As told to Lindsey Lanquist.
My name is Megan Batoon. You may know me as a dancer from Step Up Revolution or World of Dance. Maybe you recognize me from my YouTube channel, where I share choreography, home DIY and lighthearted slice-of-life videos. Or from my advice podcast, “Just a Tip.” Or maybe you don’t know me at all. (And that’s fine.) Regardless, hi. My name is Megan Batoon. I’m a 28-year-old millennial Martha Stewart who gives Monica Gellar a run for her money in the neurotic category. Welcome to my social media diary.
My relationship with social media changes every day. It’s the reason why I have the career I have—so I could never say I hate it. In fact, I love that I can connect with anyone, no matter where they are. A couple decades ago, talking to people all over the world from the comfort of your own couch wouldn’t have even been imaginable—now, it’s base-level communication.
At the same time, though, I resent how entangled I am in social media, and how much we use it to compare ourselves to others. My phone feels like an extension of my body. (It’s almost as if anatomy textbooks should revise their diagrams, because—this just in—we have a new body part, and it’s our phones.) The amount of anxiety that washes over me every morning, when I can’t find my phone the moment I open my eyes is as unhealthy as it is unwelcome. But every day, I do the same dance.
Although the pros still outweigh the cons, the thing I’m grappling with most is how to strike a balance between work and play. With the audience I do have (over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, nearly 700,000 on Instagram, and more than 100,000 on Twitter), I can’t just post without thinking. Earlier in my career, I put everything online. Anytime I was hanging out with a friend or spending time with a loved one, I would share it. But I quickly realized that these people weren’t signing up to co-star on my social media platforms—they were signing up to be in my life. It was important for me to learn the difference between being an actual person and being a burgeoning brand, and that’s a skill I’m still honing.
So when StyleCaster asked me to monitor my social media usage for a week, I was intrigued and a little frightened. I know social media is a huge part of my career, but I’m sure a few of my daily phone hours aren’t spent building my business or connecting with my audience. Realistically, they’re probably spent looking at the Discover page trying to figure out where I should go on my next vacation, and wondering whether that Instagram ad can really do what it claims to do. (I will get to the bottom of it!!)
Here’s how my week went down:
Day 1: Thursday, March 7-
7 a.m.: I wake up and spend 10 minutes browsing Instagram, checking emails and looking at Twitter before meditating with the Waking Up app. (I try to do this every morning I can remember to!)
8 a.m.: I check YouTube on my phone and watch two Conan videos for inspiration before shooting.
8:30 a.m.: I spend five minutes on Timehop seeing how embarrassing I was eight years ago—honestly, even one year ago.
8:35 a.m.: It dawns on me that, someday, I’ll look back on my posts from right now and think about how embarrassing I am.
9:30 a.m.: I drive to the office, and use my phone to replay a song over and over again. I want to choreograph to it, so it’s important for me to pick up on all the lyrics, melodies and backbeats that you can really only hear if you manically listen to it like I do.
10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: I shoot two videos for YouTube and post video on Instagram. Most of the time spent posting is trying to figure out an adequately clever caption—even though people will probably forget about it 34 seconds after they see it.
2:00-4:00 p.m.: I check my email and spend some time replying to commenters on my YouTube videos.
5:30 p.m.: I choreograph a future dance video and upload a clip of my warm-up to Instagram Stories.
11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.: I read some of Abbi Jacobson’s “I Might Regret This” and do one round of social media checking before falling asleep.
Day 2: Friday, March 8-
6:30 a.m.: I wake up and instantly check my email, Instagram, Twitter and Costar app, because I NEED TO KNOW HOW MY DAY WILL GO!
7:30 a.m.: I meditate with the Waking Up app (and feel accomplished that I actually remembered to meditate).
8:00-9:00 a.m.: I get stressed when I realize I won’t have time to grab coffee before my first meeting—while sifting through pertinent emails, naturally.
9:20 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: I drive to Santa Monica listening to the podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.”
