There's absolutely zero secret about this: I love social media. I can't help it. I have tried SO hard to be one of those people that "doesn't care" and deletes all of their accounts. I can't do. There's something that I just feel comfortable about being connected. However, that's not to say that I don't like to disconnect every now and then. I try to make a conscious effort every day to live life to the fullest and worry about social media later.
Social media is also a FANTASTIC tool for small businesses and it's basically my entire life when it comes to marketing for work. Digital marketing is where it's at. I spend entirely too much time on the internet, especially when it comes to reading industry articles, white papers, and general research on the latest and greatest.
On the other hand, social media is taking a deep and dark turn for the worst. What is social media? It's online platforms to be, well, social. But in a world that is constantly demanding your attention and where so many people crave the affirmation and adoration of their followers, it's becoming a breeding ground for insincere content and communication.
I'm talking about you Instagram.
There's this new "trend" (if I can even give it respect enough to call it that) where Instagram Bots are the latest tools brands and businesses are using to encourage engagement and audience growth but let me tell you something:
I HATE IT.
Don't know what I mean? If you're posting content on a regular basis with applicable hashtags, there's no doubt you've had a random comment on your image with something along the lines of "LOVE!" "Keep up the great work!" "Love your feed" "Awesome work!" -- a generic compliment. There's several programs out there that let your account automate these responses on other users images based on their tags, hashtags, and location. They're fake comments. They're insincere. And they're ANNOYING. I have fallen prey to them far too many times. Getting excited over a comment from a stranger on a post only to figure out they're using that comment to bait you into following them or boosting their engagement so that their images show up more often in the Instagram algorithm.
I wish there was a way (and if there is, let me know!) to block or flag people that are using the bots. The ENTIRE REASON I post on social media is to show others my work and communicate with likeminded people with similar interests.
SO, after that mini-rant, can we all agree to stop caring about our popularity and more about genuinely connecting with people we admire or support? It's really not that difficult to be a human being.
I am Ashley Thomas and I am #NotABot