Spring is almost here and it’s time to think about spring cleaning and having a clear out, and so I decided to start a little early and decided to declutter and clear out my social media. Now I know way back when I decided to expand my social media because it made things easier to handle but I changed my mind and it’s perfectly okay to change things that are not working for you. Sounds obvious but that’s not the way it put forward by some. But this clear out hasn’t been just about getting rid of duplicate accounts or streamlining, it’s been about getting rid of stuff that also no longer serves a purpose or causes unnecessary stress.
It’s all very easy to get swept up in the tidal wave of social media and trying to keep up, and then feeling you can’t but you want to switch off but don’t know how. There are tonnes of articles out there telling you how to switch of social media, like don’t read your phone in bed, delete apps from your phone or tablet so you only log in on a main laptop or computer, set yourself a scheduled amount of time, like half hour in the morning etc but sometimes you need to focus on why you want to switch in order to switch it off.
For me I find it hard because of work, my business is Internet based and all my promo work is done through the Internet on various social media channels but recently, I’ve finding it hard to switch off especially when work and personal tend to blur into one. So on Friday I quit Facebook, well technically I deactivated it and boy do they make it hard! Are you sure? What’s the reason? Tell you your password is wrong several times before reluctantly letting you go. I deleted the apps from my phone a few weeks ago but then also I’ve also removed it from my pinned/bookmarked tabs so it’s out of sight and out of mind (almost).
I joined Facebook back in 2009 after I was convinced by a few that it was the next greatest thing and for a while it was okay. I ended up with two accounts because I wanted a more private one away from family and old friends when I got into burlesque but they all somehow ended up finding me anyway and I never became a world famous burlesque dancer! So I switched full time to my current account and deactivated the old one, last year I decided to delete it permanently as I hadn’t used it in years.
At first it wasn’t that bad and I made quite a few good friends on there, and for that I am grateful but recently it’s just become quite subtexty and toxic. People take statuses as personal attacks, the constant resharing of hoax posts, can I click for an amen, one heart equals one prayer for whatever disaster, copy and paste this post to show that you care about this disease, if you scroll past this post without liking or sharing you’re a heartless bastard! Or the click bait quizzes goading people into proving they’re maths genius or whatever. And the constant memories, no I don’t need to be reminded of that twatty drunk status I wrote three years ago or that someone has unfriended me for no reason, I’m reminded that I prefer being quite blissfully ignorant in these things. Also very few people care that you are socially and politically aware and don’t want to discuss those things even though they’re prone to posting Britain First crap! When it gets to the point that only pictures of your cat gets love, then you know it it’s time to bail. In all fairness though Frank is very cute and handsome but that’s not the point!
The constantly changing algorithm doesn’t help either. It basically shows you what it wants you to see rather than what you want to see. I have to actively search out my friend’s pages or other pages I like because FB only shows according to the algorithm, constantly liking stuff just so it will show up in your feed it kinda pretty annoying! Also keeping up with constant changes is pretty annoying, you suddenly get the hang of something and it changes again, the competition between social media platforms is so fierce that sometimes I think they forget about the users.
My own page is going nowhere. I’ve had it for more than two years now and it’s still hovering around the 100 likes mark, and most of those are friends and family of which only a handful actually take interest in what i do or buy from me. I remember way back when I started a page for my old lots of people shared and lots of people followed and it was easier to build up a community for your page but that’s changed. I really don’t want to keep constantly forking out money to advertise my page, I just can’t afford that either. I post to it every day but the reach is still low. I know that the first thing everyone says is get an FB page for your business but even on high profile pages I follow the interaction is low or coming from the same few people. I know that FB is the only social media that some people us but sometimes you just need to do what is best and quit! If the effort continually exceeds the return hen it’s time to let go and concentrate your efforts elsewhere.
I think there is too much emphasis on doing everything otherwise you’re going to miss out on that golden opportunity, like someone said to me in regards on social media pick your battles and stick with those. So I am I’m sticking with twitter because that’s where I’ve been since 2009 in one form or another, though I got rid of my personal account and am just tweeting from one. I know I shouldn’t get too opinionated or political on technically what is my work account but I’ve changed it to be more of my personal account where I promote work, also I’m making changes in my work but more on that later (like when I’ve figured out the finer details of what I’m doing). Besides, I see people combining both and it works for them and in some cases not so much. But we are living in time where politics is a major part of our lives again and it’s not getting better at the moment, and I want to be more politically aware, if people don’t like that there’s really not much I can do.
I’ve never managed to keep up with Snapchat, I got into far too late and never quite understood the networking aspect of it except that some people thought it was a dating app and had to switch of the messages because of creepsters! Though it has a lot of filters which seemed to keep people entertained but that’s about it really, and then Instagram just basically ripped it off but made it easier on a networking level, and even though I felt bad for Snapchat I admit that it didn’t stop me from using it but I like Instagram. I have two accounts and am working on making one a bit more personal, in fact I’m pretty much starting my personal one over again and picking a new handle and forgetting the theme you supposed to have and just posting crap I like. Sometimes it’s okay to start fresh, in fact it’s always okay to start over fresh. My work one is pretty much dictated by work (obviously) so I really need to think about what I post, so it’ll be nice to have an account where I don’t have to think about that or worry about how good my photos are (cardinal sin I know!)
But it’s hard quitting things. It makes you feel like you’re missing out but its all it is the same old, same old. There are so many rules out there telling you basically produce the same content as other people to succeed in life but I truly think that you need to be yourself, dance to the beat of your drum, follow the beaten off the track paths, be different, be yourself. You need to be happy I what you do and if you’re happy being little social media bunny then keep doing what your doing, if not delete it! Or at last take a significant break!
So it’s only been four days but I actually feel much better for quitting so far, I don’t feel like I miss it. Sometimes I find myself going to look out of habit but the mindless scrolling through wades of rubbish is no more and I find myself reading more substantial articles instead, not that I’m trying to show off but some social media can be a total mind numbing time suck and you miss out on the good stuff! I put up a little status saying I was shutting down my profile and if you needed me where to find me etc, I guess I won’t be getting 60 odd happy birthday messages this year that temporarily make you feel more popular for a day before everyone goes back to ignoring you but I think I can live with that!
(EDIT: So I did end up going back on FB for a little while because the only way I could access a course I was doing was through a FB loin, stupid I know. However in Dec 2017 I actually deleted my account rather than deactivating it again! I dunno maybe when it becomes a less problematic site maybe I’ll go back but I doubt it!)