You know how some things are so trendy and cool for a lot of people, and then you give them a try only to find out that they are simply not . . . you? I’ve got a running list:
One-piece rompers: Pregnant or not, my body wasn’t made for them.
Green smoothies made of kale and spinach: No, thank you.
And most recently, Snapchat: It’s just not for me.
But since Snapchat is currently the fastest-growing social media platform, and everyone and their mother uses it, I want to explain why I tried it and then deleted it. I think there’s a great lesson in my experience that can apply to all of us. And believe it or not, it’s not about Snapchat.
While I was on the road in May with my events team, I had a mixture of peer pressure and FOMO and finally gave in and signed up for Snapchat. I gave it a good, honest effort. I snapped photos from my hotel room. I recorded quick videos backstage. I showed people how I packed my necklaces. I invited people to go behind the scenes of my life on the road.
I learned quickly that the unspoken rule of Snapchat is that you post often. Since your posts are deleted within 24 hours, you have to keep it updated or you will lose your presence, which is the first rule of any social media success: consistency. And since you can’t schedule posts in advance—everything is real time—I had to attend to my phone frequently every single day for the purpose of keeping my story updated.
I finally made it through my crazy travel season and got home to rest. And on my first day home—while I sat on my deck, drank my morning coffee, and watched my son swing—I remembered.
Oh yeah! Snapchat! Crap! It’s been 25 hours and I’ve not snapped anything! What should I snap? My coffee . . . I guess?
And that was the moment I realized that Snapchat wasn’t for me.
It wasn’t because I felt pressure to snap something. It wasn’t because Snapchat is bad or wrong in any way. It was because I realized in that moment that Snapchat made me feel like a hypocrite.
I stand on stages all over the country and encourage people to spend less time on their phones and more time in the moment. I plead with people to look up instead of down. I challenge people to turn it off and put it away when they can. I talk about the struggle with our phones so often, because I struggle with it all of the time myself. The truth is, I don’t need help looking at my phone any more than I already do—which is a painfully embarrassing amount of my day.
I was sitting on my deck, enjoying the very type of moment that I encourage people to create in their lives, and Snapchat tempted me to pick up my phone when I otherwise wouldn’t have. That was the moment I felt like a hypocrite and realized that it’s not for me.
What in your life pulls you, even if ever so slightly, further away from who you want to be? Is it a relationship that brings you down? Maybe there’s a reoccurring commitment that brings out the worst in you? Do you feel pressure from somewhere or someone that you don’t need to take on?
Whatever you may have in your life that makes you feel less like who you are—whether that’s a one-piece romper or an app on your phone—I want to encourage you to let go of it. No matter how cool or trendy it is. No matter how awesome it is for someone else.
If it’s not for you, then you have the right to remove it from your life. Because at the end of the day, the best thing you can do is stay true to you.