What is the goal behind your use of social media? It is a question that, if you are like most people, you likely haven’t thought about. But how might approaching social media with clear objectives and goals change who you follow or how you spend your time online? This is what entrepreneur Becky Higgins answers on this week’s episode of the All In podcast.
“You do have to ask yourself that question, ‘What are your goals with social media? What is your purpose? Why are you there? Are you there to consume? Are you there to share? Are you there to do all of it? Are you there to connect? Are you there to grow? Are you there to strengthen your faith? Are you there to find anger and hate and divisiveness?"
Higgins explained that she regularly assesses who she follows online and whether those accounts continue to be positive influences in her life. She goes on to discuss how once you have set clear goals, you can then ask yourself whether the accounts you follow on social media align with your goals.
The following excerpt has been edited for clarity.
Becky Higgins: To me, it isn't about how many people am I following? And is that too many? And where does that cross the line? It's more of like, ‘What's the feeling that I'm getting from each account that I'm following?’ The very nature of social media causes us to follow various people and brands and accounts over time. That's a great way to explore various influences that we invite into our lives, right? . . . But it doesn't take much to have our social media garden overtaken by a lot of weeds. Now, I'm not suggesting that the accounts that you're following are weeds, but I am suggesting that you may be following accounts that are not necessarily serving you and helping you in your journey during this season. So maybe for a time, it's good to follow a ton of accounts for various reasons. But there are times and seasons. And I think a good regular assessment of looking through the accounts you're following and asking yourself, "Why am I following this account? Why? Like what, what is the reason? What am I—how am I benefiting? How is this actually helping me to draw closer to my goals?" I think that's helpful, and it's healthy.
Morgan Jones: Yeah. And that's one thing that you talked about in [your BYU Women’s Conference] talk, you talked about eliminating accounts that go against your goals. And I love the examples that you gave because you talked about, "If you are trying to lose weight, following a bunch of food accounts, probably not your best move." And I think that's such a good point. And there are different goals that we have, you know. If we are trying to strengthen our testimony, we're going to follow a certain number of accounts, if we're seeking to get in better shape, we're going to follow certain accounts and being conscious of what that is. I think also, it's so important to recognize that sometimes the accounts that we're following change over time. And so when we revisit that, we may be like, "Oh, well, at one time, it made sense for me to follow this account. But either I or the account that I was following have changed in some sense."
Becky Higgins: Yep. Case in point, my family just built a home last year. So in those couple of years of designing and building a home, you better believe I was following inspiring accounts that gave us design ideas and inspiration for how to establish the aesthetics of our home. It was so helpful. In fact, I thought over and over, how do people do this before Instagram? Like how did people do this without this easy access to so much inspiration? And as soon as we moved in and furnished and kind of got set up —and we have our own style, so it's not like we were relying on these things, but I loved it for inspiration, right? That's what we're here for. We're here to inspire each other. So I was very willingly and excitedly following specific accounts that really brought that inspiration into my life. Well, here we are a year and a half in, I don't need those accounts anymore. They don't serve me anymore. They're great accounts. They're fine. But that time and season passed, and so I no longer need that.
Another example I want to give that's kind of different than the ones that you and I just both shared is I've been following someone for quite a while who is considered a leader in her creative space. And certainly, she's super smart and creative and offers great ideas. But given the events of 2020, she started really ramping up in a lot of her opinions and political views that were very based in anger and had nothing to do with which side she was on or what she was expressing, it was how she was doing it. And so this is a classic example of asking myself, "Why am I following this account anymore? Is it serving me? Is it helping me?" And the answer was, "No, it doesn't. It makes me feel not good inside. It feels like the Spirit just isn't in my heart. And it doesn't have to do with her, it has to do with me, I don't need that. I don't want that." And so it has nothing to do with disagreeing with people or not liking people. It's not that, it's more of just asking yourself, going really deep inside and saying, "What is this account doing for me right now that helps align my actions with my goals? And what are my goals?" And by the way, you do have to ask yourself that question, "What are your goals with social media? What is your purpose? Why are you there? Are you there to consume? Are you there to share? Are you there to do all of it? Are you there to connect? Are you there to grow? Are you there to strengthen your faith? Are you there to find anger and hate and divisiveness?" You will find what you're looking for. Day in and day out. I can't say that enough. If you're looking for it, you will find it.
For more from Becky Higgins, be sure to check out these colorful and versaitle scripture stickers she designed. These were created to complement your "Don't Miss This" scripture study with Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler and highlight key points from your study and encourage your own journaling. Available now for preorder at DeseretBook.com.