Two months of Logging Off
For those new to this little experimental journey of mine, in January of 2019 I decided to take a leap and log off social media (Facebook & Instagram) for an indefinite period of time. I was inspired to do this for a myriad of reasons but I would say that the top two were that I was tired of feeling obligated to it and I wanted to dive deep into having a private life again.
In a strange 21st century kind of way it has been one of the bravest and most challenging things I have ever done. Brave because for the last two years I have built a business using social media, made relationships there, and faced my fears around invisibility and connectivity by stepping away. Challenging because social media is pretty useful at times and most of the world around me is still using it. Despite all of this though there has been some real nuggets of beauty that have revealed themselves too.
In the last 2 months …
My fear of missing out or losing touch with community has subsided. I am now in one of the busiest seasons of my life and making connections in real day-to-day life is brilliant.
The desire to scroll is gone. When I first logged off I had downloaded some brain exercising game apps on my phone to help with those moments when I ‘needed’ to be on my phone (like waiting in line, or relaxing after a long day) but my use of those is considerably down now. I have enjoyed just being present in the moment when it comes to waiting, or finding other ways to decompress.
In all transparency I have had to log into my works Facebook business page as part of my job responsibilities but it thankfully has not changed my commitment to staying off personal accounts and is limited.
I am more creative. In general I have more sparks of inspiration and creativity these days. I have been working on honing style and identity (a blog post on this coming soon) and without the distraction and overwhelm of watching what everyone else is doing I am starting to really see my own aesthetic and hear my own voice.
Somethings I have noticed that I still struggle with is that …
I miss being able to pop on Facebook and ask for a recommendation. I also miss having access to more people who I only connected through on Facebook- I have had several questions that I wanted to ask a person but didn’t have a way to contact them. I also miss some of the groups I was in- not a constant missing but I get a pang every now and again.
I did have a pang of worry when I launched my Spring Cleanse Class that I would have to get back on social media to promote myself. Despite not having that outlet of promotion though the class is filling and I keep renewing my trust that I don’t need to be logged in to get the word out.
Not having so many people at ready access has definitely helped me to be more resourceful. As I mentioned above there have been times I wished I had someones contact to ask them a question or get a recommendation but without the easy access I have had to either problem solve myself or go through the grapevine to get their contact. This has really opened my eyes to just how easy we truly have it these days!
On the frequently asked question from entrepreneurs and logging off …
I have gotten a lot of questions from self employed individuals about how to be social media free and have a successful business. Truthfully I had set myself up for success with my work before logging off by taking a steady part time position- so if you are a soul-preneur who is using social media as a large part of your promoting and client building I don’t yet have the full insight on how to keep building and cut back. Other than faith and have a plan. There is a part of me that deeply trusts that building a business without these outlets is possible, but there is also a part of me that honors the fact that social media is here for a reason in our modern day and perhaps it is just a reframing of how we use it. I have had small glimpses and visions on what is to unfold for me in the coming year and social media may be a tool that I implement again- but I will be making sure to implement it differently than I did in the past.
I am also aware that many who I have spoken to have conflicted feelings around social media. Part of them desires logging off but they also wish to stay plugged in for various reasons. If this is you, my best advice is boundaries. Create strong boundaries and be disciplined in upholding them. For me, I had to pull all the way back to see clearly what my boundaries needed to be. Maybe for you it is committing to one day a week of logging off, or limiting the time.
At the end of the day what this experience is teaching me is to honor the the boundaries that i need at the time that I need them. Make them strong but flexible with room to change when it is time. I’ve also proved to my fears that life goes on without being plugged into the world at large. It has made me aware of the ways in which I give my power to things that should be used just as tools. And maybe most importantly? When something doesn’t feel good- just change it. Don’t let the fear or doubt stop you- chances are they aren’t founded in truth.