Must-have sandals, customizable products for fine hair, the perfect beach read — all things that have ended up in an online shopping cart and ultimately at my doorstep because someone I don’t know on Instagram told me THEY. ARE. THE. BEST. EVER.
And while that may make me sound vain and frivolous, I’m actually neither of those things.
Am I obsessed with having the best? Nope. Do I spend outside of my means? Sure don’t. Do I always have to purchase the latest “it” project? My 5-year-old sandals from Old Navy are proof that’s not the case.
So what exactly is my issue when it comes to being influenced? It’s the fact that social media influence speaks to three core tenets of my personality: I’m logical, aspirational and spontaneous.
If I see something I like, the logical part of my brain says, “Why do research if someone else has already done it for me?” while the aspirational part of my brain says there is always more that can be attained. And as you can guess, the spontaneous part of my personality means I have no problem doing something immediately and thinking about the consequences later.
Oh, and did I mention I truly and honestly enjoy seeing what others — especially strangers1 — are doing, wearing, buying, etc.? Combine all of that together, and you can see how I am a social media influencer/marketer’s dream.
So, how am I attempting to break the cycle?
By replacing influence with intention.
Instead of jumping headfirst or hitting the “Place Order” button simply because I like it in the moment or it fills a box I’m aspiring towards, I’m working on pausing and asking myself a few key questions:
1. Am I willing to wait 24 hours to make this purchase?
2. Is this worth having to pack if I decide to move?
3. How many hours of work would this cost me?
I’m also paring back the number of Instagram accounts I follow, not participating in as many giveaways that require me to follow specific accounts and focusing more on following accounts that focus on other areas in my life I want to see flourish (no pun intended).
But my focus on intention isn’t just about social media. It’s a practice I’m trying to incorporate into all areas of my life, including the food I choose to eat, the way I choose to spend my time and the conversations in which I choose to engage.
Am I a work-in-progress? Absolutely. Will I still impulsively buy something that is social-media-influencer-guaranteed to be THE. BEST. EVER? Absolutely.
Am I going to try to be more deliberate before I do it?
I sure hope so.