Social Media Blackout - Is it possible?
Today I'm writing a little about a recent change in my course of thinking and I thought I'd pop it here in the Industry section after a few conversations I've had over the years of meeting people around the world in this wedding industry. I'm quitting social media.
I know right? I run a social business and it's a huge part of my livelihood. Well, I'm taking the leap from the common 'social media free weekend' to cold turkey deleting my Instagram account and Facebook apps from my phone. For someone who is physically attached to their iPhone every minute of the day, I'm not looking forward to it. So why the hell am I doing it?
I'll be honest here and admit there have been a few tears here at home recently about the overwhelming amount of work I have piling up, emails to answer, blog posts to write, social to post and newsletters to send. Add to that the usual life stresses of cooking, cleaning, chores, social life (insert laughing emoji) and actual down time (is there a 'yeah right' emoji?) and as soon as there is a spanner in the works (read sleepless nights from a one year old teething) and it all goes to sh*t.
I know I'm not the only one out there that has struggles keeping all the plates spinning and I sure know there are plenty of people that have it worse than me. So how did I get from this to quitting social? Well I found myself knee deep in Instagram on a daily basis and it was becoming a little bit of an addiction. Checking likes, engagement, comments and more multiple times an hour. I was picking up my phone in front of the baby and ultimately ignoring her. I'm ashamed to admit it. Harsh but true. And I've heard many different mothers (and fathers) have the same issue - feeling the pull between work and it as a priority and taking time for family and other commitments. Sure I've tried putting my phone down, leaving it in another room, but I also need to be accessible for my team and website for whatever they need. What I end up actually doing is being distracted very easily by Instagram and Facebook and what everyone else is up to.
The irony in this post is that when I go to workshops around the world, I'm constantly telling people not to compare themselves to others, not to follow others in their industry and to concentrate on their own journey. I'm aware of the hypocrisy here. So the bottom line is, I'm simplifying my life. During a late night discussion this week my husband admitted he thought my life was too complicated. Complicated with nothing important. And it was nothing I couldn't change. 'Why don't you stop social media?' 'Are you insane?! My business is my livelihood and I just couldn't stop like that.' But I can for my personal accounts. I'm setting boundaries.
I'm removing the need to check in on others, to live my life thinking 'how will this look on Instagram?', and to worry about whether people are interested in my boring life. I'm removing the apps so that I can live my boring little life in private and focus on my family more rather than going places that are Instagrammable and worthy to share online. Will I miss out on what's cool and what's not? Probably. I'm starting for a month as of today and I'm going to report back here after that period to let anyone who's interested know how it's going. I'm imagining cold sweats and hunkering down in the bathroom in the dark to secretly check Facebook messages.
I'm off to frolick with the baby and play silly games with her. To cook a nice meal without my phone in one hand answering DMs from people in the industry. To be more present and be more efficient with my time. I promise to not be inattentive, unreachable or rude. I'm here for you, just no more selfies... ;)
"Comparison is the thief of joy" - Theodore Roosevelt