I am sitting in bed, trying to fall asleep, when suddenly it dawns on me that I haven’t posted on Instagram in four days. My immediate thought is that I need to put up something. Anything. I begin scrolling through my camera roll until I finally find a photo from an old blog post that I never put up. I make a few quick edits, type out a caption, and bam–the photo is posted.
I breathe a sigh of relief.
My concern is gone.
This is a scenario I lived the other night. And this isn’t the first time something like it has happened to me. Every now and then, I start to lag behind on social media. I forget to tweet for a couple of days, or I can’t think of an Instagram caption interesting enough to post. So, I don’t.
At first, it doesn’t bother me. Before blogging, I had never been a massive social media user. I didn’t feel like I needed–or wanted to be on social media all the time. And as a result, being away from platforms like Twitter and Instagram for long stretches of time doesn’t faze me.
However, it’s once I realize that I’ve been absent from social media that I start to panic. I feel like I’m slacking off. Not doing what I should be doing. It’s a weird feeling, but in some ways, I swear having social media almost feels like a job.
Maybe it’s because I’m a blogger, and social media tend to go hand-in-hand with that. Or maybe it’s because I’m the type of person who doesn’t like sitting on her hands for too long. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that posting on social media can sometimes feel like an obligatory thing.
There’s something about social media that makes me feel as though I constantly need to be exciting and entertaining. Whenever I go on platforms like Instagram, I always see interesting people doing interesting things. And my gut’s immediate response to seeing that is ‘well, I should be doing something interesting and posting about it every day, too.’
And let me tell you, feeling compelled to post on social media every day is hard. Unless you travel all the time or have a ton of photos on hand, it can be really difficult to find interesting things to post on a daily basis. I live a pretty normal life. I have days that are exciting and then days that are not so exciting. And while I have no problem with that, it’s basically next to impossible to make those not so exciting days feel anything but that.
That being said, I think it’s important to keep in mind that contrary to what it might seem, posting on social media is not your job (unless it actually is, of course, but I think you know what I’m trying to say). You don’t owe it to any particular platform to be engaging in something interesting every single day of your life. It’s okay to take time away from social media and not feel guilty about it.
Do you ever feel like posting on social media is a job?