In the world of content creation, there’s an undeniable thrill that comes with gaining more views, more subscribers, or acquiring the latest streaming gear. But have you ever paused to reflect how the initial joy from these milestones seems to fade over time, leaving you chasing the next big milestone or new thing?
If so, you’re experiencing what psychologists call the “hedonic treadmill” or “hedonic adaptation”. Understanding this concept is key to finding sustainable happiness and balance in streaming, and life generally!
It’s a human trait to return to our usual level of happiness after each up or down. Got a new high-quality mic? Feels great for a while, but then it just becomes the new norm. It’s our adaptability at play, and it’s not a bad thing!
Here are a few factors to keep in mind as a streamer:
1. Novelty seeking
It’s in our DNA to seek new experiences. The allure of the ‘new’ – a game, reaching a new viewer milestone, or a piece of equipment – fuels us. However, the satisfaction from novelty is usually temporary, so it’s important not to let it dictate our sense of happiness and self-worth.
2. Social comparison
In the era of digital connections, it’s easy to compare your stream to others’, especially when it feels like everyone’s highlight reel is on display 24/7. Remember, every streamer’s journey is unique, success is not a single end-game target and doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all timeline. Focusing on your own growth and improvement is more productive and less likely to cause unnecessary stress.
3. Filling voids
Sometimes we chase success under the assumption that it will fix everything in our lives. The truth, however, is a larger audience won’t necessarily cure loneliness or self-doubt. These are personal issues that require introspection and personal development. It’s essential to nurture our personal growth off-camera just as much as we nurture our online presence.
4. Setting goals
Goals are essential for growth and progress, but they can become a double-edged sword when they are fueled by never-ending dissatisfaction. It’s crucial to set healthy, realistic goals and to remember that your value as a person is not defined by whether you achieve them.
Happiness is complex and influenced by many factors. It’s not solely reliant on external circumstances, but also on our own mindset. Bening thankful for what you do have, engaging in meaningful connections, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and taking care of our mental health all play significant roles. It’s okay – and necessary – to enjoy the ride without constantly chasing the next big thing.
So, the next time you go live, remember this: you’re not just streaming for the numbers. You’re there for the fun, the connections, and the love of the game. Take a step back every now and then to appreciate the journey you’re on, the community you’re building, and the experiences you’re gaining. Streaming, like life, is a marathon, not a sprint. With a balanced approach and understanding of the hedonic treadmill, you’ll be better equipped to handle the ups and downs of streaming.