Photo by Mary Kalhor.
I’d always managed to maintain what I felt was a healthy, noncommittal relationship with social media—that is, until I became an entrepreneur. The minute I decided to hustle on the side, my social media accounts became marketing tools (and so did the life and pictures I posted). I’d seen most businesses do the same.
However, after what felt like years of thinking about it and endless research, I deleted both of the profiles I regularly engaged with (including all few thousand followers) about thirty days ago as I write this. I left only a wee private account.
Here are the primary reasons why I'm laying off Instagram:
1. I care too much about other folks’ opinions, no matter how much I try to brainwash the caring out of me. Since the introduction of the algorithm, Instagram was inciting a wild level of screen addiction and social anxiety for me that has passed since deleting. I thought I was an introvert, now I’m not super sure.
2. I'm getting more email list subscribers.
Not having a strong social media presence has meant that interested parties may feel they'll have faster luck visiting my website, possibly subscribing to my email list to follow my work. My email list is something I own, which is not the case with social media, and has produced the best results as long as I’ve been in business.
I’ve been putting increased effort into my artwork, blog content, and bi-monthly emails.
3. I used to spend literally five to eight hours on Instagram per day. No wonder I wasn’t getting anything done, hanging out, reading books. No wonder I was ignoring my companion animals and partner. I was addicted, and no matter how many times I deleted the app from my phone to ‘detox,’ the urge to check my follower count and number of likes on a recent post would haunt me and I’d simply download again.
So, I made a sacrifice—and it worked. Since deleting the accounts and starting over again (using Tailwind auto-publish, and keeping the app off my phone for the most part), I have a lot more time. I’ve read a book every week, I sleep better, find a flow state at work more easily, create content for this blog with more grace and ease, relate to others more deeply and frequently, and generally feel much happier and much less anxious.
Photo by Mary Kalhor.
UPDATE (Aries new moon 2019): With a little help from the Tailwind auto-publish feature, I'm now back up and running on Instagram, publishing my illustrations and best thoughts of the day as @wren_aissance. Albeit, I did go a little wild with the Uranus in Taurus minimalism so it's a new account with new followers.
This newness lets me focus on posting art nearly exclusively, with a very minimal smattering of key selfies and inspo.
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