Link Love: Planning and Social Media

Two things have been occupying my mind this week: the first is very Desk-appropriate. Since last week’s Link Love andthe predominance of planner posts plus my Monday post about Plotter inserts, I’ve been in full planner mode. Specifically, ring bound planners and the ability to build and design a planner specific to my needs. I can choose (or make) weekly and monthly pages in any configuration and I’m not beholden to a specific notebook layout or format. So I’ve been giving real thought to what I want to track and organize in a way I haven’t done in some time (probably since before the pandemic). I’ve been listening to lots of episodes of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Plannerverse Podcast and watching YouTube videos of planner set-ups. The reason I like the Plannerverse podcast is they dive deep into the whys of planning. The YOuTube set-up videos spend too much time on the hows and the pretties. I don’t care which fancy tab you used, I want to know why you chose to divide out a section just for habit tracking instead of including that on your weekly or monthly pages.

The second thing is social media. Social media, specifically Instagram, is no longer something I enjoy. It’s work. And it’s fruitless work — whether I’m posting or consuming content. I am feeling obligated to post regularly to try to stay ahead of Instagram’s ever-changing algorithms only to discover that it’s a losing battle. Unless I’m willing to dedicate hours everyday to building Reels, Stories and posts, the posts I create will continue to be seen by fewer and fewer people. I’m not rewarded for not bombarding Followers with endless posts. Nope, the few posts I do make will continue to be seen by fewer people.

Scrolling through other people’s posts is a seige of moving images, ads and recommendations to switch to Instagram’s Reels or Stories platforms to view other content. I know the whole point of the app is to suck people into the endless cycle of posting and liking other posts but it’s starting to feel like a hamster wheel I no longer want to be on.

Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are designed to make it difficult if not impossible to find previously posted content. Whether it’s something I posted or something someone else posted and I want to refer back to, accessing the archive of previously “liked” posts is frustrating and there’s no way to fine tune searches to a specific timeframe, only users I follow, etc. It makes me miss the days of Flickr.

To find not one but two different posts about getting off social media this week felt like kismet.

What’s your current feeling towards social media?

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16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Social Media and Me

    While I have had a twitter, IG and facebook account for over a decade now, the only one I follow on a daily basis is FB. I am not a slave to IG and twitter… or to my friends and businesses that have a sustained and continued presence there, nay a beast that anyone/everyone feels like they must feed, or feed on.

    The original premise of FB was connecting with our wider universe of friends. Altho it has been proven to be much more sinister-enabling than the original innocent intention, it still serves that original purpose for me.

    Zeroing in on your issue, Ana, I have purchased from you those things you chat about here on your email posts… not one dime have I sent you because of an IG post.

  2. Please come back to Flickr! I miss you there. I don’t like the way Facebook has gone. I got rid of my account years ago. Knowing Facebook bought IG made me want to steer clear of it.

    I hope I speak for many when I tell you that you should not feel obligated to post photos everyday. It’s enough that your blog has several posts a week.

    You have a job, a family. You need some time of your own. I know you must stay busy. I watched the United States of Letterpress video, and saw a thank you to you in the credits on the Field Notes site.

    I saw I think a Goldspot catalog which included blogs, and The Desk logo was there. That’s awesome.

    Do the things you enjoy. Once it becomes a chore, hasn’t it lost the point?

  3. I used to have a wildly popular blog, and then Google canceled Google Reader and my readership went to zero. I gave up after a few months. I kind of miss it, because I love the kntting community and felt close to to my readership.

    I never signed up for Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and never missed it. Ravelry is abou the only so-called social media site I bother with. No pressure. Glad I didn’t follow the galloping herd to the other places.

    1. I miss google reader. But feedly is a decent alternative. I’m hoping that blogs and other longer form writing is starting to make a comeback. Maybe you’ll start writing again?

