Earlier this week I noticed my Instagram feed flooded with desperate pleas to turn on notifications. You see, Instagram is allegedly changing it’s algorithm so that posts are no longer displayed in chronological order, but rather based on popularity and performance. I just said that as if I get what that means, but the truth is… I’m not entirely sure what’s about to go down. What I do know is that everyone is freaking out that their posts will no longer be seen ever again. What I do know is that people are desperate to be seen. To be liked. To get that double-tap validation. And to be clear, I’m not impervious to this desire. I was pretty much born craving the spotlight.

And let me be perfectly honest—I LOVE seeing my Instagram numbers grow. I like it when people like my photos. But I refuse to ask people to update their settings so that they’re notified every time I post a selfie. Here’s why:

Instagram is decoration to my platform – it isn’t THE platform.

My business is built on who I am, what I’m best at, and meaningful relationships. My platform is my expertise—the thing I want to be known for—not the way I share that point-of-view. So sure, I use Instagram, Periscope, Facebook, a podcast, a blog, digital products, and webinars to share my point-of-view, but my business model isn’t entirely dependent on one single method of delivery.

'My business model isn’t entirely dependent on one single method of delivery.' -@andkathleen Click To Tweet

Forget numbers – focus on connections.

Listen, metrics are important when they give you data that helps you make decisions. But metrics aren’t nearly as valuable as meaningful connections and loyal fans of your work. I believe real relationships and friendships can be cultivated online, but it takes intentional work. Spend one week focusing on getting to know the people who ARE commenting or liking your posts—reach out to them! Have conversations! See what happens.

'Real relationships and friendships can be cultivated online, but it takes intentional work.' -@andkathleen Click To Tweet

I’m saving my asks for the stuff I really want.

You only get to ask your audience for so much. So if I’m going to ask my audience to do something it’s going to be something that I really really want—whether that’s listening to my podcast, subscribing to my newsletter, buying my product, or hiring me. I’m not going to waste my asks on getting my selfies liked.

We don’t need any more demands on our attention.

In a recent podcast recording, Emily told me she deleted all the games from her phone when it was time to buckle down and do business. My compulsion to reach for my phone is plenty enough—I don’t need one more thing demanding my attention away from the stuff that matters (stuff like writing this blog post, hanging with my family, working out, cooking a good meal, strategizing my next big business move…) If you’re feeling at all spread thin, the last thing you need is someone demanding you look at their post as they post it.

As someone who uses and likes Instagram here’s what I’m going to do a little differently:

  • I’m going to like and comment more on the photos from people I want to see more of.
  • I’m going to unfollow the accounts that no longer bring me joy.
  • I’m going to only post photos that bring me joy in my own feed.

But otherwise… I’m going to turn off notifications and go about business as usual.

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Kathleen is the co-host of Being Boss Podcast, helping creative entrepreneurs learn how to run their own creative business while being their most authentic selves. She also co-owns Braid Creative, a brand and business visioning studio for creative entrepreneurs. You’re already in the right place to listen to Being Boss podcast episodes and read more Being Boss blog posts, but you can also say hi online through the Being Boss Clubhouse.