Despite being a millennial, I have been very slow to using social media, bearing myself to the world online, let alone hoping anyone would notice. I very rarely take selfies. I spent years blocking text messages on my phone in an effort to keep conversations alive (and because they used to cost money, to which others seemed not to care). I spent more time on MySpace creating a profile for my sister’s cat than my own. I’m still incredibly hard to find on Facebook (intentionally), and I only started on Instagram this past March after years of people telling me to. I only have SnapChat because my sister literally downloaded it to my phone, although I excel at it with close friends and family. With the exception of looking at twitter only a couple of times (for very specific links friends sent), I don’t bother.
It’s not that I don’t understand that this is the way of the world now, it’s just that I chose not to participate as long as I could until it mattered. I’m in my 20s and felt outdated after resisting getting a smartphone less than two years ago. I felt outdated recently since I didn’t know how Instagram worked until I tried it. Having social media experience (whether it’s personal or professional) is a skill for jobs now – it’s imperative to join in to stay engaged with the world, even if it’s hesitant at first.
And so, I don’t mean to rant but rather to show what social media can do. Besides connecting people and giving them a platform to showcase what they love, share the stories and opinions that may not otherwise be heard, it’s a place to be noticed. And recently, I was noticed.
My Instagram photo from my personal food journey was noticed by Eating Well Magazine. I come from the world of academia, where you give credit to everything that you didn’t create, so in my photo, I tagged the magazine to throw the credit back to them. I didn’t create the recipe; I just used it to make the muffins I photographed. I don’t know if giving credit where it is due is something that people do on social media, but it’s still in my head that I must try.
And because I tried, and probably a lot of luck and good photography, I got published in their “chatter” section of the actual magazine. It’s these small moments that make you realize how easy it is for you to get noticed – as long as you take the risk to get known.
How would you like to get noticed?