Why I’ve Decided to Quit Social Media in 2022
Since the ‘pandemonium’ started, the way I’ve used social media both personally, and for business has changed beyond recognition.
Endless algorithm updates, favouring short form over long form content, constant changes to the interface, and increasing pressure to lean into short-form video content - Long story short is I’m TIRED of it.
And, as a marketing platform, it’s no longer reliably translating to sales and clients (for me) to the degree that it used to.
In early March 2022, I emailed my community with the subject line “I’m seriously considering quitting...” - clickbait alert amirite? 😆
The response was WILD. I received a wave of email replies, and a ton of voice notes - many with words of affirmation and encouragement, and a handful of (very smart and valid) warnings.
Replying to messages and hearing myself talk about it out loud confirmed what I knew in my gut. This IS my next step forward. I am quitting social media.
This isn’t the first time I’ve gone “Cold Turkey”
This summer it’ll be 5 years since I quit drinking alcohol and became a super rad sober person.
Giggly afternoons that turned into raucous evenings. The clink of ice in a G+T. Condensation running down a glass of rose. Cigarettes shared. Secrets divulged in a club bathroom. It was all so fun.
Until it wasn’t any more.
Waking up with missing keys and an empty wallet. Mystery bruises and memory gaps. Tsunamis of next-day shame. “Hang-xiety”. Flaky friendships and superficial connections. And spending too many weekends (and Mondays, and Tuesdays…) feeling like absolute crap-o-la.
So I drew a line in the sand and quit.
What started out as “the rest of the year off” is now approaching 5 years. Since quitting drinking and going sober for good, my life has infinitely improved. I know I’ll never go back.
And right now, it’s giving me the courage quit again. Only this time, I’m quitting social media.
Here are a few of my reasons:
It’s getting exhausting
All that effort faffing with captions, hashtags, images, branded colouring the text on a story, fiddling with a reel or TikTok video, then painstakingly correcting the auto-generated captions - only for it all to be gone in 2 days? Nah. I’m kinda done.
This risk is all too real
I just had my account restricted during a crucial post-event period. The reason? Messaging “too many” people to double-check they got the replay. It’s rolling the dice.
It’s affecting my brain and my mood
I feel like it’s making me less smart and more anxious. I used to be sharper than this, I swear. My memory is affected. My attention span is getting worse. My thinking is getting murky. I’m less sure of myself.
The constant pressure to comment on, acknowledge, or advocate for every topic, news item, or cause.
Even when I’m either not fully informed, am not ready or inclined to talk about a topic openly - or it's simply not relevant to sales and small business.
You wouldn’t leave your hairdresser or nail tech a snipey Google review when they don’t ~at least acknowledge~ what’s going on in the world - and yet having an active Instagram or Facebook account means you’re held to a different standard.
I can have much more impact in the world when I’m not under pressure to ‘perform’ a certain kind of activism for a bunch of people I’ve never met.
I don’t want to give Zuck any more coin
I’ve decided that I’ve funded Facebook for the last time. I’ve paid him plenty over the years, and the more I see, the less I like where my money is going. We’ll be doubling down on our affiliate program this year. I’d much rather pay my community than Mark.
This new metaverse stuff is creeping me out
And I’m just as dubious about what the implications of TikTok ownership might mean down the line. Social media apps are designed to be extremely addictive and leverage social triggers, and I’m starting to worry more and more about my being complicit in that.
It’s umm… tbh not really working as well as before!
Meaning posting on social media and using DMs is no longer translating to sales as reliably as it used to - and is nowhere near as effective as our email marketing.
In April 2020 I launched a new £500 product by social media ONLY and made almost 50 sales in just 3 days... it was wild. Now, I struggle to even appear in people’s feeds. I used to steadily get 1500 views on stories - now I’m lucky to get 100.
Long-form ‘storytelling’ style posts and carousels just aren’t favoured as well as short form video, memes, and one-liners. I’m not willing to rebrand my visuals every five seconds just to keep up with design trends gradients, dark and grainy/blurry photos, and fluoro fonts... I’ve no interest in constantly updating my ~aesthetic~ just to be seen.
It’s simply bad business sense to keep pouring time and resources into a marketing pillar that doesn’t deliver results, so I’m going to follow the advice I always give my clients and students - “Double down on what’s working, and either adjust or let go of what isn’t”
And just think of all that extra TIME
I can’t help but get chills when I picture what we could do with all those hours and all that bandwidth back…
- More time for blogging
- More time for podcasting
- More time for emailing
- More time for networking
- More time for hosting events and get togethers
- More time for... a whole host of other (more fruitful) sales and marketing activities
- Let alone all the time for non-work-related stuff 😊
I’ve never felt clearer and more confident about a business decision. This feels like the right move for me, for Squirm-Free School of Business, and for my community.
I’m still hashing out my action plan, but it’s my goal to be “off” by the end of the month (March 2022) - watch this space!
Further Reading and Resources for either moving off or getting smarter with Social Media:
🔬 What social media does to your brain - Spoiler alert: It ain’t good. Internet use is changing the way we store and access memories, make decisions, and our social cognition.
🎨 Leonie Dawson’s “Marketing without Social Media” class - They quit all social media almost a year ago now and run a 7-figure business. I’m feeling pretty inspired.
🧠 Frances from The Social Brain’s entire content catalogue - She understands the pressure and strain that solopreneurs and small teams are under and her pragmatic approach makes it all feel so much more achievable
🔮 Emma Shoesmith’s “No Social Media Marketing Method” free mini course - It kicks off with a delicious audio training to loosen the digital ‘grip’
🎙 My recent podcast chat with Vix Meldrew - We had a pretty honest conversation about the challenges presented by social in 2022, and she shares so many practical, ready-to-implement tips in this episode