Why I Am Quitting Social Media: A Confession (and a Challenge to You)
As of Monday, August 20, 2012, I am not logging into my social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, and Google+ will not be my playground. I have some blogging and social media management commitments to clients and partners (thus the post here) I will fulfill, but otherwise, I am going underground, silent, blacked out.
I Live Social – Maybe Too Much…
Shocking? Perhaps a little. To start, I am only committing to 30 days. This is my first adventure into digital holidays, so this is a trial run. I will see what works and what doesn’t and then adjust from there. I have no doubt I will incorporate this into an ongoing plan.
Needed? Most definitely. I am a digital marketing consultant who lives a social media life that none of my clients could ever commit to living. Yes, I have a rich offline life too, especially when compared to many of my colleagues. Beyond comparisons, though, I feel a real gap between my day-to-day experience and that of the people I serve.
The Crowd Reaction
Surprisingly, as I began to broadcast my digital blackout intent, very, very few people expressed anything other than encouragement and envy. Most of them nodded their heads, shared their experience of disconnecting as a way to nudge me on, or they gave me an encouraging “go for it, girl!”
Many people expressed exactly what I had already intuited – they love social but it has taken over their lives. They feel compelled and often unable to break free. They long to find a balance that works for business and also integrates into their offline personal world too.
But, But, But…WHY?
So, why am I doing this? I truly believe, as social media continues to grow in adoption, that many people will be faced with burnout, fatigue, addiction, and reality distortion. Social is so much fun and it can be a compulsion. But, more important, real people – people unlike me, who do not do social as their career – cannot engage constantly. They have other stuff to get done. I get that and I am committed to helping those people.
Walking Their Walk, Not Just Mine
As a consultant, I felt I had a professional duty to walk my clients’ walk, not just mine. I felt I should experience, first-hand, what it feels like to do social media well even when it is not your primary business function. I needed to examine the issue for myself, hands on, texting fingers off. So, I am clearing the decks to revise my approach.
My Personal Confession: Shift Happens
My life is currently in serious upheaval. My dad’s death a year ago has been the trigger for lots of shifting, reworking, and choosing again in all areas of my reality. Changes are flying at me at high speed, some good, some not as good, but all new. Even the things I’ve chosen deliberately are still uncharted territory with all the accompanying process adjustments that those changes bring. Shift happens.
New is Good…right?
When we’re lucky, new is always coming at us, giving us new customers, new projects, new friends, and more. Regardless, though, new sometimes causes delays, confusion, worry, and hiccups. I needed to pause a moment to take a metaphorical deep breath, and confirm my intention, goals, desires, and commitment.
I feel it is a healthy action in the midst of intense change to do this, so this is what me, sitting on a rock, looks like. *deep breath in, deep breath out*
Resetting a Brand
I am about to launch a radio show about the impact of social on our culture – technology, medicine, education, science, fashion, and more. I am moving from tactical strategy education to advocacy for the greater concepts of social living in our connected world.
This branding shift will allow my content topics to remain more evergreen, enable me to acquire better speaking gigs, and support my new media adventure. Going dark temporarily on social will allow me to better prepare for the next stage.
Real Life Point to Ponder
In business (and life!), I believe it’s good to periodically set aside some quiet and undisturbed time to analyze your practices and reconnect with your purpose, your techniques, and your goals. If you haven’t tried it, I’d be curious to know why not. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
How do you do an all systems body check? How do you encourage your clients or organization to reflect and renew? And, how can you really pause if you’re going a gadzillion miles an hour and never put your cell phone down? Short answer – you can’t. Sometimes it pays to step away from the keyboard.
Invitation to Walk With Me
I sincerely hope I retain a loyal and committed fan base during this downtime. I am excited about what’s coming. I also truly desire to be a living example, to share what I learn, to be a leader going into the wilderness first to cut a path toward a better social life.
So, this is my story and I am sticking to it. Maybe it is grandiose, but it’s where I am. I thank you for all your support and invite you to walk with me into the future. Wanna come along?
Til next time!
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
p.s. If you want to get in touch, go to my LinkedIn profile – my email and phone number is there. Call me – I still do voice.
[graphic by //sugar]