I didn’t come to realize my potential for obsessive behavior until recently. For most of my life I would have called myself “detail oriented” or “forward thinking” or “highly productive”. These characteristics have typically worked out well for myself and my family. But the dark side of this behavior came into clear focus when we started Persistiny’s social media accounts, particularly Instagram.
I don’t tend toward the controlling or obsessive unless I deem something to be very important or very interesting. Social media had never fallen into that category for me. Until about a year ago, I only used Facebook and/or Instagram to keep in touch with old friends, to post the occasional humble brag about my kids or to share political articles or funny memes. I would go days, sometimes weeks without checking my profiles. It was lovely.
But then we started Persistiny and I was suddenly hyper-focused on getting the word out about something I think is genuinely important.
I have a background in marketing, but left the paid workforce before social media took hold. Last time I held a full time job, we were still advertising in print media and doing direct mail campaigns. I’m smart, capable and a quick learner. Really, how hard of a transition could social media be?
Hard, as it turns out. My poor little neurotransmitters were sent into overdrive by the immediacy of the feedback. Once we launched our website and social media accounts, I started obsessively checking my phone. Like 20-30 times a day.
I was elated with small victories. I’m not gonna lie, I about peed my pants when Chrissy Tiegen commented on our talent crush blog. But minor setbacks made me unreasonably angry and irritable. Why did we get a dozen new followers overnight, but our overall followers fell by 4? What the hell?
It took me a couple of months, but I have calmed down significantly. I’m learning about what works and what doesn’t work and that some of it will always be a mystery. We’ve got a great professional helping to guide us and we’ve made some incredible connections on all of our social media platforms. I’ve accepted that our growth will be slow, but steady. That’s supposed to win the race, right? Only it’s not a race at all. There are plenty of smart interesting voices out there and it’s as important to listen to them as it is to be heard. I still check Instagram about twice as often as I should, but I’m working on it.