The Creative’s Blog

Lurking – That’s What Hobbyists Do, & You’re NOT a Hobbyist

Introverts tend to be social media lurkers. We’ll scroll endlessly, without parceling out a single like. No comments. No shares. And definitely no posts—because if we dared to do any of those things someone may actually try to interact with us. And interacting with strangers pushes us out of our comfort zone.

But, if you sincerely intend to move from hobbyist to paid creative, you have to accept that ALL aspects of this job will push you out of your comfort zone.

This expansion of our comfort zone is one of the best parts of a creative career. We get to push boundaries in our art. We get to explore how much we can expand our craft by stretching to the very edge of our capabilities. We get to advocate for our work so it can go out and change people’s lives. Our job forces us to grow and evolve, which is why it is so challenging. And rewarding.

Last post you picked your preferred social media platform. Now it’s time to accept that specific SM platform is a work tool.

SM is as much of a tool as a pen, a paint box, or a piano. And just like any other tool if you aren’t using it, all it does is take up space and make you feel guilty.

When we scroll unintentionally, SM takes up energetic space. You feel it in the weight of thoughts like I just wasted so much time. I should have been creating. Other times, not using SM feels like an emotional burden, because you “know” you “need a platform”—but the thought of building one feels impossible.

By accepting SM as a tool to help you become a paid creative, and properly applying that tool, you set the energy of growth in motion. Do this by transferring the discipline you apply to your craft to SM engagement.  

Social media is designed to be SOCIAL and create CONNECTION.

If you are lurking, you are not being social—you are hiding in your car outside the school dance, too scared to go in and attempt to have fun. When you use social media intentionally you can build real, honest-to-God, relationships that can span decades and help you grow your career exponentially. (I promise this is true. We’ll dig more into that in our next post.)

Just like any relationship, you don’t start with a gigantic info-dump of your life story—you start by saying “Hi. Your dog’s so cute!” or “OMG. I love that [insert cool thing the person has said, done, or shared.]”

Positive interactions with posts begin an important energetic cycle. By actively and visibly supporting other people’s work, you are energetically saying you are receptive to support from others as well. Each time you celebrate and encourage others’ achievements, it reinforces the belief that success in this industry really is possible. You gain energy, inspiration, and have fun when you authentically resonate and support with another creative’s success. Additionally, when you engage in genuine, supportive ways, you vibrationally attract others who are genuine and supportive. Those are the exact type of people who will be by your side for the long-haul and shout your praises to the world every time you hit a milestone.

Take Action & Implement the 3-2-1 Rule*

Every Time You Open Social Media:

  • Like 3 posts – If you have a physical reaction (i.e. laugh, smile, DM it to someone, etc.) this is a sign you energetically align with the person that created that content and it deserves your support.
  • Write comments on 2 more posts– If you’re super shy, start with emojis. Work your way up to authentic, positive feedback with words in the real, honest-to-God way you talk.
  • Share 1 additional post – Repost something that resonated with you. This works on two levels. It shows the creator you support their work, AND by sharing what entertains, educates, or inspires you, you are letting people get to know a little bit about you—without having to say a word.

The 3-2-1 method can be done in 5 minutes or less a day.**

Your measure of success in this exercise is solely based upon your action. Every time you post you: expand your comfort zone and reinforce a positive energetic cycle. That is the entire goal of 3-2-1. 

Likes, replies, followers, and genuine connections that evolve over time are an added bonus if and when they occur.

Now go, be brave, and 3-2-1 your way out of your comfort zone—because it’s time you retired from lurking. 

By Jessica Conoley

*This is a variation of Emil Parkalis’s 1-2-3 rule he teaches in the iPhone Photography School.

** Remember in the early stages of your career, you should spend the majority of your time refining craft and building your portfolio. Make 3-2-1 a habit now and you’ll have a support system to draw on as you level up.  


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