11:00 a.m.: I look up the meaning of my dream from last night. I realize that ice can mean a bunch of different things, and I’m still confused about what the dream meant.
12:00 p.m.: I have a meeting and am thankfully too immersed in work to check my phone. (That said, the meeting was with Twitter so we were still talking about social media the whole time.)
12:30 p.m.: I briefly use Instagram to upload a quick tip to my podcast’s feed.
1:00 p.m.: I use Instagram to reply to posts about my podcast, and scroll through Twitter while ordering lunch at Mendocino Farms (I got the oh-so sophisticated chicken and prosciutto salad).
3:00 p.m.: I reply to a friend’s Instagram Story and accidentally spend too long DMing.
3:15 p.m.: I think about how much I prefer text to Instagram DMs
5:00 p.m.: I respond to backed-up emails and fight the urge to scroll through Twitter.
6:30 p.m.: I give in to the urge to scroll through Twitter. I’m human.
7:00-9:00 p.m.: I re-watch Gilmore Girls (and finish the whole series!), mindlessly checking my socials intermittently.
Day 3: Saturday, March 9-
8:30 a.m.: I wake up and realize my morning routine consists of checking emails, Instagram and Twitter—and decide I should really get out of bed before doing
9:00 a.m.: I play the My Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify while making my grocery list.
9:58 a.m.: I check my weather app and realize it’s too cold to lay out by the pool, so I switch up my plans.
10:00 a.m.: I check to see if the guy I like watched my Instagram Stories. He did. All is well in the world.
12:00-12:30 p.m.: I go to cryotherapy and am too busy freezing to check my phone. (but as soon as I got feeling back in my hands, I did.)
1:30-2:00 p.m.: I log onto Twitter to check for Gary Gulman’s latest comedy tips.
2:30 p.m.: I find my way back to Instagram Stories.
3:00 p.m.: I realize now that I’m logging my social media habits, I feel guilty about how much I mindlessly check them.
3:05 p.m.: Aaaand I’m back to scrolling through Twitter.
7:00-9:00 p.m.: I go out to dinner with friends and we all decide to put our phones away (just like old times before phones could tell us everything especially how much FOMO we should have!).
11:00 p.m.: I do one last social media sweep before calling it a day. Finish strong.
Day 4: Sunday, March 10-
9:30 a.m.: I’m back to my morning routine of checking socials.
10:00 a.m.: I meditate with my Waking Up app. (I’m really on a roll here!)
11:00 a.m.: I check socials once more, because you can never be too sure if aforementioned someone replied to your Instagram Story (They didn’t.)
12:00-12:30 p.m.: I drive to my favorite dance studio to choreograph for a new video while playing the song on repeat (and at max volume). Thank goodness no one else is in the car with me.
2:00 p.m.: I post some of my warm-up freestyle footage to my Instagram Stories and end up becoming cold again because I spent a little too much time scrolling through my feed.
2:30-3:00 p.m.: I try to post something on my podcast’s Instagram account, but the photos won’t load because my iCloud storage has become too low. Dang technology.
3:05 p.m.: I make a note in my phone to upgrade my iCloud Storage if I can possibly figure out how to do that. (Am I old now?)
3:10 p.m.: I give up on the iCloud storage situation and watch old sketch comedy videos on YouTube instead.
5:00 p.m.: I grab an early dinner with a friend and scroll through Twitter while I wait for her to arrive.
8:00-9:00 p.m.: I listen to my Daily Mix playlist of Broadway show tunes on Spotify while I organize my calendar for Monday.
Day 5: Monday, March 11-
7:45 a.m.: I wake up and do a round of social media checks. I also make a mental note to meditate with my app—and then forget to actually meditate.
8:30 a.m.: I almost check my email, but want to carve out some time for myself this morning. Instead, I listen to the new “If I Were You” podcast episode while I
9:00 a.m.: I grab my phone to post on Instagram Stories.
