For the last twelve years, I’ve been a content creator. I probably wouldn’t have given myself that title over a decade ago, but I’ve been showing up online for years, publishing content and sharing my life. From what I wear to what I ate for breakfast, my favorite marketing strategies to the realities of being a CEO and mom.
In today’s age of social media and constant connectivity, there’s a LOT of pressure to capture and share every moment of our lives, as if we’re curating our own reality show for others to consume. It’s easy for it all to get convoluted – where does your life start and your content end and how blurry are you willing to let those lines get?
I think that pressure is only heightened for us business owners who create content and use these free platforms to market our businesses or our personal brands. With every post published, we’re making a connection and letting people in. As a writer and a photographer, it’s easy for me to imagine my life through the lens of the content I can create and share – it’s just natural for me, almost like a director directing a movie scene… that’s how my head can sometimes get.
And while sharing moments and stories online can be a wonderful way to connect and inspire, I’ve had to create true boundaries in my life that allow me to separate content from my life – ensuring that the pursuit of content never overshadows the true essence of life.
Today, I’m sharing some tips I’ve learned over the years on how to find the balance between staying present with those who matter most while still sharing our authentic and interesting lives online. Ya ready? Let’s dive in!
Don’t Look At Your Life As Content
As creators, it’s tempting to look at your life as content, but I’m telling you: it’s crucial to prioritize living your life and documenting it, rather than focusing solely on creating content! Approaching life before content can really help you find balance and fulfillment.
Recently my family and I were at our lake house, and I saw tons of people taking pictures of beautiful scenes but not fully enjoying them. Though tempting, this can really cause us to miss out on experiencing the beauty in front of us! I want to encourage you to appreciate and savor moments rather than solely capturing them for social media.
Post Intentionally, Not In Real Time
If you struggle with being present in your life, I challenge you to film and share just 60 seconds of your day. That could be 4 stories, 1 reel, 1 long story – it’s not a lot to let people into one minute of your life. That’s like: 0.06944444444444445% of your day!
Instead of posting in real time, get the shot, shoot the video, and then sit on it. If you’re out to dinner, take the photo and tuck your phone in your purse. Keep your devices out of sight (like in your purse, car glove box, or Aro box), or just take the photo/video and then set it down.
Think Before You Post
Before posting anything, ask yourself:
- Why does this matter?
- Who is this for?
- What is the point of this?
I usually post after my kids are in bed and I’ll scroll my camera roll from the day and let 90% of my images and videos live there for my own personal memories and share 10% of them online.
Set Boundaries With Your Phone
Over the years, Drew and I have set intentional boundaries with our phones to ensure we’re living our life with intention. Here are just some of the ways we ensure we
- Charge your phone outside of your bedroom. This has been huge for us for years! Our room is a no-phone zone. We either charge our phones in the bathroom or in the kitchen and we try to keep our chargers in places where we’re not constantly grabbing our phones. This way, we don’t mindlessly scroll in bed or grab our phones first thing in the morning.
- Set limits on your phone for certain apps and share your password with someone who will help hold you accountable. If you know you struggle in this area, create boundaries. I always say that boundaries don’t keep things and people OUT of your life, they keep you IN your life – so if you need help staying in your real life more, set some limits on your phone or gamify the entire thing to keep you off your phone more. Even having screen time contests with your friends or partner to see who can use their phone the least.
- Try Aro! I recently purchased Aro, which is a box where you charge your phone and it connects to an app that gamifies staying OFF of your phone. The same way apps gamify things to make you get those dopamine hits, it does that to help you reduce your screen time!
Batch Your Content Creation
To reduce the time you spend on your phone, try doing ONE big content creation day per week (or month, if you can!) and then use that content for days, weeks, or even months to come.
This is something I’ve been working on, because right now, I’m the only person who’s creating content and posting from my feed. Anything you see, I created and wrote… which can be a bit overwhelming at times!
Recently, I’ve been theming my weekly content so that I have some guidance on what to create. This is helping me prepare a little more in advance for a few posts a week and then the rest is more timely based on what’s happening in my world. This balance still allows for the spontaneity that I crave as a creative, but also gives me some guidance so I know what to be sharing about for the week.
So there you have it! I get it, I need these reminders and practices in my life to keep me on trac. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with documenting and sharing our experiences online. It’s an amazing tool for self-expression and building communities.
The key is to attempt to find a balance between living in the moment and enjoying it while also figuring out what and how to capture those moments if they are something you want to share later. I always say that the goal is to live a life even more beautiful offline than the one you’re sharing online. When we lead with life first and let content arise organically from our experiences, it becomes a more pure reflection of our journey, rather than the sole purpose of our existence.
So, let’s remember to cherish and live every moment fully, whether or not it ends up as content. Embrace the journey, celebrate the highs and lows, and allow your life to unfold naturally. After all, it’s the authentic and lived experiences that truly shape who we are and the impact we make on the world.