If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have noticed that I recently deactivated all my social media accounts. The reasons are many and unimportant, but I’ve learned a few things from my time away.
1. I was becoming addicted to social media
I would look at Facebook and Instagram first thing in the morning and last thing at night – I was interacting with my friends and fans more than I interacted with my family. That’s no good for me and no good for them. I have become more present and available to my children and my husband, and become a lot calmer. I was becoming a ‘cranky old woman’ because of discussions that I observed in Facebook groups.
I have also been spending far too much time posting about current projects and things I want to do, and not enough time actually doing them and making them happen. In particular, my poor old blog was getting much neglected because I was constantly posting to Instagram.
2. Social Media is a very selective beast
What we see of others on social media is exactly what they want us to see, no more. It’s very easy to think that someone’s polished life that they display via their Facebook or Instagram page is how their life always is when nine times out of ten that’s of course not the case.
3. I wanted more – I was becoming discontent with my current life
I found that I was seeing so many beautiful fabrics, as well as seeing the lives others were leading and wanting to have their life rather than mine. This led me to not being content with what I currently have. Now, in terms of personal and business development it’s always good to strive to be and do better but that’s not what I’m talking about. I was chatting to a lovely friend the other day who was saying a similar thing – it’s so easy to look at what other people have and decide that what you have isn’t good enough. I’m very blessed to have some lovely fabrics, a loving family and a business which is building into exactly what I want it to be and so I want to be content with what I have.
4. The trap of social media is that you think you’re interacting with people when actually you’re not
When you see people post on social media multiple times a week, it’s easy to think you’re interacting with them and that in turn can lead to forgetting to actually write to them or call them. As well as introducing you to people you would otherwise have never met, social media can actually alienate you from friends and family and it has the potential to damage existing relationships.
5. Over-sharing is easy
No one really wants to know that you had Vegemite on your toast for breakfast this morning. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of sharing EVERYTHING on social media – this also led me to be a grumpy old woman as I would post to Facebook about things that had got my goat as well as the fun stuff. If you have something negative to say about someone, say it to them, not the whole world via social media.
6. I have made some real and beautiful friendships through social media – genuine friendships with people I haven’t yet met in real life
There are some special people who I really miss not ‘chatting’ to each day. I’ve contacted one or two of them but there are a couple who I haven’t yet. One of the joys of social media is that it gives you the opportunity to meet people you would never otherwise have met.
So, where to from here?
I’m not gone for good – Vine Lines 2.0 will be launching very soon. While I’m away I’m working on some ideas for my quilting and virtual assistant practices – ideas that will combine both too I hope! I have a renewed enthusiasm for what I can achieve with hard work and courage and I’m thankful to the people who have believed in me and helped me get to this point – it’s onward and upward from here.
Until then, Happy Quilting 🙂