For ten years I have cultivated my social media presence. Early on, I realized that I could either do 'picture perfect' snapshots of our life, or, I could present authenticity with a goal of extending love.
I erred on the side of authentic, and enjoyed re-connecting with friends from elementary school on up to my boarding school days. What a gift to have had a chance at a do-over in many respects. My early life was marred by my untreated attention deficit disorder, and all the resulting social faux pa's that came along with it! Eek!
From the business side, as Price English Marketing Group grew, I spent more and more time on social media, promoting client's products and services. Just when I would get a process in place, the algorithms would change and systems would update, and I'd have to start all over. Most of my clients are micro-businesses or small businesses with very tight budgets, so that added to the challenge of keeping up with multi-million dollar competitors. Managing both my personal social media accounts and client social media accounts was becoming an impossible task. It is apparent to me that I have to focus on client accounts over my own if I want to provide the best service possible.
In order to stay authentic, I need to quit social media and kiss instagram goodbye.
Annually, I have taken a short personal social media break, and found it to be restful, but this year, I actually stepped away from my clients as well and took a leave of absence. My experiences have led me to the conclusion that in order stay authentic, I need to quit social media and kiss instagram goodbye.
Why I am Quitting Social Media:
1. I can invest my time in me, my family, my personal relationships, OR, I can invest in social media. Realistically, I can not invest fully in my life AND social media.
2. Social media leads to me compromising my personal integrity. My goal in all interactions is to be loving. Especially in the last year or two, I found myself being backed into a corner of either being honest about my personal beliefs or staying silent.
3. I need to spend more time enjoying each moment - rather than trying to catch it on camera. At the perfect angle, in the perfect light... You've been there, you know what I mean. (Let's take that candid shot again! ...and again... Wait, one more time, we almost have it!...)
4. As I simplify and de-clutter my physical space, I also want to de-clutter the information, opinions, and 'news' that comes into my brain as well. The psychological 'noise' of social media input is depressing, anxiety-filled, overwhelming, and exhausting.
5. Social media is a natural comparison trap, and even as I am aware not to be sucked in, it siphons precious energy and spiritual awareness away from more important aspects of my life.
Just as our cluttered homes can have a negative impact on our emotions, the psychological 'noise' of social media input can be depressing, anxiety-filled, overwhelming, and exhausting .
6. My top reason? I need to get out of the way.
For years I have shared my faith journey on social media as a way to encourage others and bring light to a world that needs to know they are cherished, valued, and loved by the God who created them and the Savior who died for them.
But am I encouraging my friends and acquaintances to experience God for themselves, or are they too busy reading my social media posts and looking at my photos?
For the most part, I no longer read development or improvement books. I just don't have time to do that AND read my bible, journal, pray, and listen. Even now, as I am enjoying a book by Susie Larson (who I LOVE) I am constantly being reminded that it is more important to read my bible than it is to read Susie.
So, my last reason for quitting social media and kissing instagram goodbye is because I want to model what it looks like to focus on building a real relationship with Jesus - and it only comes from reading the bible and praying and silence and other very personal activities that are unique to each of us.
Am I reading ABOUT God, or am I EXPERIENCING God?....
I still have some pages on facebook that I administer, so I'll be on once in a while. My internet 'reach' will be limited to my blogging, my Google+ photos and the Real Life w/Roz google community, and email.
Are you still here?? Wow, thanks for hanging in there. Here's my last thought. I'm going to call it. I think that in the years to come, we are going to see more and more folks like me, who for varying personal reasons step away from the madness of social media. What used to be community has in many ways turned into a business - for our data, for our details, for our full psychological profiles - and I think this next generation is going to be far too savvy (and exhausted!) to allow it to continue.
I'd like to leave you with this anecdote that encapsulates every reason I have for appreciating social media, but also for quitting. Dale and I have never met. We connected on facebook through a mutual acquaintance, and after years of waving 'hello' online, last week she sent me a random private message to tell me she was in town.
'Come over!' I wrote to her. 'I want to pray with you.' And she did. We sat at my kitchen table, with my mom, and we talked and prayed. She shared a book with me, and I shared one with her. When she left, I thought to myself - 'That was far more rewarding than any facebook entry, any blog post, any 'comment' I have ever written.'
The invitation is always there my friends - come over. I want to pray with you. Talk to you. Listen to you. Share a cup of tea.
I am quitting social media and kissing instagram goodbye because I want to be fully present in my life.
'Come over. I want to pray with you.'
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)