“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ~ Andy Rooney
A rational person would simply delete all of their social media apps, possibly delete their accounts, or deactivate their Twitter (takes forever to delete). I am an emotional person who learned to be rational, and social media does an extraordinary job of bringing me back to my roots. To combat this I made the decision to become a content creator.
Social media became my newest extracurricular. Inspired by
- activists who post about their work on TikTok
- everyday people who take the time to educate viewers on history and world events
- professional psychologists and social workers who promote mental health
- And more
I choose to use social media to create positive change.
It is not easy to create a meaningful platform. Now, I’m sure most creators believe they are doing meaningful work, and it’s possible to find meaning in everything we do. To me, the most meaningful accounts strive for social justice. Whether they
- advocate for the Missing and Murdered Ingineous women (MMIW)
- fight for our right to vote (standing against voter suppression)
- and/or do the much-needed work of confronting racists on their undeniably BOLD online presence.
They inspire me and push me to consider my own power to decide the kind of person I can be.
Social media is designed to not only appeal to our emotions, but to elicit them as well. You could have a good day, a solid day, but when you check your feed facing you is nothing but ignorance and rage. The inflammatory posts cause the most reactions, which leads to the most engagement, which makes these apps a ton of money.
From a creator’s perspective, you need to adapt to whatever is trending and avoid content the app doesn’t want to push. For example, political posts are a NO, unless you make enough people angry. If that’s the case the app will push your content, until you get enough hate that they ban you (never the people messaging you death threats).
How does it feel to be punished for speaking your mind, when you aren’t even spreading hate? I see the larger creators take on all the stress and anguish that comes from haters purposefully consuming their content just to be bitter about it.
Even with their large following, their videos won’t be pushed (actively suppressed too, but it’s whatever), and their own followers won’t see their content for weeks at a time. Creators are suspended from posting, commenting, or going LIVE.
My most popular videos have nothing to do with mental health. In fact, I was shadowbanned practically every week for my Minority Mental Health Awareness posts. Sharing my roommate drama – leaving out all the juicy bits – and trying my hand at antiracism education did well, but I lost motivation seeing that my own followers were no longer being shown my content.
I have taken a pleasant break from the online life I’m trying to create for myself. I needed time to test out my intentions and boundaries, and I’m coming back with a much healthier approach. I have accepted that I won’t be receiving any payment for my work (the Creator Fund no longer exists), and that becoming “TikTok famous” is not my goal. The numbers do not matter nearly as much as my content.
Besides TikTok, I do not have the time to commit to other apps or platforms. My blog is my true passion, and Pinterest will serve me just fine, but I do want to promote it better. Instead of reacting to every topic – no matter how inflammatory – I will take a break and come back to it through my writing.
I spent three hours on Saturday recording videos, most of which I now need to edit and prepare for upload. I got dressed up and had fun with my hair and makeup. This is the kind of content creator I want to be.
*Written sometime around October 2021, posted March 2022