9:30 a.m.: I check my email.
9:35 a.m.: I mindlessly scroll through Instagram.
9:45 a.m.: I furiously search Instagram for a proposal photo, because a friend mentioned ‘wedding plans’ and I never congratulated her about getting engaged (if she actually indeed, is engaged).
10:00 a.m.: Still can’t find any photos of a classic engagement—no nature, no Paris, no hikes—but upon zooming in on her ring finger in a recent photo, I find it is indeed un-ringed.
1:30 p.m.: I realize that my iCloud issue is actually a simple ‘turn phone off and back on’ issue. I can finally post to Instagram on my personal and podcast accounts.
3:00 p.m.: Mindless socials check.
4:00 p.m.: I realize I left my bag at a shoot with my computer in it. I order a Lyft to go get it, and check Instagram while waiting for it to arrive, because I can’t choreograph without my laptop.
5:00 p.m.: I play my dance cut from my Google Files and have trouble choreographing, so I decide to watch Schitt’s Creek instead.
8:00 p.m.: I turn to Instagram to try to find the writer of one of the books I’m, and then realize more writers are on Twitter, so I search for her there. I ultimately decide not to follow her, because her feed is too political, and Twitter is already so saturated with raging opinions and thinkpieces.
Day 6: Tuesday, March 12-
7:30 a.m.: I use Yelp to find a cozy cafe where I can read after work.
8:30 a.m.: I use my meditation app. (I’m doing it!)
11:30 a.m.: I scroll through Instagram while waiting on my new YouTube video to export on Adobe Premiere.
1:00 p.m.: I post a dance video collaboration to my Instagram feed.
2:00-3:00 p.m.: I check my email and respond to incoming messages.
5:00 p.m.: I check Twitter during a bathroom break.
7:00-9:00 p.m.: I listen to Spotify and iTunes and add my favorite finds to an exclusive monthly playlist I send out to my newsletter subscribers.
Day 7: Wednesday, March 13-
7:00-7:30 a.m.: I check how my new dance video is performing on Instagram and Twitter, which turns into checking mentions and mindless scrolling.
8:00 a.m.: I grab my phone to call the doctor to see if there are any cancellations for a last-minute appointment.
10:00-10:30 a.m.: I take a conference call from my car and use my phone to reference the deck (and pretend I’m not in a car).
11:00-11:30 a.m.: I return emails and post on Instagram while I wait in the doctor’s office.
12:00 p.m.: I use a notes app to jot down ideas for a future YouTube video.
1:00 p.m.: I hop on Twitter in the examination room after my appointment, wondering if I should leave or if the nurse will come back and give this visit some closure. Decide to make the journey alone and emerge knowing I need to drink more water and eat better!
3:00 p.m.: I re-download the ASOS app to find a new bathing suit now that it’s about to reach 70 degrees. I’m eating a salad. I deserve this.
5:00 p.m.: I realize Instagram is down. Everyone is freaking out. We are all congregating on Twitter to commiserate.
11:00pm: Drift off to sleep mindlessly toying with my phone.
Day 8: Thursday, March 14-
7:30 a.m.: I wake up before my alarm goes off. (I’m a hero). I only beat it by two minutes, but small victories are still victories.
8:00 a.m.: I use my two free minutes to quick social media browse.
8:30 a.m.: I took some liberties with the time allotted.
9:00 a.m.: I close all my programs and realize I was on Bumble last night?
12:00 p.m.: I use my notes app to write cold opens for my podcast intros.
12:30 p.m.: I mindlessly refresh Twitter.
1:30 p.m.: I use Dictionary.com to look up all the words I don’t know and define them in the margins of the “The Artist Way Workbook.”
2:00-3:30 p.m.: I stage, take and edit photos for a brand deal that will be going up on Instagram soon.
5:00-6:30 p.m.: I reply to commenters on yesterday’s YouTube video.
9:00 p.m.: I finish the day by curating a Spotify playlist for next month.