Monday, October 9, 2017

How to Survive on Social Media

Embrace it, social media is not going away and it's influence on the hunting community is just going to become more pervasive.  If anything in the hunting realm of social media is inevitable these days, it would be that you're going to see something or someone on social media who you either absolutely can not stand or someone you want to slap upside the head... For a while, I started getting quite negative about social media because I felt it was filling up with nobodies trying to be somebodies at any expense.  You would have one person make a name for themselves and then hundreds of others follow and almost copy exactly what their social media role model had done.   After seeing this over and over, it got to the point where I had negative feelings toward many of the posts and people I would see on social media.  I realized I had to stop being so negative as well as I realized I didn't want other people's stupidity have as much of an effect on my enjoyment on social media.  Sooo, I made a short list as advice on how to survive on social media! Enjoy:

1. Be yourself! Regardless if it's Cameron Hanes, Michael Waddell, or some local somebody that has a following on social media, they all have the same message that you need to do what works for you.  Of course they have their sponsorships they push, of course they feel they are the coolest person in the world, but they in no way want you to be anything other than yourself.  If one of them inspires you to do something like they do, that is great, but also take that motivation and personalize it! In other words, even if you do exactly what "so and so" says, realize that doesn't change who you are.  It just means you are still yourself but now do things like someone else...

2. Don't do things for attention.  Let's be clear... Almost all of social media is the, "look at me" mentality.  You share photos or events because you want others to see what your doing, or what has happened.  You share because you feel what you experienced is worth sharing.  I am in no way saying not to share. What I am saying is, if you go out to experience something SO that you can share it, then you have lost your purpose and reasoning behind why we do what we do.  Experience the world and the outdoors out of a love for the world and the outdoors.  Experience life because you love what you get out of it.  If you go through life looking for attention and praise of others, then you'll be disappointed when you don't get as many likes or shares... This is what motivates those egocentric bucket heads to shoot high fenced elk then claim they are fair chase animals on public land... We have seen too many incidences of TV hunters breaking laws or Instagram wannabe's who poach just to get a little bit of fame... Don't be "That guy"

3. Have integrity All of us would love a sponsorship of some sort that would get us free gear or some other benefit.  A question you have to ask yourself is, at what expense would you be willing to gain that benefit?  If you do have a following, understand that you are being watched by all those who follow you.  If one minute you say one things because one of your sponsors tells you to, then don't be surprised if you get called out when you turn around and say something contradictory a short time later.  If you are willing to change everything you stand for just to gain a sponsorship or affiliation with a certain group or company, understand that a person is only as good as their word... Don't lower your standards in hopes of gaining fame.

4. Don't be afraid to unfollow or unfriend.  I'll be the first to admit, I know I have been unfriended and unfollowed by some.  As much as I want to have a decent following on social media, I also am not offended or upset if someone chooses not to follow me.  You have your standards, your style, and your likings.  Let those be your guidelines on who you follow.  Regardless of how many followers a person has, how many shout outs, or what criteria a person may have, if you don't agree with what they post then unfriend or unfollow them.   Think for yourself and follow who you want to follow.  Even if you unfollow the "popular kids" you will still have other follow you for your content.  You will also enjoy your news feed a lot more once you purge your friend lists of those you dislike seeing.

Once I took my own advice and started following these simple four steps, I really did start to enjoy social media a lot more.  I didn't get annoyed any time I got on and saw multiple posts of people trying to be someone else.  I saw less work out/gym selfies, more family posts, hunting videos, and less high school drama.   Take ownership of your life in every aspect and be yourself.  Don't let social media have a negative impart on your hunting or create an culture of competition.  Share because what you experience is worth sharing.  Regardless of how many likes you get, love the memories you create and live!  Remember you make far more friends becoming interested in other people's lives than you ever will trying to convince other to be interested in your's.
One of my best memories I've shared yet one with very few "likes"

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