It’s been years now since I first opened my facebook account. It was so much fun, that initial phase of discovering friends and family over the Internet, people I haven’t seen or heard from in years, that it seemed to be an almost personal website. I couldn’t believe it! I could share pictures, stories, quotes, thoughts, ideas; whatever I wanted, with my closest and even long-lost (and some forgotten) acquaintances friends! I was HOOKED! How cool was this!? I also remember having a conversation with another “newly discovered” patron of FB, about how addicting it was! Right from the start… I. Was. In. And then…it became very impersonal. 🙁
I don’t recall precisely when I started to feel overwhelmed, irritated, and ready to jump off that social train, but it took some time, to be sure. It was probably when all of the ads started popping up in my newsfeed, or an election or something “big” (or not-so-big) happened to turn me off. It could’ve been the first time Joe mentioned in conversation that I wasn’t listening to him or I was distracted…I don’t remember exactly, but it was something like that. I remember having talks with friends and stating that I was SICK of FB, but I continued to be sucked in by it every.singe.hour.day. I felt ridiculous about it. And then I started reading articles from brilliant people talking about presence and mindfulness; what it means, what it takes to give someone/something your FULL attention. And I quickly realized that I had a “problem” with social media, Facebook in particular.
So I decided to take a “break”; I deleted the FB app off my phone. I even considered disabling it, but by this time I had created a business page, and I wasn’t “allowed” to disable my personal FB page if I wanted to keep the business page. “Ridiculous!” I thought. Facebook was clever. They know how to keep you coming back for more. So with no FB app on my phone, I was finally gonna be FREE!
Ahhhh….but guess what? That’s right, I still had Internet on my phone, and all I had to do was convince myself I was only going to get on the browser for a second to see who had tagged me in a post; I mean, it must be important if they took the time out to tag me! And so it began…down the rabbit hole… again. It was like a bad dream I couldn’t wake up from. I could not get away from FB! So after a short while, I put it back on my phone, to make life “easier.” I think I had to (according to FB rules) to do something I felt important- which I’m sure, WASN’T (for example a live video MUST be done from the app, or at least at that time it was required.)
It seems as though I’ve been repeating this pattern for years, and years, and keep expecting a different result! Now I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of insanity (or at least how I’ve heard it!) Delete, surf, add back. Delete, surf, add back, repeat, repeat, repeat. A never-ending cycle. I truly “hate” the way It makes me feel; imprisoned, addicted, and most importantly not in control of my own attention and time! I also didn’t like the feeling of always being sold to.
I’m probably painting a picture that isn’t quite the way it is, even for me. I have been making a conscious effort to be fully present for months and months now when I’m in the company of other people, especially aware of it since Joe mentioned how distracted I always seem to be (even though I don’t agree with always.) I have my phone on silent, and notifications have been turned off (for a long time).
However, I started to notice that most of my friends/family were NOT (are not) fully present when we’re together. I began to understand Joe’s complaint. Who really wants to have a conversation with someone and have them pulled away from you by a ding on their phone. You’re either with me, or you’re not (and vice-versa). And that’s the truth. I understand from years of reading my favorite authors and self-care books, that all we really want to know, as human beings are: “Do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I matter?” And when you have your phone in your hand, the moment, the JOY that was being experienced just by being in your company, is gone. Lost. And there’s no getting that moment back. And now I can see that in fact, I’m not that important to you, and I know I don’t honestly matter. (That is the message anyway, that comes through loud and clear.)
And then the other day something amazing happened! I read an article titled, “An Act of Radical Self-Care” and my world turned upside down! This was a woman, who like me, was tired of social media, but still wanted to be social. To make a long story short, she started the process of completely disabling her social media accounts…and she too had a business! (I keep telling myself the only reason I’m on FB now, is that I have-to-be because of that FB “rule.”) Well, this article made me sit up and pay attention! I had a serious AHA moment! I immediately knew that this would be my path as well. I was going to (am going to) gain the courage after the first of the year to completely delete FB and leave it for good.
