How the Digital Age is Hurting My Drive (& What I’m Doing to Stop it)

You’ve all read the stories bashing the internet and social media.

This isn’t one of those posts.

What it is, is my reflection on how they are affecting my motivation when it comes to Twenty-Eight & Searching.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been working on this project (legitimately) for a little over a month. I launched my first three episodes on the 1st of November, and one more yesterday. I’ve obtained a hosting site and scattered the episodes across all platforms I can fathom. I have a website and I started writing here, on Medium.

I tweet, I post pictures on Instagram, I keep Facebook up to date. I create quotes and images and links and encourage people to follow. I even put together a giveaway to encourage reviews!

I did a lot of research on the importance of a web presence and of social media. I looked through predecessors and other successful people on what they did & didn’t do to make it happen.

I’ve reached out and networked and put extensive amount of time, money and energy into making this podcast big.

I wanted the launch to be epic. I wanted to be an overnight success.

And that my friends, is one of the biggest things that the digital world has done to hurt my motivation. It lies. And the worst part is I knew it.

There is no such thing as an “overnight success”.

But we see things online that make us believe differently. Because when we see it, we believe it is new since it is new to us. But if you dig deeper, even things that have gone viral, are often months (sometimes years) old.

The internet is so full of noise that it takes time for people to dig through the garbage to find the “gems”.

But because the internet (and social media) make us feel like we can reach millions (because, in truth, you can), we expect it to happen over night.

I fell into that trap. 

To combat this, I’m writing down the accomplishments I make daily. They can be little things (like posting this) or bigger things (like reaching a milestone for subscribers), but I still write them all down. They ground me in what I am accomplishing instead of what I’m not.

The second trap, that I knowingly fell into was that of social media. I have been pursuing people to like and comment and share. I want my posts spread across the internet, so that I can help more people. I want people to listen to my podcast. I want it to be known as a resource.

What could be the trap there, you ask?

Well, likes/shares/comments *do not equal* listeners. They do not guarantee subscribers. They do not mean the people who need the resources I’m providing are getting them.

Still, I crave the approval and when I don’t get it, I feel like a failure.

It kills my drive when my “likes” stop at 30–40. I don’t understand why I can’t pass this mark. Why aren’t more people interacting with my picture? With my quote? With my essays?

What I should be focusing on is only, how can I get my podcast listened to by more people who would enjoy it?

No amount of likes from ad agencies and people with zero interest in my podcast are going to help me grow. I should never base my value on this metric.

So, to combat this blow, I simply limited the amount of times I look at my insights/statistics. I put up my content, then I walk away. I’ve said what I’ve needed to. I’ve given what value I have to offer. I also research and try new ways to reach people who will actually give a damn. Being reminded of my subscribers really helps to reject the notion that how many “likes” I get values my content. It doesn’t. If my followers find something they enjoy or can use, that is all I care about.

The final kick that the digital world give to my drive is my obsession over my internet presence.

Look, the internet is IMPORTANT. Probably top three for any business. But what makes it important are people. People are number one. You utilize the internet to make it easy for them.

Yes, I need to keep up my internet presence. Yes, I need to make sure it reflects my brand and my ideas. But I also need to take the time to connect to people outside of this. I can’t base my ideas being good or not on the internet. It’s too big of a place, with way too much noise.

To combat this, I work on things outside of the online world. I put together classes and presentation and proposals. I’m currently looking into cons that I can reach others at. I want to work with schools and libraries and communities to help other find passion in their careers.

What I’ve learned is that, the internet isn’t bad. No, you don’t need to hiatus it. You don’t need to “take long breaks” or bash it. But you do need to base your value and your ideas on you.

Don’t break down because the internet isn’t kind.

Don’t throw away an idea you’re passionate about because it didn’t get enough “likes”.

Don’t feel like you’ve failed because you forgot to post for a week.

The internet isn’t everything. It’s a tool you can use to become better, you just have to know how to use it. Be kind to yourself. Be patient. Be real.

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