Another crossroad

I can’t believe it’s the first day of autumn. DD and I went for a swim at Bilgola yesterday and it was absolutely gorgeous – beautiful blue sky, warm water, great waves. DD declared it the swim of the season.

I was worried when we arrived because there were big bluebottle warning signs everywhere, but it turned out the lifesavers had just forgotten to put them away. The beach was blissfully stinger free.

It was only afterwards that I realised we wouldn’t get the chance for another summer swim until December. Between the rain and COVID-19 there have been fewer chances for a dip, which I’ve found really difficult because the water helps wash my worries away.

There have been quite a few worries in recent days, as my current contracting gig finishes up on April 1 and I have no idea what my next move should be.

I thrive on driving growth and engagement – it’s been so exciting to watch the Facebook reach rise on one of the pages I’ve been managing. It went up by more than 600% in February, with Instagram reach up 48%. I get so much pleasure from knowing I’ve connected with an audience.

At the same time, working in social media means you’re on deadline every hour of the day. You’re constantly fretting about whether your next post will succeed or fail. You want that reach and engagement and those likes to keep going up, up, up.

I started my career on a daily newspaper, moved to monthly magazines and found the pace a little slow, switched to weeklies and finally to digital. I look back at weeklies and think how frustrating it was that you couldn’t track how sales were going by the minute.

I wonder if they can do that now?

Google Analytics tells me what’s happening on a website every moment of every day. And that’s both good and bad, depending on how the numbers are tracking.

Social media is also a bit weird because it’s not just about someone clicking on a story. That’s only part of it – you also need likes and shares and comments and saves.

That’s how Facebook and Instagram decide how many people they will let see your posts. A lot of people don’t realize that liking or following a page doesn’t necessarily mean they will see what it is sharing. You also need to “engage” with it regularly or it will be downgraded in your feed.

I miss the days when Instagram would just serve you up the photos that everyone you followed had posted, in chronological order. It felt more natural and fun that way.

Anyways, that’s my long way of saying I love working in social media but I’m also wondering if it’s time for a change. Part of me would like to do something that doesn’t involve my brain being over-stimulated every minute of the day. Another part of me thinks I’d be terribly bored without that buzz.

There’s also the fact that I’m almost 53, which is long in the tooth for a digital person. But I like to think it gives me an advantage when it comes to deep industry knowledge. And I reckon I haven’t lost my knack for knowing what makes broad audiences tick.

If you hear about any jobs going, whether they be part time or full time or contract or freelance, let me know. I’m keeping an open mind and I’m keen expand my repertoire. I’ve learnt so much in my current gig over the past two months, I’m really inspired by all the new skills I’ve acquired.

As for the rest of my weekend, it was a bit weary. I have insomnia again – I’ve been awake since 3.50am this morning, for example, dammit – which makes getting my house in order much harder than it should be. Very little was done over the past few days, other than putting a few clothes in my new wardrobes.

I went for a few lovely walks with friends, which boosted my mood and then suddenly, here we are, it’s Monday again.

How was your weekend?

Song of the day: Lenny Kravitz “It aint over til its over”

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