Duck calls and mirror balls. Sadie Robertson Huff first graced our TV screens with her family of characters on Duck Dynasty. A few years later, she came *this close* to winning Dancing with the Stars, and she saw her life swirling into a bubble of fame and glitz and paparazzi. But that’s when Sadie hit the pause button. She didn’t see herself that way. Instead, she aimed to use her new platform to make a positive impact on the world.
Now, Sadie is a podcaster, a speaker, and a multiple bestselling author leading with her message to Live Original. In her latest book, Who Are You Following? Sadie takes on a topic that I’ve been mulling over in my own life. You know that I’m a big fan and I’ve even built a business on harnessing the power of social media and teaching others how to do it, too, but more than ever it seems more people are thinking about the influences that influencers have on our lives. Those little squares you’re scrolling past on the app each day – How are they really playing a role in your life?
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to talk to Sadie about the influence of social media, why we’re driven to post and what we’re gaining (or losing) when we do, and how it all plays into the views we hold about ourselves. This one is gonna be good.
Why Write the Book?
Sadie Robertson and I have a few things in common, and when it comes to book writing, we’re similar there, too. She decided to write her newest book when she was five months pregnant, just like I was pregnant when I started writing my book.
Who Are You Following? examines our culture of social media and influencers. But Sadie isn’t anti-social media, not at all. She told me, “I love social media. I just want to see a healthy social media.”
With current statistics around how social media impacts our emotions, contributes to mental health challenges, and amplifies feelings of loneliness, Sadie feld called to address the issue and explore how we can create a healthier space and relationship with social platforms as both consumers and as influencers.
“How can we actually not just be an influencer because we have a blue check, but be an influencer because what we are saying is actually influencing culture in a positive way?”
Why Are You Posting What You Post?
Sadie told me about the moment she realized she needed to approach social media differently, and it was so eye opening for me, too.
“A couple of years ago my mom got me Chatbooks for Christmas,” she began. For reference, Chatbooks compiles your Instagram photos into a physical photo album. Sadie continued, “I was so embarrassed because my whole book was all selfies, but no captions. I was like, is this literally what I defined my year as like just photos of myself with not even nothing to go with that?”
She shared, “It kinda made me realize that I want my page, not only to be bigger than me, but I want my words to be more impactful than silly little captions.”
Of course, she still shares short and sweet captions and selfies and photos “just because” every now and then, but she refined how she used the platform to have a lot more intention. “I want to really document my life and I also really want to encourage people. I think when you put that intention behind it, and we actually think about why you’re doing what you’re doing, that’s when you create real positive impact.”
Should You Delete the App (Temporarily)?
Sadie’s book begins with a situation you may have found yourself in before: staring at your phone screen with the message, “Are you sure you want to delete Instagram?” If you’ve ever contemplated taking a break from social media or signing off altogether, I think you’ll appreciate Sadie’s reasons and approach to stepping back.
Sadie explained that there’s a, “feeling of exhaustion that can come when social media is used in a negative way, or even the striving that comes when social media becomes your everything, or your source of identity or your source of love and acceptance and friendships.”
She continued, “Not that it can’t be a part of that. It can help build friendships and help build community and it can make you feel liked in so many ways but it’s not everything, and your identity can’t be found in that. Your source of love can’t be rooted in that.”
“I deleted social media for a little bit and I think that doing that just reset my life in such a great way,” Sadie explained. “If you need to delete it for a little while to regain perspective and renew your mind and just be able to see your own life and your own heart instead of everyone else’s, I think it’s a really healthy thing.”
More from this Episode
Are you evaluating your own relationship with social media? Do you want practical tips and advice on how to use social media for positive influence in your own life and others? Press play on this episode and be sure to pick up Sadie Robertson’s new book, Who Are You Following?