Hey Trish, Some of my friends post literally all the time. It makes me feel like I should too, especially because I’m not as active on social media. What’s the right amount of posting?
Hi there, and thank you so much for this great question – one that, I’m sure, so many of us (certainly me!) can relate to. First and foremost, I want to validate how you’re feeling. Now that we live so much of our lives, including our social lives, online, the pressure to be active, consistent, and to amass a large following – which purportedly offers us “clout” and “influence” – can sometimes be extremely stressful. (That’s especially true if, as in your case, the folks in your network are very active on social media!) All that’s to say – you’re definitely not the first person to feel what I like to call “the pressure to post.”
And that can lead folks to wonder, as you did, what the “right” amount of posting is. I’m no doctor, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that there is no “right” amount per se, just the amount that you feel comfortable with and allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with your devices and the Internet. Of course, the question then becomes how to do that – and how to ensure you’re not being driven by the pressure to post. It can be a little tricky, but I’ve got some tips that will hopefully help you feel better about your social media presence and ensure it’s right for you. Let’s get into it:
- Be honest with yourself about why you want to post something. Is it because you look really good in that picture? Because you’ve written a clever caption that you’re excited to share? Do you feel excited and happy to post (as opposed to anxious and uneasy)? If that’s the case, then you probably want to post because you actually want to. On the other hand, if you’re feeling stressed that you haven’t posted a picture this week, or worried that your latest post wasn’t as “good” as another person’s, then you probably want to post because you’re worried about what other people think. The former suggests you’re contributing to the “right” amount of posting, while the latter suggests that you’re operating under the pressure to post.
- And posting because of pressure…doesn’t even feel that great. For a few hours, you’ll get likes and maybe some more followers, and you’ll feel satisfied about your presence…until the cycle repeats itself. I have so many friends for whom social media isn’t fun at all; it’s all stress and nerves – about getting the right filter, posting at the right time, and getting the most comments. They constantly grow their social media presence…and don’t feel good about it at all. The irony is, so many of them think that just a few more followers or shout-outs or comments will make them feel good, but….it rarely happens. The lesson here is that constant posting and the greater presence that may come with it don’t automatically lead to more fulfillment or happiness. So if you see folks posting all of the time and think maybe you should be doing it too, think again. If you want to post more for you, then awesome. If you want to post more because of pressure, it’s probably not worth it.
- So the next time you’re feeling the pressure to post, turn instead to the people closest to you. As I’ve already referenced, a lot of what might be driving the pressure you’re feeling is a desire to be validated or to feel influential in a social environment. To slowly make that pressure – and that desire – go away, turn to the folks who love and care for you (maybe your close family and friends) to remind yourself how important and worthy you are. Followers are great, but best friends that have your back and appreciate you exactly as you are – whether active on social media or not – are much better, and a great way to remember. Speaking personally, it’s helped me feel a lot less pressure to constantly share on social media, especially when I really just don’t want to.
I hope you found this post helpful and that these tips help you feel more affirmed and comfortable with your social media presence. Remember: you do you – there is no “right” amount of posting, and you’ll only feel good about that presence if you’re doing it for the right reasons. Please let me know if these insights and suggestions help you – or if you face additional challenges – in the comments section. Before we wrap up the post, it’s time for my end-of-post plug: if you’ve got thoughts, questions, or concerns about the Internet, please share them here. Not only will you get some spot-on advice, you’ll be helping our broader community, including folks wondering the same things you are. With your contributions, we can continue to grow this incredible resource and help youth around the world.
Thank you all so much,