What I’ve learned after 10 weeks off social media
The first 8 weeks off social media turned out to be pretty easy. I had behind the scenes type of work to be done, I was sick for a few weeks as well. I was able to pull away from engaging with people during those weeks without much trouble. The last few weeks life has been very different, here’s how:
Art business: I’ve felt a bit of a disconnect from my clients, I’ll admit. This is my slow part of the year so this happens every year to some extent. The holidays are full of connection, stories, orders, custom work. Then mid January things slow down for a time. I used to panic a bit during this time, now I’ve learned to enjoy this slow down and use it really productively. I work on the manufacturing side of my business, I create ornaments for next year, design new images, and clean up and catch up on all my accounting and bookkeeping. Taxes, studio organizing, and making goals for the new year fills up this time and helps me take a break and align for the next 9-10 months again.
I’ve missed being able to share simple things, and interact with people on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve had to come to a place in my mind where the quiet is okay and welcome it. Feeling out of the loop is going to be the normal for this year and that’s okay I’ve told myself. Instead of focusing on the downsides I’m consistently reminding myself of the positives. During the quiet I can dig deeper emotionally, it brings more opportunity to reflect and sit in my feelings. These can be great pieces of the artist’s creative process.
I’m working with several business coaches behind the scenes and working on breaking my patterns of what I’ve called my lazy social media marketing. I want to dig deeper, grow my business with intention and really reach people on a broad scale. In order to do that I think I’ll back and really be glad I took a deep breath and a step back from the noise portion of social media.
Here is a sneak peek at my updated color pencil work area:
Personal Life: Up until a couple weeks ago I would have said this part was easy. I’ve seen many family members and text back and forth with friends. Even gone out and hung out a few times with friends. However late February we received word my Grandpa had a heart attack. This was followed by 8-9 days of family sitting with him around the clock as he faced his final days. He was 94 and had some other underlying health issues, he probably wouldn’t have made it through the surgery to try to fix his heart. So we focused on comfort care and surrounding him with love.
I live 35 minutes away from where he was staying during these final days so I was able to stay overnight with him a handful of times as well as visit almost every day. Since I was there visiting with family and relatives so often that had flown in and drove over I had forgot about the social media side of an event like this. It wasn’t until later I realized that in our private family facebook group people were posting updates, sharing photos, asking questions. Social media was a gift for a time like this for much of the family that was not close by. I think I was able to be more fully in the moment and just sit with my own feelings more since I didn’t have social media to update though. I didn’t spend time sharing what was happening, I didn’t spend time answering questions or talking online. I was 100% emotionally and mentally wherever I was. This was a gift also. So for my own needs, I’m glad I was off social media. However for other’s I fully recognize it’s value and am grateful they were able to be in the loop of all that was happening as it happened.
A few days after my Grandpa had passed I did have to reactivate my Facebook account for an hour or so. There was a certain photo that I needed from my stored photos for his funeral. Once I found this photo and a few other relevant images I deactivated my account again. This again made me grateful that I had so many photos stored there from through the last decade. I thought I had save most of them to my computer before I deactivated at the beginning of the year but I must not have.
Mental health: I’ve noticed a huge shift over the last 10 weeks as I’ve been able to have a calmness and clarity that I’d been missing. This is something that I couldn’t fully put my finger on before but I can see it so clearly now. Having a 4 month old puppy has really added a lot of chaos to our days, more than I expected. He’s potty trained well but right now it’s more of a barking or chewing things stage we’re in. It required more of me and I’m glad I have the extra energy to put into this time.
Family and marriage: I think overall this will continue to evolve. Right now I notice myself having more patience. I’m not looking at my phone often or having most of my conversations from my computer. This isn’t just a social media thing, but oddly after I got off social media I stopped wanting to be at my computer so much. This is a shift. I notice in my marriage more too that I’m fully there. My mind isn’t bogged with what every person I know is doing so it leaves me much more refreshed to have full conversations and time with my husband.
That is a general summary of where I”m at after 10 weeks. I’m trying to be really open to honestly analyzing and not get on a soapbox either for or against social media. It’s helpful I think though to hear how someone else is experiencing it, especially if you’re debating taking a break yourself.
Let me know if you have any questions.