  4. I got rid of Facebook a few years ago, and although I have an Instagram account I don’t check it frequently and mostly only follow people I know in real life (terribly old-fashioned of me, I know). I find the inability to just see posts in chronological order extremely frustrating, or I would probably spend more time there and follow more people/brands of interest.

    The place I’m far more likely to see your content is on Twitter, which I keep current with pretty well. I’ll often click through on one of your links posted there to read the blog post before it shows up in my RSS feed reader the next morning. So if you’re looking to pare back, I’ll selfishly vote that you give up the others and stay on Twitter. 🙂

    1. Delightedly, twitter has always worked well with WordPress and I don’t find it to demand my attention the way Instagram does. Neither as a contributor nor as a reader.

  5. I have never taken FB or IG seriously, so I also don’t despise them as so many others have come to. I do take my blog seriously, however. Even though I didn’t even start my blog until blogging had already been declared “dead,” I continue to blog almost daily and love it. I have a small number of loyal readers whom I appreciate dearly — far more than I appreciate the many more IG followers I seem to have acquired (to my bafflement). I DO hope blogging is making a comeback! I so miss the blogs that I used to read regularly that have since disappeared.

  6. I use Facebook mainly for connection with one or two friends and family and Instagram for inspiration. I’ve tried Pinterest, but it feels very muddled to me. I would probably like Medium but the fact you can’t just have a login and password makes it frustrating.

    The way I handle Instagram is to post when and if I feel like it. I do not do stories. I do not do videos of any description anywhere (which doesn’t stop spam commenters trying to get onto my blog expressing thoughts such as “Why do you rely so heavily on video?” – makes me laugh). I have a rigorous system for consuming Instagram content, too. I have 25 accounts that I follow. When I log onto Instagram on my laptop I go to my profile page and click on the word “Following” which allows me to scroll down the list of accounts I follow. As I hover over each one I get a preview of their most recent three posts so I can check if they’ve posted something new. If they have, I click on it to see full-size and can enjoy it before I return back to my list. If I want to browse, I can look in my feed, but that soon becomes boring. I occasionally scroll through things on my phone, but that tends to be my least favourite method.

    I agree with you that blogging is far superior to all this social media, but I’m glad the social media platforms exist because they give something for the vast majority of the population to do whilst our little minority gets on with writing and reading blog posts.

  7. Ana- you asked how I feel about social media. I hate Instagram. I visit it usually less than once a month. I have not been able to end my attendance at Facebook but I seldom post.

  8. I read blogs and websites, and generally detest most social media. I will, however, go to a few specific sites on Instagram occasionally to see what art, knitting, embroidery, etc. projects people I know are showing off. One of the social groups I belong to has gone from Google Groups to Facebook, but thankfully I have a friend who reads it and will let me know if there is anything I need to know.

  9. I agree social media has become a morass of advertising, shiny stuff and scintillating videos designed to hold our attention while their creators reach into our pockets and remove money.

    And personally, I’m trying to eliminate ‘stuff’ from my life in an attempt to increase the proportion of things I love to things I merely possess.

    What I haven’t figured out is how to strike the balance between supporting businesses that trade in items I do want (such as yours) and keeping myself free from the entanglement of things I don’t need and don’t really want.

    1. I find that many businesses particularly small businesses are switching to email notifications for product releases, events and other activities. I recently found out about a new product from the artist Lisa Congdon via her email newsletter that I would not have known about in the morass of Instagram because of the way Instagram uses algorithms to parse content.

  10. Total agreement on your social media comments. Instagram has lost its charm as has Twitter and YouTube. Facebook never had any in my opinion. Not only has my time fractured, but so has my blogging and other forms of writing. You have managed to keep up a presence despite the changing environment. Kudos for that achievement.

    1. It’s getting harder to “stay up with the times” social media-wise. I have no interest in participating in tik Tok or twitch. But I agree with you about the other more established social media platforms. Life is short. I don’t think I’ll be at the end of my life thinking “I wish I posted more on Instagram”, will you?

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