Gosh it seems strange to think I'm already nearly three months into the twelve month no social media challenge.
The strangest thing though is that I haven't looked back, I'm not missing it one little bit.
The first few weeks were a challenge, I would wake in the early hours thinking I've made a stupid mistake, but it passed.
Facebook was the main platform I used for the last decade. To be honest it ruled my life, when you put your business on there as well, it takes a whole new level of control over you. I would wake up and the first thing I would do was log in to Facebook. There were times I couldn't even tell you why, it had just become a habit.
I started to wonder about all of this earlier last year. We were just slowly coming out of a lockdown, the barbers at the end of our street had just reopened. As I drove out the end of our street, I could see a long line of men queuing up to get their hair cut, every single one of them staring down at their phones. Of course I couldn't tell what they were all looking at but a good guess would be social media. It really struck me as a sign of our times. We have forgotten how to be without our devices, without the distraction, we have forgotten how to be present. No judgment here, this was me too, but I realised it was time for a radical change.
The other day I almost went back on Facebook to wish somebody a happy birthday, then realised how ridiculous that was and just picked the phone up and called them, it was an all together more satisfying experience.
Facebook made things slightly easier in terms of finding events and information but then again was it easier? I skip Facebook altogether now and go direct to a website. I think of my own website here, I spend time curating it, making it a nice place for people to be away from the noise of social media. I'm drawn to other sites that do this too, the ones that don't rely on social media.
Not hearing about what my friends are doing 24-7 on Facebook means that when we do get together, I'm eager to hear what they are doing, it feels a richer relationship for it too.
The business side of it was a real worry for me at first, it is a big move to make when so much of society lives through social media but it has highlighted something to me. I'm still in business three months on, there has been no changes really from ditching social media.
I have a small following, it grows very very slowly. There are few business that would be proud of that but I am. Far far too much worth is given to numbers of followers, numbers of likes, comments etc, it actually means nothing in the end. Last week a client emailed me to say he'd had a bit of a breakthrough, a lightbulb moment, that means more than anything to me, real transformation that you can see, it's those quiet little moments that happen that nobody sees or hears about that, crikey, makes me come alive.
I see far too many people creating problems for themselves looking out for likes and follows, trying to curate a social media life can take its toll if not managed properly.
There is another side to all of this, social media can keep us in touch with people (but then again I could question that also). There are some good things on there, so this is just my take on it, not me saying we should all ditch it like I've done, we are all different. But maybe if this sparks something for you, let's chat it through, if it's some thing you want to figure out or get a better relationship with, then it is within your power, talk it through, making small changes can make a huge difference.
Three months in, let's see how it goes but at the moment if feels blooming great not to be so tied to the platform that is Facebook, it seems so ridiculous now looking back, the hold it had on me and my business but it's not surprising.
I'm learning how to be bored again without the constant distraction, I'm taking in less information, being intentional about what I look for on the internet but also more discerning about what I put out there also. I go for walks without the phone, moments in life that remain private, all simple things but it's made a huge difference.
A new journey, let's see where it goes.
Thankyou for taking the time to be here, to read this. If you come across it, it means that you have had to make some effort to find it and for that I am really grateful 🙏