I've been thinking about this for a really long time. Months, probably. What would happen if I decided to run my business completely free of social media? Everyone says social media is a MUST for business owners, and I agreed for a long time. Social media is really my only form of marketing, other than e-newsletters and word-of-mouth. Because of this, I felt compelled to post something daily, to make sure I had just the right photo with just the right hashtags. I would devote so much time each day, numerous hours a week, to crafting a social media image for my business. And then I had to spend time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, interacting with other users so that these posts that I had devoted so much time and effort to would even be seen. To be honest, that part wasn't so bad. My intention here is NOT to bash social media. There's something to be said for being able to connect with all types of people in all parts of the world who share your interests, beliefs, and values. What I didn't like was that I was becoming a slave to it. Hours of time were vanishing from my week. Precious hours that I will never get back. My kids are still little (they are 4 and 6 now), but I feel those little boys slipping away from me faster than I ever would have imagined. I literally can feel it inside me. My youngest has one more year of preschool, and then he is gone all day long, just like his big brother is now. There is such a sense of urgency to savor every single moment with them, and I feel such a sense of guilt every time I am on my phone when they are around.
And then I came across this really amazing book by Max Strom. It is full of thought-provoking goodness about how the technological advances that have become so enmeshed in our lives are causing a loss of intimacy and connection in our society. There are so many great conversations that can begin from this book, but the one line that stood out to me the most is this: "Your time and your life span are the same thing." Think about it--what we spend our time on each day truly becomes our life's work, and I didn't want my life's work to become crafting the perfect Instagram post for my yoga business.
So all of that got me thinking, "What if I just chuck it all?" No more Facebook, no more Instagram, no more being surgically attached to my phone. Then I thought some more and decided to be more scientific about it. Maybe it's because social sciences have always been my nerd-fuel, or maybe it's because I've been listening to a lot of Freakonomics lately. In any case, I designed a little experiment for myself. I'm going to go social-media free for exactly one month (maybe longer, depending on how things go), and I'm going to track what happens to my classes. My suspicion (and I think probably also my deep-down hope) is that not much will change. Class sizes will remain steady, and everything will be business as usual. But who knows, maybe this whole thing will tank on me, and I'll come to realize that I need to continue to rely on social media to run my business, in which case I will be in search of a marketing manager who is willing to work for baked goods and the occasional nice dinner out. Feel free to email me your resume :o)
So here we go folks. I am cutting the cord (mostly). I'll continue to respond to email and send out my monthly newsletters, but if you are looking for updates on my classes, don't check Facebook. The good news is that all of the time I WON'T be spending on social media WILL be devoted to other worthwhile things--mainly my family, but other productive, business-related stuff like keeping my website fresh and up-to-date, continuing to study yoga and refine my teaching techniques so that I can offer high-quality classes for kids and adults, and even a couple of top-secret, yoga-related projects that I have been wanting to work on for a long time but just haven't seemed to get around to executing. You can even text or (gasp!) CALL me! I may screen your call if I don't recognize the number, but I promise to call you back if you leave a message. I am hoping that this experiment not only helps me regain some very important time each day, but that it also helps re-establish some personal connection that I feel is seriously lacking in my own life. Do you ever miss the days of talking on the phone? I know I do (especially because phone conversations are next to impossible right now when the kids are around).
If you're interested in finding out how this goes, check back in about a month. I will post an update and let you know if I will be returning to the world of social media. In the meantime, if your kid does something really cute or you happen to eat a really delicious meal, text me a picture because I won't see it otherwise ;o)
Namaste and xo,
Posted on Thu, May 4, 2017
by Erin Leach filed under