Staying grounded in social media is a constant challenge. There’s so much happening online, which means there are countless ways to lose yourself in the madness. You might cross paths with bullies, fall victim to the comparison trap or struggle to log off.
Working on social media (professionally) takes everything up a notch. You can make lots of money on YouTube or TikTok, but scrolling for hours on end—a research requirement if you want to be great—negatively impacts your mental health. It’s a delicate balance of figuring out how to be in a community but not necessarily of a community.
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, SUCCESS People Editor Tristan Ahumada talks to YouTube star Gigi Loren Lazzarato Getty, or Gigi Gorgeous when she’s online, about staying grounded on social media. Gigi joined YouTube in 2008. Now she has nearly 3 million followers on her beauty and lifestyle channel. Through the years, she has come out several times as gay, transgender, and most recently, pansexual.
Gigi faces challenges everyone can learn from. Here’s how she stays grounded before millions of watching eyes.
Know your purpose.
It helps to know your purpose before launching a social media career. Whether you want to create content on YouTube, TikTok or Instagram, you’ll face the same question each day. What am I here to do?
At a glance, the answer seems obvious. Most creators want to pursue passions like cooking, personal finance or real estate while documenting the journey for other people. They’ll share tips and advice along the way, building a like-minded community of people who care about the same things.
But knowing what you want to do on social media isn’t enough. You also need to understand why you’re online and what motivates you to be there. Gigi’s end goal, for example, is to make the world a better place for transgender people. That’s her compass for navigating the trickier parts of social media, like figuring out which initiatives to support.
“I work with charity organizations like The Trevor Project, It Gets Better and GLAAD, who literally save the lives of trans youth…. I heard so many youths who were helped by the Trevor Project ended up not taking their lives because of that hotline,” Gigi says. “That’s some powerful stuff.”
Want to stay grounded on social media? Ask yourself three questions to reveal your purpose:
What is my story and why does it matter?
Is there a message I want to share with the world?
What do I stand for?
Surround yourself with honest people.
It takes a team of dedicated people to grow a business, even on YouTube or TikTok. But how do you build a strong, reliable team that grows with you instead of against you?
The best candidates won’t agree with you 24/7. In fact, they’ll challenge you to be the best version of yourself at every turn. Gigi has a well-rounded team: her manager and best friend of 10 years, a public relations team and a booking agency. Her team gives honest feedback on tough decisions, like which products to promote for a brand deal.
“It can be something as simple as press-on nails or mascara,” Gigi says. “Do I like it? Am I using it? Is it a natural fit, and I’m not just doing it for a paycheck? That’s something that my team has always instilled in me, literally since the beginning. It’s like, ‘Don’t put your name on everything. You can’t do everything. It’s unrealistic. It’s tacky. It’s desperate.’”
Finding genuine people takes some effort, but you can do it. Go for quality over quantity and look for people who see things as they are. These are people who call out bad behavior and stand up for their beliefs, no matter what.
Fight the negativity by counting your blessings.
Most sites have their share of internet trolls. Log in to Twitter, Facebook, or Discord, and you’re bound to see some name-calling and offensive threats. Sometimes it genuinely feels as if trolls never take a day off.
If you’re working on social media non-stop, Gigi says a “mind over matter” perspective does wonders for the soul. Knowing how to snap out of a bad mood and focus on something positive truly helps. It doesn’t have to be a huge, monumental thing, either. Tiny joys like taking a hot shower or grabbing lunch at a nice restaurant can shift your mood.
If that doesn’t work, Gigi recommends practicing gratitude.
“If I’m going through a hard time, or I’m feeling depressed or down or insecure or not confident, I’m like, you have to count at least three things that you are grateful for, or you think you wouldn’t have accomplished, but you have,” Gigi says. “It’s all about taking the time and being like, ‘I did that. That was me.’”
Creating a self-care routine helps too. No matter what happens, try to do things that make you feel happy, relaxed and in alignment with your purpose.
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.