I, along with my partner and another couple, went to Iceland for five days this past June. I took 400 pictures with my Iphone. I just couldn’t get enough photos of this hard to describe landscape that satisfied my soul completely.
My travel companions concurred with well over 2000 pictures between the four of us. Though it wasn’t a conscious decision, I made no posts on any social media. Let me preface this by saying that I mostly use social media for my business and since my name is my business sometimes my personal experiences weave through the posts I make. Not one post. I barely checked my email.
The Quiet of Iceland
What I noticed while I was in magical Iceland was the quiet. Iceland is remarkably quiet. It wasn’t that it was soundless, the sound was just different, calmer. Maybe it was because I was, too, and I began realizing how fragmented my insides had become because of all of my participation in the sport of posting and hash tagging. I can only describe it as staticky. My core has felt sizzly and disrupted and taking an unintended break from all social media changed that.
I had a sense of calm inside me that I haven’t felt for many years now and I quickly became hungry for more. So upon returning from our trip, I removed all social media apps from my phone. And I vowed that I would make an attempt to control my time, rather than social media making its way into the precious hours of my day. This was on June 20, and I have all of a sudden, found myself with vast amounts of time on my hands.
Social Media Disruption
I use social media to post my writings and to add some information from my business. I can easily do this when I sit down at my computer. I am much more organized when I deliberately sit down to do work. The phone for many of us has become like an extended part of our arms and we seem to be at its beck and call rather than the opposite.
Social media has become a staple for business owners. I am aware that customers learn about products and then buy the products after seeing the posts. But social media doesn’t serve my constitution; it actually makes my insides feel fragmented. I am not talking about emotion, for the most part, posts don’t affect my mental state; I am talking about my core.
As usual, I have no science to back up what I say here, I only have the science of my own body and what I know is I feel different, better, clearer. That is all the evidence I need. As I discussed this with my partner, he said what typically is the response as I continue to talk about this. “But don’t you need this for your business? Don’t you make money from your posts?” Probably. But I also make money from leading a life that aligns both my insides and outsides. I speak the truth wholeheartedly and every single time I have gone on social media for my business it hasn’t felt like I have been speaking my truth.
On social media, I seldom feel joy and my truth is to feel joy whenever possible. To live the life I am living while I am living. In order for me to continue running a successful business, I can’t let it run me. Social media feels like it controls my time and time feels fragile and sparse. And it is not always about the money, actually it is always about intention.
Follow Your Inner Compass
As I age at a rate that I can’t fathom, a rate that feels accelerating, I question and dive into my intentions at every turn. I spoke to a nationally known executive coach at a dinner with friends the other evening. We had a lovely impromptu conversation about how we get business, and how our businesses have evolved over the years. She was nine years older than me and said her business is word of mouth. She made an excuse for her self-described “less than perfect website”, and zero participation on social media. I liked her immediately.
We spoke about integrity of business owning. What makes a business owner tick, what drives us. We made eye contact in a most noisy restaurant setting and it felt delicious meeting a new like minded woman trying to navigate life, and work and reflecting back on decisions we made as young mothers.
What I took away from our talk was the importance of following my own compass. I have always done this for my business even if the world is screaming not to. When I go off course because of the latest and greatest, I am usually disappointed in my decision. The social implications of social media is the irony and anti social aspect.
I am of the thought process that what comes at me should give me a positive feeling, good energy and this I realize is different for each person. What I had observed unwittingly about my behavior with social media is the draw, the temptation to check the results of my posts, the likes, the shares. What I realized in this process is that it is mostly bullshit. It makes us strapped to the phones constantly checking, scrolling, watching results. This is not good for me.
Perhaps I will lose business, lose engagement, lose people paying attention to my brand. But it just doesn’t seem humanly possible as basically a one woman show running my business these days to keep up with posting, emailing, phones, blogs, ordering, scheduling and all of the other moving parts that make up the daily joys of small business owning. So I look towards the elements of my business after 24 years of entrepreneurship that give me fulfillment. Social media loses every time.
Make a Personal Connection
So if you aren’t seeing me posting and commenting like I used to, it means I am waiting for you to stop by for a visit, a walk in the garden, a visit to my soon to open Typewriter Museum, an impromptu conversation on my porch over a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea. You may need to read an email to see what is going on in the brain of Alayne so that my brain stays clear and happy.
Email or call anytime, would love to see you in person. This is the best form of social engagement.