Why I’m Using Social Media Differently After Looking at my Aunt’s Scrapbooks

I want my posting-on-facebook-and-instagram hobby to leave priceless treasures.  I’ve decided that I want it to be more than a mindless escape of life’s monotony and a self-serving image of me.  If that’s you, you’re invited to join me in the following: Lessons I Learned from my Aunt’s Scrapbook and How I’m Choosing to Use Social Media Differently…

As a little girl I remember flipping through my aunt’s scrapbooks (fancy photo albums with words and intricate stickers).  I could sit there for hours tracing the 3D stickers with my fingers and smiling back at my once-toddler-cousins in their easter dresses.  She would have called it her hobby.  

It was a beautiful hobby – savoring, cultivating, and creating memories.  

Late at night, cutting paper and arranging embellishments, she didn’t know that her life would be cut short and that she would leave those three cousins of mine to navigate high school and get married without her.  We didn’t know that those pages she labored over and I delighted in would become a priceless treasure chest brimming with comfort, memories, and expressions of herself.

But, they did.

So, what does my aunt’s hobby have to do with transforming our social media accounts?

A lot.

You see, over the past two weeks I have been slammed with magazine articles, facebook videos, and blog posts challenging me to use social media productively and powerfully.  I was so overwhelmed with “3 questions to ask yourself before posting,” and, “how not to overshare,” and “stop being vunerable to get more followers” that I took a break.  

As I was sitting here, trying to get up the courage to post again, I remembered my aunt.

Scrapbooking was her hobby.  
Posting on instagram and facebook is my hobby.

My Aunt could have scrapbooked just to show off her keen sense of style and escape the monotony of life for a few hours.  But instead she left a chest of memories that a chest of treasures could never buy.  What a beautiful thing, to have a hobby that leaves a priceless treasure.

I want my posting-on-facebook-and-instagram hobby to leave priceless treasures.  I want it to be more than a mindless escape of life’s monotony and a self-serving image of me.  If that’s you, you’re invited to join me in the following: Lessons I Learned from my Aunt’s Scrapbook and How I’m Choosing to Use Social Media Differently…

Purpose
Facebook, like scrapbooking, is not a place to parade the best parts of you for your benefit.  I know it’s fun for the world to know about the half marathon you completed and the pretty donuts that match your outfit.  You need a reason to share those things.

I’m not saying don’t post your accomplishments or style the perfect shots.

Honestly, I think those things make purposeful posts powerful.  But you need a purpose bigger than yourself.  Because, when purpose lacks, so does power.  

My aunt savored memories.
I’m giving inspiration.  

Why are you spending time on social media?  For whose benefit are you spending all those hours?

Engage
The words my Aunt wrote on her scrapbook pages meant something.  They weren’t words all about her.  They were words about her daughters and moments she wanted to remember, so when we flip through those pages we engage with her world and heart.  

Social media is powerful when it is used to engage.  

Whenever I read a comment from someone who has been encouraged from my post I’m on “cloud-nine” for the rest of the day.  Commenting on other’s posts when they ask questions makes me feel important!  

No one cares if we spend three hours “liking” posts and creating the wittiest captions.  But when we spend three hours caring about them, they care!  Instead of just liking posts and commenting my two-cents, I’m going to engage in other people’s worlds and invite them into my own so they know they are important.  

My aunt cultivated memories.
I’m cultivating inspiration.

What are you doing on social media – caring about yourself or caring about others?

Schedule
Spending time creating beautiful scrapbook pages isn’t wrong.  But savoring memories when memories with your children should be being created is a problem.  Spending time on social media isn’t wrong – especially if we have a purpose and are choosing to engage with others.  However, engaging digitally when we could be engaging and encouraging personally is a problem.

I tend to be one of those pendulum people, who is either all in or all out.  In other words, I’m not moderate – ever.  So I tell myself when to be ALL IN and when to be ALL OUT:

  1. I turned off all my phone notifications.  I don’t get any notifications from facebook, instagram, twitter, linkedin, or pinterest on my phone.  I have the apps, but disabled their notifications.
  2. I schedule my posting time generally 9-10am on Tuesday morning and each evening 630-730pm (these times are when I create and post on ALL my social media profiles).
  3. Whenever I’m “liking,” “commenting,” or “pinning” I set a timer.  Usually 5-7 minutes.  I also, set my social interaction times on social media during times I can’t hang out with my siblings.  That way I’m not giving digital time when I should be giving personally.

Because I have these scheduled times I don’t sneak extra social media time when I should be creating memories with my siblings and inspiring them as we turn twenty pounds of apples into pie.

My Aunt created memories.
I’m going to create inspiration

I choose to live my life and occasionally give the digital world a snapshot to inspire them to live their life beyond the digitail realm, too.

Where are you going to create your masterpieces (social media or real life)?

My Digital Scrapbook
Ultimately, just like Emily from Verily magazine, “I want my social media presence to be authentic but intentional.

When people look through my facebook and instagram feeds I want them to see priceless treasures, just like my Aunt’s scrapbooks.  Photos that purposefully capture accomplishments inspiring views to do what they thought was impossible.  Engaging words that encourage and cultivate inspiration, inviting readers to see their value.  And, profiles that prove my life is lived beyond the digital world.

PC: @cherryblossom

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