Warning: this post contains a lot of words. If you really want to know my personal thoughts on social media and online presence, don’t skip any of them. Focus, young Yedi. You can do it.
Simplyfing my life – again
I could go on about why I don’t like Facebook and how I can’t stop checking feeds and that I have too many accounts on too many services because of various sideprojects…
But why complain when I can actually do something about it. Let’s go through this together, shall we?
I love social media. There. I’ve met some amazing people because of it. But I really really don’t like the fact that it’s keeping me from focussing, exploring, really connecting, and it’s generally making me feel restless.
Boredom is good for me. No, really. Out of boredom comes creativity. It needs to feel a little uncomfortable. I’ll be the first to admit that staring at a blank page doesn’t get me anywhere. But continually checking feeds and posting prevents me from even trying to experiment. From looking at the small things which inspire me. From exploring.
Sure, people do social media detoxes. Some even go cold turkey alltogether and go live in the wilderness (allright, exaggerating a little).
I already quit Vine and Tadaa: remember when we all wanted to quit Instagram because Facebook bought it. But in the end we couldn’t because we LOVE Instagram. But we signed up for lots of other services just in case.
Flickr offered a special free pro membership for a while and we could easily upload all our Instagram photos to Flickr and then just stay there. Yes, I did. Just. In. Case.
I still have a Flickr account, but in a ‘Simplify your life!’ spree, I removed all my images there (sigh). So why can’t I get myself to permanently delete the account? And, by doing so, also leave Yahoo.
And oh hello Google+ Want to connect? Um, no not really. But yes I have two accounts there as well. Just in case…
Gmail… yes. That too. Because you don’t want to give your ‘real’ email address to just anyone, right?
Etsy Teams are really good, super nice people there. But I joined too many and so I quit most of them. And started getting a little more active in the ones I actually like. Connecting, focussing. Great. Want to do more of that.
I stopped selling through my Etsy Mouseblossomvintage shop so I could focus more on my other Mouseblossom shop. It hurt (I love vintage!), but it was a good decision. Packing orders and promoting two shops took up too much time. But somehow I’m still not to focused enough. The empty shop account is still there. Just in case…
So this week will be about deleting (if at all possible: ever tried leaving social media services?!?) some if not all of my ‘just in case’ accounts. I’ll let you know how that went.
To be honest, I signed up for a lot of services just to prevent the name Mouseblossom (and the names of other sideprojects) from being used by someone else. But now that I’m famous you’ll be able to tell wether it’s me or not, right? *coughs*
Email. Oh boy.
Last year my husband and I combined our two seperate businesses into ‘one easy to manage’ company. With a new name. And a new website. It’s still two people (and sometimes some extra help) sharing an office and doing pretty much the same work, but with less costs. Smart.
Having said that, I’m still busy removing and/or replacing my old email adressess with the new ones. It was an eyeopener to see where I was leaving my email adressess and for how many things I actually signed up. And all the passwords!
I started cleaning up programms, apps, document sharing services, blogs, newsletters, memberships, etcetera. The whole thing. But as I said, a year later I’m still at it. Wow. Will be much more picky from now on.
Did those for a while. But I love writing in English so this year I stopped adding Dutch. And no one complained. So good decision if you ask me. Check.
Anyway (see how difficult it is for me to focus?), I started this post with ‘I don’t like Facebook’. So why don’t I just leave? I already left a Dutch Facebook-like service called Hyves for Facebook years ago. I never looked back.
I know Facebook keeps people from seeing my Page’s posts, because I don’t pay them. Really don’t Like that, but fair enough.
I have access to FOUR(!) Facebook Pages and a personal page. Two of them are ‘just in case’ Pages.
My personal page is a way for Friends and Family to keep in touch. But they can stay in touch with me in other ways too, if they want to. I will miss keeping up with their lives through Facebook photos and messages though… Feels a little like telling people that I don’t care, but I do.
I admit to a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out). So I have to go through ALL the feeds. Sigh.
So, and this hurts a little, I will be quitting Facebook alltogether!
It’s such a relief to have finally made this decision (but yes, it also feels somewhat sad).
No. I use WordPress. End of story. I won’t be looking into any new platforms soon. I don’t have the time.
So which services do I love?
Instagram (4 accounts!) and Twitter (narrowed it down to 2 accounts). Plus I have a mild Pinterest addiction, which I actually like (don’t judge me). Won’t be leaving those any time soon. Hoping to connect with you there.
And the FOMO thing: I don’t follow a lot of people, but I’m INTERESTED in the people I follow. All caps. I don’t want to skip over your posts. I wouldn’t want you to skip over mine (I like to pretend you read everything I post, just leave me with that, I’m fine).
Social media, for me, isn’t about getting as many Likes as possible. It’s about connecting with people. Of course we can’t possibly connect to 20k people (anyone else doesn’t like the term ‘followers’ or am I nitpicking again?) at a personal level. But we can make our social media interactions more meaningful by paying attention, being interested, noticing if someone is having a hard time and commenting (social media can be a lonely thing for some people). By just being kind.
Hey, you made it to the end of my post. Well done, you! Because that’s another thing checking too many feeds does: it can prevent us from focussing on long stretches of text. Sometimes I just can’t be asked. What if I miss all the other things that people are posting! Ugh.
Reading books* helps to focus my mind. It calms me right down. Once I get past the FOMO-induced shaking and freaking out part. I love books with loooong sentences. Looking forward to reading more of those.
And to discover and create new things, and to good times with family and friends.
Do let me know your thoughts on how you ‘cope’ with social media (or on how I spelled Jedi with a ‘Y’: left that in to see if you were paying attention all the way to the end of this post ;)) in the comments! I’m INTERESTED.
* I was lucky enough to go see HH the Dalai Lama in Rotterdam yesterday! Andrea had an extra ticket, emailed me if I wanted to join her and a few hours later we were on a train to Rotterdam. We had a wonderful time.
Oh yes, back to the reason why I put a * after ‘books’: HH also pointed out that reading (in contrast to checking feeds) is good for training your brain, especially your memory and focus. So there. But of course you knew that already ;)