Coming out from the pandemic with a new mindset

Usual appointment at the end of the month by making an update of the things that change and how I update my mindset every month. I didn’t write anything at the end of April because I didn’t feel like there was much to say considering the severity of the global pandemic. So, this is a long post, sit back, relax and enjoy!

A few weeks back, I wrote an article about my idea of quitting Instagram. The pandemic created loads of anxiety and I started feeling uncomfortable for being constantly watched. My life situation changed a lot: before the pandemic I was a student, struggling financially living in Nottingham. After pandemic, I have been in full-time employement for 3 months, I don’t struggle finacially anymore and I have the life of my dream. I felt a disconnection between a space that I created as a student and the person I have become. Leaving academia meant reinventing myself and my social media persona completely. And this is a good thing. Most importantly, I had to learn how to be professional, put a filter on the things I say and show publicly and start behaving more like an adult who has responsabilities.

Every stage of your life requires a different version of yourself.

I needed a break, I needed to figure out what I wanted to do moving forward. The time off helped and I came to the conclusions that my social media persona needs a total transformation. Practically, this means that, shortly, I will put a price tag on my content. I’m in the process of creating a patreon page with different tiers of subscription. I will focus my content on women empowerment and transitioning from academia to industry. All subscribers will be added to my close friend list on Instagram and according to the subscription package, bronze, silver or gold they will also have access to my blog articles which will be all protected by a password.

Why did I come about with this decision?

Firstly, Instagram and all social media platforms are algorithm carefully designed by scientists and social scientists to keep you in this dangerous dopamine rush loop of instant gratification and validation. There is actual research on this: notifications, comments, likes, claps on your stories have the same effect as food and sex on your brain. You start equating your value to the number of likes you get and when you don’t reach that high anymore, you start getting depressed and having withdrawal symptoms. Really? YES! And frankly, my value and success can’t be measured by social media analytics and how many folks decide to engage with my stories and posts!

Plus, when I started Instagram, I was a student trying to promote myself and my skills as scientist and science communicator to a broad audience. The experiment was successful because I managed to establish my name among science communities. I don’t need to do that anymore. I have an awesome and fulfilling job which I love, I don’t need to advertise myself in the job market anymore. I don’t need visibility, more opportunities or amplify my voice by sharing and liking.

Finally, I don’t work for Instagram or any other social media platform, I work for myself. I provide valuable resources for women and students pursuing science careers. The things I do and say are unique and hard to find anywhere else. All I do is the outcome of my hard work and creativity and putting a price tag to my content is a way to honour my work, time and protect my intellectual property.

If you don’t value your work, no one else will do it for you!

I am sure many will feel uncomfortable by reading this, I get it! “Why should I pay for something that has always been free?” Please acknowledge that I won’t get offended if you decide to move away or unfollow. Life is a constant evolution and it’s a bit naive to think that, after transitioning from student to professional life, I would remain the same person!

Moving on, because life isn’t only business and work but also fun, I am coming off the lethargy of the lockdown to enjoy my new life in Kent. The place is fantastic, it feels like being back to Italy. I have been off from work since Friday and going to the beach to chill in the afternoon because weather has been great. Sometimes, I feel like I am living in a dream and I might wake up any time soon to go back to the sadness I have to put up with for the past 30 years of my life. To finish off, I made the time to read books on #womenpower and keep moving on with life by learning from those who know better!

Book recommendation:

  • Sophia from Silicon Valley
  • The only woman in the room – Why science is still a boys’ club
  • Lean In – Women, work and the will to lead
  • Women who don’t wait in line – Break the mold, lead the way

Have fun and see you next month for more exciting news!

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