The Intentional Use of Social Media

Social media is an undeniably prominent part of our lives. Whether we’re using it for personal or professional reasons, it’s an ever evolving platform for expression. Sometimes it can be a source of inspiration- other times a source of anxiety, and the comparison can be debilitating. At some point in the last few years I decided I was going to be intentional about my use of social media to avoid those negative experiences. I remember a few times where I laid mindlessly clicking through Snapchat and felt absolutely awful about the amount of time I had wasted. Although I’m not incredibly religious, I took lent as an opportunity to distant myself from Snapchat and really reflect on what social media means to me.

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So what does social media mean to me?

Taking the time to really introspect about what exactly I want to give and get out of social media has helped me hold an important balance. I’ve learned to look at social media as a tool for inspiration to help me grow in unique ways. When I say social media, I’m mostly talking about Instagram, Facebook, and blogs. I use each platform for different goals and being clear and honest with myself about these goals has helped me engage with each in a meaningful way. Instagram is a way for me to get inspiration from people following their dreams, photography, and travel. Facebook is a way for me to stay up to date with friends and stay in the loop about interesting events going on around me (and watch cute dog videos). I use blogs as a way to learn; either about how to become a better blogger, tips for traveling, or photography.

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I’m also critical of what I put out on social media- and when. As someone who is incredibly passionate about travel, the outdoors, hiking, etc. it’s been an important part of my journey to reflect on when to capture the moment, and when to just enjoy it. I’ve also tried to focus on the realness of adventure, because sometimes we portray this perfect lifestyle that is neither realistic or attainable. Traveling is hard. It often requires being awake at absurd hours, and is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, and these aspects are very rarely displayed on social media. I find myself connecting with those who portray the realness of these experiences on a much deeper level than those who don’t. Filling my feed with people who are chasing their dreams keeps me engaged and motivated, and it has been an incredibly helpful tool on my life journey. I’m purposeful about finding inspiration wherever I can in each day, and being able to share that with anyone willing to listen is an awesome thing. If one person is inspired along the way, I feel incredibly accomplished. I don’t want to convince anyone that the way they are doing it is wrong, because we are all unique.

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This picture was taken in a dirt parking lot in Santorini, just minutes after leaving an incredibly luxurious hotel we decided to splurge on for the night

I feel so engaged with the people I follow that constantly inspire me. Whether they are following their dreams, on a path I’d like to be on, taking amazing pictures or some combination of each, I can always count on feeling inspired by these people, whether they know it or not.

Here are some of the people that continue to inspire me (and you should check them out):

@Justwavyj

@bennemtin

@everchanginghorizon

@byhopemarie

@travisburkephotography

@world_nate

@MJx

@chelseakauai

@intrepidintrovert

As always, if this post resonated with you or you know someone who would enjoy, please share!

Cheers!

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