There is a syndrome that anyone who works within the social media ‘pond’ will probably be all too familiar with.
It’s known as ‘small fish syndrome’ and it refers to the complex set of emotional stumbling blocks that arise from trying to navigate the vast and highly populated social Atlantic that is instagram.
The resultant feeling of being drowned out, or perhaps unable to compete, is a common problem for businesses and influencers on the ‘gram’! It’s an issue that often leads to ‘fear of posting’ and the popular #mightdelete hashtag which sees self-doubt cause users to post, and then retract, content for want of avoiding potentially negative fallout, or for fear of being ‘too loud’ within the humdrum of voices all pushing to be heard.
Undoubtedly, ‘small fish syndrome’ is responsible for a large proportion of the ‘why bother?’ lines of self-questioning that go on behind the scenes of so many seemingly smiley, successful showreels. As the old adage goes, appearances can be deceptive, and crisis’ of confidence are more common than the picture perfect images often imply.
Arguably, it is the very same factor which makes the social sphere so threatening, as also makes it such a unique opportunity. If you can get past the 'deep end dread', and the very real feelings of being out of your depth, then what you are left with is a vast digital, metaphorical runway. That is, the perfect space to test drive and hone your business or creative endeavours.
Unlike in the contrasting ‘big fish, small pond’ scenario (once deemed favourable), the opportunities in the digital sphere go beyond ‘sink or swim’. The small fishes can make up for what they lack in physical presence with sheer effort and enthusiasm (think stride over size), and oftentimes they can gather just enough pace in this process to ‘soar’ above the masses in an almost evolutionary leap from ‘small fish’... to 'flying fish.'
Important to remember is that it doesn’t matter who’s following or cheering on each leap of faith, since the proof of a social media 'win' is in the ‘put in’ and the individual sense of accomplishment it yields.
This is the mindset that is one of the greatest keys to overcoming ‘small fish syndrome’. It is also the mechanism by which those small everyday efforts in content creation might ultimately amount to some fairly giant leaps, both metaphorically... and sometimes physically!