Social media has a lot of perks – especially if you’re running a small business like me.
It’s free advertising, a way to personally connect with your community, a platform to share your message and have an impact on, and in some cases, it has been the birth of some of my very dear friendships.
I am grateful for it.
But I’m working on an exit strategy.
- The algorithm: I don’t want the platform’s algorithm dictating when I should post something if I want to get my message out there and seen. Right now, if I don’t post at ideal times, respond quickly, spend a ton of time in my DM’s, and comment on others posts, they will ding me…meaning they won’t show my stuff as much. I feel like my hands are tied if I want my content seen (which is kind of important if you’re running a business), and I don’t like being told what to do. Period.
- My time: Committing to social media means you’re committing to a lot of unpaid time spent online. It’s quite demanding. To be honest, it feels like a 24/7 thing, and I find it difficult to fit in my own hobbies and free time around it. It is also starting to interfere with my family time, and this associated feeling of guilt if I don’t post for a couple days. I do my best to stick to my 7am-8pm limit, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up even with 10K followers within those hours.
- My personal space: I’m always down for communicating and connecting with my followers, but when I get DM’s asking me to do things for free, and an upset response when I don’t, it really ticks me off. I am hellbent on making an impact and servicing my community, but when Jane Doe from GodKnowsWhere (who I don’t know), starts DM’ing me asking for a bunch of free information, that takes up my personal time, it feels disrespectful. There’s no personal space online.
- The fake-ness: I feel like to be anyone important on social media today, your message has to be super polarizing and your image has to be way too perfect. I resent that that algorithm favours this, and perpetuates this fake world we’re living in. No ones family is perfectly standing in their kitchen with their arms around each other, with matching pyjamas on, and immaculate lighting, whilst making hot chocolate on the stove. That’s not reality. But people are buying into this, and wondering how they can set up the perfectly staged picture during a family on vacation, what new part of their body they can show today, or what personal thing they can disclose to get attention online. It’s losing its authenticity.
- The online bullying: This whole post was inspired by Rini Frey from @ownitbabe deciding to step away from her business and Instagram account of 170K followers for her mental health. She was experiencing a lot of online bullying and criticism for her story and putting herself out there. I am proud of her for making that difficult decision, and I feel for her and what she went through. For now I am OK with the trolls, but it doesn’t make it OK. When statistics are showing that online bullying is increasing a teenagers odds of committing suicide by 100%, I wonder if this is something I want to be a part of and model to my daughter. It’s just something to consider.
So where do I go from here?
I know this is sounding all Negative Nancy when it comes to social media, but that’s not the case. Like I started with, I do love social media for certain aspects. I just want to do it on my own terms, and create an exit strategy for ways I can continue to share my message, communicate with my community and build a business online without it.
I’d love to know how social media has positively and/or negatively impacted your life below….
Ashley Dale Grant