Girls Night In Gossip & Most Snacked On in July
July has been a whirlwind month to say the least! Among other things, Zach and I completed our move into our new home and are feeling more settled (right before we're about to make some major changes in the house...more on that later) and so in love with our new place. It's truly been a month of both transition and celebration. So what better way to wrap up the month than invite some girlfriends over to eat snacks and talk for hours on end? Honestly, my favorite activities.
The girls night in also doubled as an opportunity to share and photograph the snacks I couldn't get enough of in July. (Seriously, all packaged snacks in this post are items I've purchased over and over again throughout the month.) I love seeing what other people think of the snacks as they try for the first time. From their reactions, I'd say Paleo Puffs were a favorite followed closely by YumEarth peach and pomegranate licorice.
In addition to my favorite finds of the month, no girls night in spread is complete without crudités, guacamole, chips, cheese, crackers and cookies. Oh, and wine. Always wine. Also having your husband present to take photos doesn't hurt. He is actually the reason I met all these girls in the first place, and I'm so thankful for that.
Conversations throughout the night covered everything from travel plans to career woes, but we spent a large chunk of time ruminating on social media. I myself have been experimenting more with pre-planned photos, professional camera pictures and content scheduling, but to me, it just doesn't always feel honest. And what I think we all crave on social media is true connection. It's hard to really feel something about a post when you know it doesn't match up with the real life you see either on Stories or suspect is going on otherwise. And conversely, it feels really weird to plan blog posts days in advance and then when it comes time to actually post about it on my own social media, I may not really feel like that anymore and then I end up feeling like a fraud. Basically: the tactics I've used for clients don't feel right for me personally.
Other women in the group expressed similar feelings. For instance, we talked about having a really great shoot but only being able to use a couple of those photos on your social. What's the point? Does everything have to have a reason for it to be posted? Would four images from the same shoot be too much? And at that point in questioning, you wonder: what's it all for, anyway?
I watched a James Nord's Drink with James YouTube video a couple weeks ago where he talks about how everyone is dropping followers, from social stars with millions of followers to micro-influencers. We've relied on these followers and the count of said followers to only go one direction: up. And that measurement is our main indication of "good" and doing things the "right way." What we're realizing now is that we actually don't have any control of that. The tactics that have worked for a couple years don't work anymore. (I say this "we" as a standpoint from both someone who has worked professionally as a social media manager for the last eight years and as a general participant in social media.)
I personally believe that in order for any post (whether on Instagram or blog) to be successful (whatever your terms of success may be-- mine is basically a decent level of engagement), there has to be the right energy behind it. That sounds so LA of me, but I genuinely believe this. I've seen it time and time again. The intention and energy has to be good; it has to be pure. It can't be contrived. People can feel the contrived part and at this point, in 2018, no one wants any part of that.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but it's something that's on my mind a lot and something we discussed at length. I'd love to know what everyone else's feelings are about social media (namely Instagram) as a whole right now. What are you interested in seeing? Do you feel burnt out on it?
Ultimately, I just think we need to focus on being genuine. Authentic. But not push that we're being genuine and authentic. There's nothing worse than someone trying to sell their authenticity to you. "I'm telling you XYZ because I'm being real and I'm always real with you guys." No. That's like dating a dude who tells you, "I'm a nice guy. I'm really a nice guy, I swear." Any actually nice guy doesn't call himself that or talk about himself like that.
ANYWAY, as you can tell, I am all riled up still from this girls night in. That's what a group of wonderful women can do to you! Wake you up, challenge your thoughts, open your mind.
So who's coming over next month for an all new roundup of snacks and piping hot tea?
Ciao for now,