does work look like on social media? Scrolling through my own feed, my own stories, my own highlights. Making my page look aesthetic, or at least trying to. Redoing my blog, filtering my Facebook posts, responding to comments, updating bios, tracking analytics, projecting growth. It’s kind of half numbers based (analytics) and half people based (interactions).
The numbers stuff can be tedious, but I’m a little obsessed with it. Along with being a huge superhero dork, I also am low-key obsessed with Microsoft Excel. I have spreadsheets for my spreadsheets. But it’s the interactions aspect of my life that takes the bulk of my time. All the notifications of comments, likes, shares, messages. And most of these are from people I don’t know personally, new people. I mean my friends still comment and like and share and message. But a lot of it is new people. And I’m not complaining. If I didn’t want new people interacting with my profiles, I should just set everything to private or even better shut all my accounts down. If you don’t want people knowing things about you, get off the internet.
However, after the last three years of working with social media I have developed a system to interact with people. Not every interaction is the same, but there are some patterns. You need to create categories to streamline your life. As much as it’s my job I don’t want to spend my entire life online. I don’t want to spend my entire life living through a screen, so I categorize.
#1: There are the kind but meaningless but kind comments. Single emojis. The word “nice”, “cool”, “pretty”. They don’t mean much but they’re an ego fluff and I appreciate y’all.
#2: The promo interactions. Messages asking for a follow back, comments from brands asking for a collab, direct messages asking to check out someone’s new Soundcloud track. Some of them you respond to, others you don’t. When I first started, I responded to every message, every comment but I ran out of time. I do want to say though, don’t knock the self-promo people. I do it. You have to put yourself out there if you want to get noticed, so good on you for doing it. Keep chugging along.
#3: There are the people who get blocked. The people who use social media when they should be using Seeking Arrangements. The number of times I check my messages in the morning and wake up to dick pics in my inbox. Please keep that shit in your pants and out of my dm’s. The people who message me saying they know where I live, yeah no, FUCK THAT. The people who are just a little…too interested in me. The stuff you screenshot to send to your friends and go “Sorry Scott, not out here trying to get murdered.”
#4: There are the people who have questions, long comments, the people who share. The people who are genuinely interested in my content and they brighten my day. The messages about my music, my blog, my covers. The questions about how I write or why I write. Stories about their lives. And this is genuinely why I stay on social media. Why I use social media. To keep me connected to people through music. It’s part of the thing that motivates me to keep sharing, and a huge reason why I’m in love with my job.
#5: And the last category. The “I Hate You” people. I love these people like I love G&T’s in the summer and honey in my tea. These people are my bread and butter and I am eating this shit up. COME AT ME CHILD, I AM PREPARED.
At this point, I expect you think that all this time on my lonesome has made me lose my marbles and to that I say, not possible. Those marbles rolled away a long time ago, I can’t lose something I already lost. However, these people bring me joy. First of all, I don’t get it. If you hate my content, just find something else on the internet. You can literally find anything. If you hate what I do, why waste more time on my page by commenting or messaging? Plus, it’s not like I’m Ariana Grande, you don’t have to actively avoid my content. Don’t like it? Go somewhere else. You will likely never stumble across my shit ever again.
Secondly, it’s so angry and it makes me laugh. The “I Hate You” interactions are never: “I don’t enjoy this”. But real hateful. People are getting offended that this 21-year-old white girl had nothing better to do with her time than post another Billie Eilish cover. Why? I’m not sure. But they are and it makes me laugh.
Lastly, it kind of makes me super excited. I remember my first bad interaction. I filmed a YouTube video with no voice and missed so many notes. It was a brutal video. But I posted it anyways because I was just desperate to get content out. And somebody commented “bad”. That’s it. “Bad”. I knew it was bad. I was aware of that. But this comment didn’t make me upset or cry or even take the video down. Because it was kind of liberating. I had spent so much time in the bubble of friends and family saying “this is great” that it was nice to see that I was reaching other people. People who were going to give it to me honestly. And I was ready for the big kid pants.
I love all interactions (okay, not necessarily the dick pics. Dude, I wake up to this shit. I don’t want to start my day like that). And I will always send love and laughs to the people who send me hate, but my favourite interactions will always be the people who are looking for connection, reaching out with kindness. They make me smile, they brighten my day and are a little compass telling me I’m moving in the right direction. That being said, I appreciate the bad interactions as well. They remind me to work harder. They remind me that I’m not doing this to make other people happy, I’m doing this to make me happy. And most of all, they make me laugh. And we all need to laugh at social media sometimes.
It can be so easy to get caught up in social media and let it be something that defines you. And not even consciously, but on the unconscious level where you just want people to like your content. And it can be mean and brutal and kind of upsetting to scroll through sometimes. But isn’t it better to laugh at the people sub-tweeting you and commenting shady shit? Isn’t it better to laugh when everyone else is frowning? So yes, I laugh when people send me mean things, because what else am I going to do? Get upset about one bad comment? Spiral because what makes me happy doesn’t make everyone happy? Nope. Not today.
So, the more mad you get, the more I know you care enough to comment something mean. The opposite of love isn’t hate. As The Lumineers said, “the opposite of love’s indifference”, and I’m going to tell you right now, y’all are anything but indifferent. So. I guess all I have to say is:
I love you too.
From me, with love, to you,
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