If you don’t know me in person perhaps you look at my blog, my Facebook page or my Twitter stream and think “Wow Julie really has it together, she’s one FINE example of a sassy, capable woman….look how she juggles it all and manages to stay in touch online!”
Allow me a moment to relish in that thought would you?……
Ok so here’s the deal, I know this may shock you but…..
I’m not always online when it looks like I am.
“But Julie you just sent out a Tweet that changed my life, you rocked my perspective…are you saying this was inauthentic?”
Well…cough….nope, not inauthentic but I wrote that Tweet at a different time then when it flew into my stream and you saw it.
I pre-schedule Tweets.
I pre-schedule Facebook updates.
I pre-schedule my blog posts.
Yes friends, I’ve taken advantage of the oh-so-simple tools available to me to assist with social media. Now some people will have an issue with this, they will think that I’m misleading them. They won’t like that it can take me days to respond to them and perhaps become even more irritated while they’re waiting for a response and see me updating a status.
Am I a sell out?
Possibly, but with good reason.
My life isn’t all happy, happy, joy, joy. (How much did you love Ren and Stimpy?)
Every day I wake up in pain; it’s become a constant companion which I’m still learning to live with. Dealing with chronic pain isn’t a simple task; there are coping skills to learn, different medications to try, each of which have side-effects to work out. My brain doesn’t seem to be what it once was, I can’t multi-task anymore, it drives me crazy that I can’t remember things which I should and it’s frustrating when a simple blog post can take me all day to write because I need breaks.
Thankfully my perspective is positive, that in itself was a process, and often I find the rug slipping out from under me and I have to work to get back the gratitude for the everyday gifts I’m granted.
Suffice it to say I have some challenges, but this post isn’t actually about that. This post is about me lying in bed, lazy-boy or on the couch, propped up with pillows typing away from my laptop or iPad. I would like to think you all imagine me looking strikingly glamorous, sitting at a desk while I write but I am afraid I’m popping the proverbial bubble with this blog entry.
Most days my hair isn’t done, I’m usually in yoga pants and a hoodie and filling up my cup of hope by reading blogs. Not only do I become inspired to write but it’s cathartic for my heart to write and read the amazing stories shared on the internet. On the days when I can’t get out of the house, the interaction here makes me feel somewhat human.
On average I get a few hours of “good” time in a day, the other hours are not so hot. These “good” hours are spent trying to get some light housework done, spending time with our children and engaging in rehab therapies. Then there are my “in-between” hours where the pain has increased, my mind is a bit dimmer, this is when I write. That’s awesome that my writing happens then…imagine what I could achieve on full-throttle! The other hours are spent resting, in a quite dark room where I don’t have to think or respond.
Blogging saved me when I was so low in the valley, it gave me an outlet to share some of myself to others and begin to feel purposeful again. By using the automated tools, I’ve been able to keep up interaction with my readers and friends at times when I couldn’t have otherwise.
Sometimes the pain takes over and I need to rest, that’s just a given.
There are bad days, days where I can’t be myself and on those days I grab a back-up blog post and with a simple click it goes live on my blog. During these times I also appreciate the fantastic guest-posts my friends have written for me, just last month I reached out to some blogger friends. I had a period where I was down, wayyyyy down and couldn’t write. These friends stepped up for me and kept my readers interested while showing me their love.
Things aren’t always what they seem.
My situation is just one example of this, I’ve found a way to appear “present” for my readers when in fact I’m not. This has been handy but on the down-side people have used it to the negative, it can appear that I’m a fully capable person which my ego loves but can lead to disappointment for those who expect more than I’m capable of.
My task is to provide full-disclosure. As always I’m open and am willing to share my limitations freely but to that person who recently said “You must be fine, you’re online all day!“….well to you my friend I have a few choice words but suffice it to say, you’re not as brilliant as you think!
I don’t have moves like Jagger but I have automation that helps me seem like Houdini!
To my blogger friends who have taught me about automating online interaction and provided guest-posts: thank you so much, I really appreciate it.
To my readers and friends, thank you for sticking it out with me when I’m not actually online. I do my best to read all comments and interactions but if I miss something please do forgive me, give me a prod by letting me know what I’ve missed and rest-assured I’ll get back to you asap….it could take a week but I promise I do my best!
Tools to automate:
Tweetdeck: you can automate Facebook and Twitter status and arrange feeds to help you respond in an organized fashion
Blogger/WordPress: instead of hitting Publish, hit the edit button and schedule the time for the update
There are so many other programs out there, just Google schedule update (whichever social media outlet you’re using).
How about you, my valued reader…..does it bother you that I automate?