I am tired of being force-fed articles, negativity, opinions (that don’t matter to me), drama and propaganda, and I am the only one allowing it to happen. Quite honestly, I’m tired of being “sold” to. I understand that we are business and to make money, we do have to sell our product. However, I never want to be one of those slimy feeling businesses that are force-feeding ads into your newsfeed, etc. We want a real connection with our customers. That’s why we love traveling and doing shows; we get to meet all of you! And Facebook is just not the platform for us.
Day in and day out I am responsible for my choices. And yes, I realize there’s a lot of good and positive messages on FB as well, but still, it’s just become a time-sucker, for me. So it’s time to stop the madness! This article made me take a step back and ask myself some big questions: What exactly is FB doing for me? How is serving my greater good? Who am I really connected to? What is it I intend to learn there that I can’t acquire somewhere else? I realize now that we will carry on business as usual just fine without it.
So from now on, this is where you’ll find us. On the blog (the goal is to write more!) and in your inbox if you’re subscribed, and we hope you are, via the newsletter and the occasional IG post. That’s it. I heard someone say the other day that FB is like a jealous boyfriend; if you post (for example) a YouTube video, it will not be served to many of your “friends” in their newsfeed, BECAUSE FB wants to keep you on FB. They don’t want you running down the rabbit hole of YouTube- they want to keep you for themselves. Brilliant! And the truth is, Facebook has become a marketing tool, and that’s really all it is. Yes, you can connect to people, but mostly it’s a marketing tool. And I’m opting out.
So, if you want to know where we’ll be, it’ll be on our events calendar. There will be more time and focus on new products, and offerings because there is going to be so much time freed up to do what I LOVE to do; create. I won’t have to spend two/three hours googling why my link won’t work on FB, or how to reach more people, or WHY FB says my ad isn’t compliant with their policies or how to reach more people through an ad or buying yet another course to teach me how to use social media for business. We have our OWN website, and we intend to use it. I am over the FOMO (fear of missing out). I am no longer buying what the facebook world is selling. I intend to be social right here. And I hope you’ll stick around to witness first hand, what real freedom feels like (for me!)
Thank you, Tammy Strobel, for your article, “An Act of Radical Self-Care,” featured in Bella Grace magazine. You have turned my world upside down! And at the perfect time of year. Nothing but gratitude. Thank YOU for having the courage to lead the way. I’m following!
We are fully aware that this is not the way MOST of the world is thinking or doing (especially in business) and we’re perfectly fine with that. We intend to prove to only ourselves that it. Can. Be. Done. I am no longer fearful of DELETING accounts because that’s “not what everyone else is doing.” We are now in full alignment with our purpose and our flow, no more fighting the current of the heart. We’ve always made our own rules as we go along, and this will be no different. I can’t wait to see what I have time for now! YIPPPPEEEE!!!!
There are two visuals exercises that have helped me; they may help you too:
- I pictured myself carrying a desktop computer around with me AT ALL TIMES- of course, that would be ridiculous, and the ridiculousness of it is precisely what helped. A lot! Who in the world would do that? No one! Yet, that is just what it feels like I’m doing… walking around with a computer in my hands (or pocket) all. day. long.
- I pictured carrying a person, a grown adult, around on my hip ALL DAY. A baby on your hip all day is one thing, but again, an adult… ridiculous! But that’s what it feels like when I’m giving someone (anyone) my attention whenever that phone dings. Not even my kids deserve my constant attention (they are all grown), and there’s only been one emergency that I can recall. Everything is figuroutable (thanks for that Marie Forleo), whether they can reach me or not, they’ll find a way, or they can wait until I am available and we can talk. (btw…does anyone talk anymore?)
I would love to hear your feedback. Do you just love social media and can’t imagine being without it? Or are you like me, ready to jump off that train? Leave a comment below, if you’d like, and let’s start a conversation. 🙂