The word ‘dare’ is something that you might have encountered first from the game Truth or Dare. If the bottle points towards you, you are asked “Truth or dare?”
If truth, you have to tell something about yourself or about what you feel; if dare, you have to do what the person who spun the bottle or what the group wants you to do.
But in an online challenge I recently joined aptly named #Dare to Share Instagram Challenge by teacher and design thinking advocate Arriane Serafico, it seems that you can both choose truth and dare: truth because we were encouraged to post photos and write captions that were naturally us, and dare because we were pushed outside of our comfort zone and do something brave (like sharing what truly matters to us and commenting on other people’s posts instead of silently tapping the heart icon!).
For 10 days, the challengers coming mostly from the Philippines and a few from other countries actively participated, engaged, and definitely learned a lot from the daily lessons, prompts, ideas, and tips that Arriane and her team taught us.
My classmates and I signed up for this challenge, because we wanted our Instagram to be a more purposeful channel of what we do, who we are, what we believe in, what our advocacies were, and connecting truthfully and authentically with others. Some used their business profiles, some used their personal ones – either way, I’m sure we all learned a lot from the 10-day challenge.
When it was about to end, I felt sad, because well, it was ending! But actually, it’s just the beginning. It’s now up to us to apply what we have learned and follow through.
My biggest takeaways include the following:
- The format and fun and conversational tone in her teaching – For me, Arriane is like your leader, teacher, and friend all rolled into one: 1) she pushes you to go further than you think you can; 2) she can practically come up with concrete action steps from ideas and not just give ideas, ideas, ideas; and 3) she holds you accountable like a true friend would on your decisions and actions. The way she writes and conducts the live videos will feel as if you’re there with her, organic, fun, and conversational.
- Technology, design, and human-centric approach – I love the applications she shared, the algorithm and tech talk of Instagram, how her class is designed (daily, habit-forming, and bite-sized so you won’t have the excuse of “I don’t have time”), and most importantly, the results she expects from us should not be sales-y and robotic but should have that human interest factor, because, well, we’re humans and not programmed. We can inject emotion, truthfulness, values, personality, and character into our posts!
- Planning and preparation make perfect – Before, I never opted to use a calendar or a strategy with my personal Instagram (art, faith, and personal stories) and my health business Instagram (personal care, fitness, motivation, and recipes), which is probably why my feed does not look cohesive at all, and I felt like my business profile was more of promote, promote, promote rather than giving value and being human. Also, I once created an art account separate from my personal IG, but then that meant I had 3 separate accounts of who I am and what I do! How do I handle such responsibilities? I finally decided to stick with 2: the personal (where I can include my art because it is a big chunk of me) and the health business one. Because of the calendar she shared, I can be more organized with my posts by planning and preparing ahead of time. I actually delighted in this part: choosing the photos and writing the captions!
- Good habit-forming – Arriane encouraged us to engage with our teammates and fellow challengers outside our own team, so every time we posted at the designated times, expect us all glued to our phones liking and commenting. I think I spent quite a while to the point that one night, my vision got blurry, because I was truly enjoying reading other people’s posts, seeing their photos, and happily engaging with them, something that I was always wary of doing, thinking that they might just ignore my comment and not reply. Haha! Because we started this habit already, thanks to the 10 days of emails and activities, we hope this continues in our strategies.
- Attention and understanding – I love the values that Arriane imparted to us. I found that I was more intentional and attentive in reading and understanding people’s posts, especially those that were different from my own interests. Everyone has been bearing their hearts and minds out in the challenge, so the engagement, I believe, we should give one another is genuine and well thought of. I didn’t want to be lazy and give half-hearted comments to such beautiful posts of others! Arriane stressed that we should not just comment emojis but in words that actually gave value or affirmed what our fellow challenger shared about. The culture she cultivated within this community was built on lifting one another up and not pulling one another down and disrespecting their thoughts.
