What’s Life Like Without Social Media?


sLast month, my book club met at a relatively new beer garden in San Jose. We talked about the book (Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club) and life, and drank beers and ate dinner. No one posted on Instagram, sent a Snapchat, or tweeted. Each person was engaged in real life.

Now for some readers, this might be everyday life. However, for me, as a digital business owner and especially coming from Chicago where most of my friends were bloggers, the book club meeting felt as if I had finally gotten back to real life.

During my sabbatical process and rebrand, a study came out that said Instagram and Snapchat are awful for young people’s mental health (source). I started looking at those around me who were active on social media and those who weren’t. Those who do things without thinking twice of getting a picture or taking a video. To engage in an experience for the fun of it and without the need (and self-inflicted obligation) to post something.

Cell-phone use and links to stress dependency (source).

This dependence on cell phones and other methods of communicating often leads to a “double-bind” with users feeling stressed over needing to be available at all times as well as feeling disoriented when that contact is no longer available.

Make Social Media Work for Me

As I’m observing the wellness of my friends and these studies came out, I started to think how it would be so nice to leave social media. Unfortunately, my business relies inherently on social media. So, I decided I needed to make it work for me. For the last half of this year, I’m trying a few different approaches:

  • Instagram posts: Once a day, Monday-Thursday. Fridays and weekends tend to get little engagement. While my blog focuses on technical tutorials, I plan to use Instagram to showcase more personal elements of my brand, behind the scenes and studio work.
  • Facebook: I’m scaling this back to be more intentional with the posts. I use to use Meet Edgar. While being active all the time without thinking about it had its benefits. It was not me. Instead, I’m determined to post more intentional introductions into my blog content and studio work. I’m also limiting my Facebook group use. I find that most of those groups have a race-to-the-bottom mentality. You could be an expert in a field; you have no legitimacy in the comments. I find groups particularly toxic. Despite this, I started a private Facebook group for just owners of my themes. It’s simply for support and disseminating technical information. No prompts or promotions. Just tech announcements and answers to questions.
  • Twitter is it relevant anymore. A sixth of Twitter users are bots. Compared to Instagram and Facebook, it has a significantly smaller user base. However, Twitter is useful to promote information that is happening now. So with this platform, I’m taking a fewer but better approach and using it to share articles.
  • I will always be a Pinterest-whore, so not much is changing on that field. Pinning frequently and content that inspires me. So much of my Pinterest profile uses automation that I can’t see it make a huge impact on my overall stress level.

Do you have social media stress? If so, how do you make it work for your business and your life?

Studio Stories is a weekly series where I share essays related my personal life as a digital business owner and designer. These posts are not your typical, on-trend blog posts. Instead, they are part of a personal project where I’m exploring the storytelling nature of blogging. 

Social Media Stress