Many modern j-fashion fans have a fraught relationship with social media. On the one hand, sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and others have allowed people in far flung parts of the world to connect over their shared hobbies. On the other hand, black box algorithms, poor moderation, beauty filters, and plain old FOMO make these platforms distorted mirrors of real life.
While veterans of the fashion or those with robust in-person communities may be able to avoid them entirely, newbies and lonelitas rely heavily on these platforms to interact with other j-fashion fans. With specific intentions and mindfulness, you can establish boundaries so that you get the most out of social media for j-fashion.
Define your goals
Take some time to consider what you hope to get out of social media for your j-fashion interests. Do you want to be an influencer and gain a massive following? Do you want to make friends? Promote your brand? Get inspired by creative people in your community? Different goals mean that your experience on social media may not look the same as other people’s in the community.
Find a platform that suits your goals
Once you’ve determined what you want to get out of social media, it’s good to pick one (or a few) that you’ll spend time on. Don’t feel like you need to be everywhere at once! If you don’t have time for long form videos, don’t look at YouTube! Likewise, if you’re looking for a more intimate social media experience, find a Discord server. At first, you can just observe each platforms’ community and see what feels right for you.
Set boundaries for yourself.
With goals and a platform in mind, it’s time to start posting. When, how often, and who sees those posts is entirely up to you. Don’t be afraid to set profiles to private, share only to close friends (or a select few people), and curate your feed to reflect your interests. While it’s important to challenge ourselves, make sure we’re uplifting diverse creators, and not ignoring important issues in our community, your social media shouldn’t stress you out. You don’t owe anyone a direct message, a follow, or a like. Use the options for muting, restricting, and blocking built into the apps liberally.
Moreover, if you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through an app without really absorbing anything, consider setting time limits on how long you can spend on each one. Maybe you can only browse Instagram on your lunch break or you can only watch a YouTube video while you’re doing your make-up. Your phone or app may also offer built in tools to track and limit the time you spend on social media.
Don’t be afraid to take a step back.
Even with concrete goals and clear boundaries, we can get overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to step away from an app. Delete it off your phone. Have your friend change your password. Just ignore it for a week (or two or four). For the love of God, please don’t apologize for this. This week alone, I’ve seen at least 3 people with major life upheavals apologizing for not being as active. You owe social media nothing! Your friends will understand and the people who aren’t your friends don’t need an explanation.