I think I want to take a(nother) break from Social Media.
This isn’t exactly news-worthy, many of us choose to take a break from social media every now and then, but as a business owner who is told continuously I should use social media it can feel a contradictory move to make.
But, and I can finally say this: I just don’t like it.
I try to, I do. Although realising that I’m trying to in the first place is maddening. (The very idea of trying implies you’re forcing something).
And sure, there are days, weeks even, where I find myself feeing inspired (per-se), and so I will “show up” consecutively for a time, and then I just don’t.
The issue is, each time I’m “off” this guilt seeps in; knowing I’m not doing what I supposedly should be doing as a business owner who genuinely does desire to share her work with a wider audience. And so I find myself trying to show up on it again, and the cycle of being on and off repeats.
The truth is, social media is simply one tool of many, that businesses and entrepreneurs could use for branding and marketing, and for sharing their message, but it’s not the only tool that exists for this purpose. And I’m so done with trying to make it a tool that works for me. And that’s the key – it’s meant to work for you, not the other way around. Any tool you use within and for your business is meant to work for you.
The problem, for me, is the trying to ‘do’ social media, because I bought into the idea I should. It’s about forcing myself to create and curate content for a tool that I do not resonate with, and that I do not enjoy using.
I once believed that unless I do do it, my business will not grow – it will not be successful. At least, not as successful as I desire it to be. Or not as successful as they tell me it could be, if only I used social media.
Unless, I am willing to “show up” and to “do the work” to build an online audience of thousands.
Unless, I am willing to post content multiple times a day, every day.
Unless, I am willing to show up on Stories and create Reels, and to fill my social media profile with inspiring, picture-perfect content that sells to an audience.
What I’ve come to realise is that it’s this version of social media which I find so draining, one which promotes the idea that social media is the only way to sell; an idea that social media is the only way to grow a successful business.
This simply isn’t true.
Before I bought into the idea that social media was the only way – because I did buy into this, for a time – I had a perfectly successful business (to me). I started it after leaving my corporate job, by reaching out to my (very small) network to see if anyone needed support with their business, and it grew from there. Within 2 months I was making between £3.5 – 5k a month, and it was steady for almost 5 years. There were, and are, many things I’d do differently, but the point is I had a business, a steady business, with steady clients; it paid my bills and it supported me.
What I’ve shared so far is talking about using social media as a tool for business, but truthfully I don’t much enjoy being on social media as a consumer either.
Personally, in recent months, I’ve realised I find it an incredibly draining space to be. For the most part, it doesn’t energise me or bring me much joy, as a user or a consumer. (FYI, I’m a sacral-Generator in Human Design, so it’s no surprise that I don’t like using social media when I don’t enjoy it much).
Of course, supposedly, you can curate your feed to reflect exactly what you want to see when you do log on, so that it is an energising, inspiring space for you to be. We can quite literally put ourselves firmly in the centre of a perfectly curated bubble of our choosing. And I’ve tried that: to remove accounts and people I don’t wish to see content from. But it didn’t make a great deal of difference.
And often, with everything going on in our World, it’s just too much to witness. To be faced with the news (and everyone’s opinions of the news) so frequently, blaring at you on multiple different platforms and from multiple different outlets, multiple times a day, and I find myself needing a break from it – to distance myself from it, if I can.
Which I agree, you could argue, is ignorant of me, not to mention privileged; to be able to ignore what’s going on if you choose to; to have the luxury to tune out.
(I’ve heard Coaches argue that a true leader is able to see all that is going on in the World; to witness the pain, to feel the pain, to hold space for it, to acknowledge it, to take action for it; and yet be able to stand in their power regardless, to lead regardless. However, when you’re at max capacity of what you can hold; if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety and a dis-regulated nervous system, the best thing you can do for you is to work on your own healing first, to increase your capacity for other’s pain – and this is no bad thing).
The point of all this is:
- If you find yourself trying to do something you might find that the very act of trying is because there is resistance to doing the thing you’re trying to do. So stop trying to do it. In particular, stop trying to do something in a way that they told you to do it. Instead, find a way that feels good to you, that feels easeful, that means you don’t have to try so damn hard. For me, this means showing up on social media if and when I want to, and not when I don’t want to, and not making it mean anything either way, about me as a business owner or about the success of my business. This means, when I do show up, sharing what I desire to share, without a need to be perfect, without needing to curate anything, to force anything – just showing up and sharing – real, genuine, honest, zero trying.
- There are a million ways to do the thing. There are a million way to run your business. There are a million ways to market your business. If social media is not for you, go market somewhere else. And if you love social media, if you love being creative, if you love spending time designing pretty posts for your grid, then good for you. Keep doing what you love! And, even if you love being on social media but you find the curation and creation draining, then I can guarantee there is a million ways to do it that are far simpler, which take less time to “design”, but which still allow you to get your message out there. Check out Simone Grace Seoul and Mollie Didio for examples that I personally love. Both of these women know exactly how they desire to use social media and it shows.
So, Social Media and I are taking a little break, who knows how long for this time, and that definitely feels good to me.