Someone will always hate you….and other things I’ve learnt on social media

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What I've Learnt from Working in Social Media

Working in social media is a funny old thing. I say this all the time but I never thought it would ever be my job, and I’ve learnt so much about myself from working online, and I think they’re actually really important life lessons. 

Ho here goes.

1. Some people will always find something bad to say about you.

I wish it wasn’t the case, but working online you make yourself vulnerable to hate comments. Of course, they’re very, very rarely true but it is frustrating to know that someone has such a wrong opinion of you. And it’s even more frustrating that someone is quick to call you out without questioning, asking or even trying to understand you first. 

2. You grow a thick skin. 

I’ve had some absolutely awful things said about me online. Some really, really horrific things. But in my opinion, you can either make yourself a victim of them or choose to ignore it. Which one requires less of your energy? I’ve learnt to take these comments on the cheek because the reality is that you’ve triggered something that they don’t like about themselves. The person who said the hate comment is probably going through something tough in order to say such horrible things. And besides, they’re a stranger online, what do they know?

3. You learn that not everything is as it seems.

There is always two sides to every story. Everyone looks at a situation differently and you can’t take what someone says about another person at face value. That person standing in the flower field probably got permission to do so. You can’t assume the worst about people. I’ve learnt that it’s really important to stop, think and question everything you see online because it’s rarely what it seems. 

4. ‘Cancel Culture’ is quite possibly one of the worst things about social media. 

There are hundreds of social media influencers in the world now, and no matter how much you hate the influencer industry it isn’t going anywhere. It’s very easy to forget these influencers with millions of followers or subscribers are actually human. And most of the time, they’re really young. People make mistakes. People can’t always see how bad something is when they are in the situation. I’ve made a hell of a lot of mistakes in my lifetime, and I can’t imagine trying to navigate those mistakes whilst being in the public eye. Mistakes allow people to grow and change and they aren’t always a bad thing. 

5. You Become Nicer 

This may not be the case for every single person, but it’s definitely the case for me. I will hold my hands up and say I wasn’t the nicest person when I was a teenager. I’ve sent out some pretty mean tweets when I was young and defending a band that I was in love with at the time. I’m not going to try and defend that. But now I would never think to say anything negative about anyone online, not even as a joke. I try to practice kindness as much as I can online, because as cliche as it sounds you never do know what someone is going through. 

6. It really is harder than it looks. 

I can practically feel your eyes rolling. No, I am not saying that my job is harder than a 9-5, and of course I’m not saying my job is harder than being a doctor because that is ridiculous. (I’m looking at you Mr hate comment.) But it is hard. Life is hard. It takes a lot of discipline to work for yourself, and you lose the ability to switch off. Again, not saying this doesn’t happen at any other job. But so much more goes into my work than just the photo you see. 

7. Burnouts happen more than you think. 

It’s taken me a really long time to admit that you can love what you do and have a creative burnout. And it’s taken me even longer to accept that they’re going to happen more than you would want. But they are worth it because something good always comes out of them. It’s important to remember that you will flourish again.

8. You spend 50% of your time thinking about money.

Has this person paid me yet? What was this payment for? Why do some invoices take sixty days to come through? Why can’t I just get paid instantly? I hate invoices!  I have this conversation with myself at least five times a day.

9. Not many people are going to understand what you do.

I spend a lot of my time explaining my job to someone because most people have no idea how making money from Instagram works. And calling myself an ‘Instagrammer’ in my real life sends shivers down my spine. But that’s okay, I don’t mind explaining, it’s always fun to see peoples reactions. 

10. There is no security.

You don’t know when your next paycheck is going to come from. You have no idea how long your job is going to last. But that’s okay. Will I be doing Instagram forever? Of course not! Will I be self-employed for the rest of my life or will I get a proper job? I have no idea! But it’s fine, because I like the insecurity of it all. It keeps me on my toes, it keeps me ambitious. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

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