- Actively engage with the people you follow and those who follow you – Share the habit of sincere active engagement with others instead of just liking. That’s not engagement at all. When I first managed the Facebook page of the company I worked for in my first job, I found that sure, it may be good to have a thousand likes, but that’s just it – they’re just likes. How do you know if a post has been successful or not? Focus on the engagement created. How connected and interactive were you with your target and potential audience? The same with Instagram. You’ve got a post with 30 likes, but not one commented. Genuinely engage in conversation with others, so that you too can receive the kind of engagement you would want for your posts. She encouraged us to extend that habit as well to people who recently followed us, so the active engagement can be spread around and inspire others too.
- Pattern of posting – Arriane taught us a great strategy in planning and scheduling our posts, and it’s been incredibly helpful! She wanted us to give value to what we do and what our products and services were without filling people’s feeds with promotional posts only.
- Done is better than perfect – I think these are the words that stuck to us the most whenever we think that a caption or a post is imperfect or we may have been late in doing a task. What matters is what you show up, use what you have, complete it well even if it may be unpolished, and don’t let the impossible pursuit of perfection get you down from taking action.
- Post, share, and comment with kindness, respect, integrity, sincerity, and heart – We all have different beliefs, upbringings, personalities, and circumstances. I learned that we must be mindful and sensitive of what we write about; do we want to be a positive voice and encourage others, or be a cynic? Do we want the Internet community to be kinder, or do we want to contribute to indifference and making it an ‘every man for himself’ place? A friend of mine and former high school schoolmate Ate Mikee and I (I’m so happy to have connected with her over at Instagram!) agreed that the #DareToShareIGChallenge community brought together by Arriane Serafico was so positive, empowering, and lively, and that we never felt and saw the Internet this kind. I looked forward to the morning and night to see everyone’s posts, including my #teamArtJAM teammates Janice, Julienne, Jade, and Marz! (By the way, we named ourselves ArtJAM, because what we were interested in were under the arts, and the initials of our names were J, J, J, A, and M – hence, ArtJAM! They’ve been supportive and kind as well, and I truly loved their company during the challenge. I’m glad we got to click together as a group. Thank you for the groupings, Arriane!) I also was touched by Juno from Exile, Inc.; she was always incredibly constant in commenting in my posts and you could really see how sincere she was in her comments. I’m really thankful to those who were kind and encouraging to me too; I felt like I didn’t deserve their kind words. Passing all the goodness to You, Lord. Everyone was so kind and lovely!
- The new friendships made – This is not the least. I can’t say how thankful I am to have met my teammates, reconnected with a friend from our Tumblr days (Hi, Tisha – guys, go check out her Why Knot Craft!) and my high school schoolmate Ate Mikee – watch out for her stories in her blog soon, because of this challenge which connected us all. Also, it’s always a joy to do challenges with my friend, Denise! I followed new people and became friends with them, some people followed me as well, and it’s incredible what active and sincere engagement and an amazing teacher and her team with a lot of passion, bravery, and initiative can do. They’re causing a kindness revolution in the Internet, and we’re glad to have been part of it. May the ripples reach others more, because this community is truly something good and kind. I’m very grateful for all the people I was able to connect with here – you guys are amazing, and it would be great to meet you all in person! Supporting you guys always! What you do and how you do it inspired me a lot, and I know it will continue inspiring me always. Thank you, Arriane Serafico! The world needs more of your ground-breaking approaches, heart, courage, and creative mind!
I only have love for this #DaretoShareIGChallenge and community. I truly felt the positivity and encouragements surging through Instagram’s algorithm. Haha!
More power to you, Teacher Arriane Serafico and your team! We appreciate all you’ve taught us, and may we be good students by following through and applying all we’ve learned in our businesses and pursuits. Thank you.
Truth or dare?
You can do both. Tell the truth and do something brave.
Dare to share your heart and mind out?
Go, but you need to have courage.
What do you dare to share?
If you want to take part of her new class on purpose-driven branding, you can sign up here. Invest in your growth! You can also sign up for her other classes here. I’m currently enrolled in her Braver Goals E-course too – you may want to check it out if you want to start pursuing your braver goals with structure, purpose, and strategy! Recommending The Purposeful Creative podcast too for your inspiration!