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Don’t Get Caught Up in Content Creation

Consider your priorities and mental health first
Focusing+on+your+next+social+media+post+instead+of+your+eight+classes+can+lead+to+a+plethora+of+low+grades.+
Focusing on your next social media post instead of your eight classes can lead to a plethora of low grades.

Even before I became 13, the “legal” age that allows you to create social media accounts, I’ve dreamed of being a content creator. I’m not the only teenager who has possessed the same goal: A U.S. survey states that 1 in 4 Gen Z teenagers may become an influencer for a variety of reasons, from turning a profit to simply enjoying the fame that comes with it.

From ages 13 -15, I dabbled in various forms of content creation. It ranged from poorly designed K-Pop music video edits, to my own fictional writing posted onto Tumblr. I’ve been through the ringer, to say the least, but I felt appreciated by the community I was creating posts for.

Despite this, I decided to throw in the towel over two years ago and haven’t looked back since. Why? Short answer: I got tired. Long answer: I came to terms that while it was enjoyable for a small period of time, it ultimately isn’t worth it in the long run.

Roughly 48 hours before I quit, I reached a milestone of 1000 followers on my old writing blog, which is pretty coincidental. What wasn’t a coincidence, however, was the fact that I quit a few months after starting high school. 

I felt pressured by my somewhat large following because I sensed that they were eagerly waiting for my next post, and if I failed to satisfy my nonexistent quota, they would move onto the next best creator. In favor of giving online strangers short-lived entertainment, I found myself starting to lose track of what actually mattered in my life. I concluded that I needed to prioritize my schoolwork before anything else, to even stand a chance at keeping my head above water.

I’m extremely thankful to myself for making the right call because high school grew exponentially more challenging after I quit. I didn’t even have a job or participate in any extracurriculars in my freshman year, so what does my experience say for the teenagers who do?

Not only that, but the time and effort put into content creation doesn’t even feel worth it at the end of the day. Scrolling through my old creative writing posts, this is clear as day. Twenty-one thousand words for a 14 chapter story that didn’t even reach 100 people? Fourteen thousand words only for roughly 200 people to read it? No wonder I felt so unmotivated; I poured my heart and soul into these stories only to receive nothing in return. This was also around the time that my career goal was to become a writer, and let’s just say that dream hasn’t existed for the last two years.

Sometimes it didn’t even seem like my fault for the poor interaction rates. The algorithms of social media sites like Instagram and Tumblr are completely unsupportive of their creators. I’ve seen way too many Tumblr accounts get on their hands and knees rattling tin cans, begging for reblogs and comments that provide adequate feedback on their work. With the way that the Tumblr algorithm works, likes are pointless when it comes to boosting your audience. It’s demoralizing and one of the largest reasons why so many creators quit.

So if you want to write a multi chapter, Harry Potter fanfiction or post your original artwork online, go for it. But just as long as you understand that this hobby can’t be your everything, content creation will be enjoyable. Don’t be surprised if you start to feel the lines blur and your motivation dwindle. After all your blood, sweat, and tears have been shed, you can also leave the world of content creation with a bitter taste in your mouth.

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