Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
Since I started this ministry back in 2011, I know that I’ve been doing social media all wrong.
I made a “business page” on Facebook because I heard that you weren’t supposed to use a personal page for a sole proprietor business (or ministry, in this case). Wrong! I eventually had to make a personal page just so I could use the existing business page, which is confusing to some who want to “friend” me.
And I post the “wrong” things on Facebook, including doing a terrible job of sharing other people’s stuff. In fact, according to social media folks, I do a terrible job of sharing my own stuff. I absolutely know they’re right.
I love Pinterest, but I hate repinning my old stuff. It’s already on there where I want it!
I never really got the hang of Tweeting, either. And now my teenage son laughs when I use the word “tweet.” He adds that only “old” people use Facebook. I should be on Instagram and Snapchat. However, the thought of getting more social media accounts makes me want to weep.
Why am I so bad at social media?
Because I don’t like it. I don’t like to be online at all; it goes against my personal grain. (To each his own, friends.)
Furthermore, social media sharing is hard for me. I don’t like spending time on social media looking for posts to share that will help you clear out your spiritual clutter—I take this way too seriously and cannot make myself share only “okay” things.
Nor do I want to harass my online followers with “look at me, look at my stuff” posts all the time (which is why I’m bad at sharing my own stuff, even though I try hard to make it so great for you).
Take a look at the fabulous advice I got from Megan Ericson, social media guru. (You can check out her blog here. She’s amazing and if you want to hire her for social media stuff I highly recommend her.) I had asked her if it would harm my ministry if I took my blogging down from every-other-week to once-a-month.
She knows me well. After entertaining me by calling SEO a magical unicorn, this is what she said:
“It may make more sense for you to funnel some of that blogging time into writing more ministry emails or social media posts. Maybe the blog’s not getting as many views as you’d like because of the marketing around it? Current marketing recommendations are to send at least one email a week (at least one for each blog post) AND share it 8 times via social media.
“You may feel like your repeating yourself, but your message is only getting to a fraction of your followers. The average life span for a Facebook post is one hour and a tweet is something like 26 seconds. Even with email you’re not guaranteed they read it or even receive it.”
Isn’t she smart and knowledgeable? This is such great advice!
But as I read it, it made me want to throw my little blue iphone against the wall in frustration. Post 8 times per blog post? An email a week? One hour life span? 26 seconds??
The main question that surfaced was this: What’s my goal here?
Am I trying to follow God’s path for me, or forge my own way?
So, after prayer and thought, I’ve decided to cut back on social media. Don’t blame Megan—certainly this is not what she intended! But I know I’ve got to embrace how God made me.
I will no longer try my little heart out to write articles, guest blog, or guest speak online.
I won’t be frantically combing social media looking for something, anything that I deem worth sharing with you.
I won’t be promoting/cross-promoting/networking/pushing content on social media any more. Most likely you won’t even notice, because I was doing a bad job at those things anyway!
The more important point is that I’m going to let go of my spiritual clutter about social media. I’m not going to worry about how I’m doing it wrong. I’m not going to spend time thinking about what I’m missing out on. I’m not going to ask myself if I’m being a faithful follower of Jesus even if I don’t try every avenue to get my message for Him out there.
What I am going to do is this: Share. Share my stuff. Share me.
I’ll still post about the great stuff I have for you (like blog posts, free stuff, books) when it feels right.
I’ll still tell you about my speaking engagements and invite you to come.
If I find something good, I’ll tell you about it.
If something funny happens to me or my family, I’ll let you know so you can laugh with me.
If I’m praying for you and a verse or phrase stands out, I’ll share it.
I’m going to be still before God and wait patiently for Him. I will not fret. I will refrain from anger and frustration.
I’m going to be me, online, and let God do the marketing.
Oh how my spirit feels lighter—and less cluttered!
Now, what does this mean for you?
1. It means that social media mystical unicorn algorithms are going to like me even less than they already do, if that’s possible. If you want to keep seeing my social media stuff, you’ll have to click “like” on my posts regularly. If you want to keep up with the new stuff I have for you, you’ll have to get on my email list, and then make sure my email address is in your address list so I don’t go straight to “junk.” (I would really love it if you did that right now, in fact. Add that address so I can serve you better!)
2. It means that you can do it, too. You can take something you feel like you “should” be doing, and let it go.
Where is this resonating in your heart? What do you hate spending your time and energy doing? Whose expectations are you trying to fulfill?
Sometimes you’ll realize that you need to step it up and get organized about it. That’s wonderful. I’d love to help you with that, especially through the Organizing You books.
But sometimes, like me with social media, you’ll realize that you need to surrender. Perhaps it’s time to cut back, even if it’s just for a season. Decide to be you, and let God do the rest.
Thoughts to fight: I should be doing that, but I stink at that. Everyone else is doing that. Everyone else says I should be doing that. I’m never going to be enough.
I’m going to be me, and let God do the rest.
For more on fighting anxiety with truth and scripture, check out my first book, Organizing You.
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