I Quit Social Media (the '4-Months in' update)
Updated: Feb 23
Four months ago I left the big three social media platforms; Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
When I see people, they often ask me how it's going. So here's a quick update for you.
I also made a video after a month, so feel free to check that out first.
Spolier alert: It's going really well!
I left largely because of the overwhelm: the constant scrolling, the flow of information, the replying to messages and engaging with comments and posting constant content. For me it was exhausting, and attempts to limit my use, ultimately failed.
Firstly, the downsides...
There are a few downsides, so I'll just get those out of the way quickly.
I have to admit, there was a little bit of FOMO over Christmas but now I really appreciate it when people contact me directly to invite me out. It means a lot more than spotting something on social media.
Secondly, I had a gig to advertise recently. I found it tricky finding ways to advertise something quickly. I ended up messaging people directly, which was a lot more time consuming but it was also a lot more personal (and therefore meaningful). People appreciate being invited directly to things. So the flip side was a huge positive as I'm all about meaningful connection.
Whilst I'm a photographer, I also DJ sometimes and I recently found out about a new club. I wondered about its potential for holding the type of events I'd love to do. In the process of researching it, I hit a few dead ends because I'm not on socials. However, they have a website, and I managed to find out enough information. The key reminder for me though, is that I need to get down to the club and check it out for myself and have some real life conversations. Again, a negative that turned into an upside.
So, the negatives are out of the way.
Now for the benefits...
Overall, it's been flippin ace.
I feel a lot calmer and more present. As a photographer, there was always a reason post content on socials; a photograph, behind the scenes of what I'm doing, anything really. Now I can just be really present with the people that I'm with, and feel more grounded myself, which is really important. My husband has said that I appear calmer too and he's often a great barometer for these things.
The biggest plus
I'm finding a massive plus side is that I have the head space and the sense of peace to consider my business and be more strategic about how to progress. I can really consider each opportunity that come along.
The opportunities that are coming along tend to be more medium-term jobs, and therefore more sustainable. Often the jobs that I got through socials were short-term photo shoots, which were brilliant for gaining experience and building my business, but now I'm looking for things that I can get my teeth into. I also find that because people have found me via word mouth or through my website, they've taken a bit more time to consider whether we're a good fit.
When I'm thinking about my workshops and my project work, I can really think about whether they're right for me. When it is something I do want to take on, I can sit down and develop my ideas thoroughly. I can have proper conversations with people about what they need and what I need, and that's amazing.
Collaboration is key
I'm really focusing on collaboration this year. I'm working on a few workshops with other people, where we'll bring two skill sets together such as photography nature walks and working with a floristry friend, to create a flower arranging and photography experience. It's fantastic to have those conversations and to brainstorm and just to develop those ideas properly without having had a mind on all the social comments and messages I need to respond to!
I'm also gaining the headspace to think about how I can help other people as well. If someone needs something, maybe I can connect them with someone else within my network, or provide the thing they're after.
Having the time to explore new avenues
I'm also thinking about dipping my toe to music photography. I now have just have the head space to think about the steps I need to take.
So it's 'so far so good'.
I'll probably do another update at the 12 month mark (presuming I make it that far) and I hope to see you in real life soon.