By Heidi Dean
Many actors have a love-hate relationship with their social media. Maybe you can relate.
On one hand, it’s an uh-mazing tool for staying top of mind with people you’ve worked with and expanding your network of contacts in the business. But it can be hard to stay sane when your newsfeed is filled with natural disasters, shootings and political rants 24/7.
So how can you be happy about being on social media when your feed is getting you down?
By being in TOTAL CONTROL of your social media. Learn to control these 4 things and you’ll rise above the anger and insanity in your stream.
You control the company you keep.
You’re in complete control of who you follow and friend on social media. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” On social media, you’re the average of the number of people you’re following. If you don’t like the conversations you’re seeing, don’t let them affect your mood or cause you to quit social media. Deleting your accounts will keep you from reaping the benefits social media can offer your acting career. Simply mute, unfollow, or block the accounts you don’t want to see.
You control what you see.
Social media platforms are smart. The first thing you see when you sign on to most platforms is your newsfeed (that’s where they put ads). But just because your feed pops up first doesn’t mean you have to look at it. Make it a habit to click into your notifications the minute you sign in. Then, when you’re done responding to comments, set a limit to the time you spend scrolling in your feed- maybe just 5 minutes.
I also suggest you set up what I call a social media ‘Inspiration Station.’ You can do this on Twitter by setting up ‘Lists’, on Instagram using the ‘Saved Post’ Feature, and on Facebook by deciding whose content you want to ‘See 1st’ in your stream. If all of this sounds like gibberish go here and I’ll show you how to set it up in 5 minutes.
Your ‘Inspiration Station’ is a place you can go to see the posts from the people you really want to see and a place you can go to get inspired by new post ideas. This shifts your feed from a negative place to a space full of happiness and inspiration.
You control your conversations.
You don’t have to join every argument you’re invited to (or see in your feed). When you’re passionate about certain issues, it can be super tempting to feel like it’s your job to speak out. Commit to engaging in a way that’s healthy for you. Maybe that’s choosing one issue that you’re really passionate about like women’s rights, arts education, or animal rights that you’ll comment on but nothing else, or maybe it’s limiting yourself to only posting one political item a week.
My mom was a first-grade teacher for over 30 years. Every day she would have her students repeat after her: “What you put out comes back to you.” This is true in everything in life and especially on social media. When you do join these heated conversations, remember that if you spread negativity on social media you attract negativity. If you spread positivity you will attract positive people. So always try to speak about what you’re for instead of what you’re against.
You control your reactions.
I was asked last month by an actress “How can I post that I’m happy when there’s a big hurricane that’s devastating Puerto Rico?” How you act on social media should be a direct reflection of how you act in real life. When a natural disaster or terrible event occurs in the world we react, we respond, we help out, but we don’t go into mourning for weeks and not smile or celebrate the good things in our own lives, right?
And if this event has directly affected your life or family, then taking some time away from social media for yourself is fine. Remember, you’re completely in charge of your #SocialSchedule too.
Let me know in the comments below how you plan to use these strategies to take control of your social media.
Before you go, be sure to grab my (totally free) Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Actors that will have you rockin’ your social media for your acting career in no time. Enjoy!