I have been using social media since the early Twitter and Facebook days, and lately I am thinking of quitting it. I do not know why but there is quite a lot of content published lately on YouTube, Blogs and Podcast about leaving these platforms online.
I am using “Creator” in a broad term. This includes artists, makers, developers and entrepreneurs too. For anyone trying to build something and put it into the world. There is less upside to using these platforms both as a business and personal use. I feel especially if you tend to be more on the introvert side and are a “creator” or aspiring to be one.
This is just my opinion and I can’t cover every thing in a post. I think there is only 1 use case at the end when to use Social Media.
Nothing gained😓 and unpaid work
One issue is you get nothing back from these platforms.
From Chris Oatley Twitter which he does not do much on Twitter these days. I found out about this thread on artist should not support these platforms. It’s an unpaid part-time job.
If you need another view on this check this video out by Holly Exley taking about how Instagram devalues Art.
This reminds me of Digital Sharecropping in 2015 post
Hard to gain attention at a Career Fair 🙋♀️🙋♂️👀
I was listening to Cal Newport podcast and he addresses this in his Q&A section a few times where a listener asker do you need social media to promote your business, website, podcast etc.
I like he used the analogy of a career fair where we are shouting a lot in a noisy place. Most of the crowds there are passer-by. Authors have discovered that promoting their book on social media has not translated to book sales.
Listen in at 19:32
Too much negative
At the moment since 2020 I felt that there is too much news about covid and the state of the world.
This can affect your creative mood and not want to create or just keep doom scrolling.
Right now I am switching my news sources to static sites instead of a feed with polarized comments. Dan Luvisi wrote something here a long time ago about quitting as well as an artist creator.
This artist 👩🎨 Julia Bausenhardt quit social media and went on to blog and do her art she kept YouTube I think to host her videos I don’t think there is a free alternative at the moment.
I have not used the newer apps such as TikTok much, but seeing how some of the younger TikTokers and other content creators suffer mild mental health and burnout issues, I do not want to engage with the SM or become an addicted user. During the pandemic I let myself used it more than usual and I found my Creativity dipped.
I think that many people who seem successful on social media are already successful. I feel that it’s an endless game with rules changing on these platforms.
Can’t chase two rabbits 🐇 🐇
At the moment I am trying to build skills and can’t do two things at once even if it’s for entertainment. I prefer to single task, when I am trying to make a game in Unity and Unreal. Or learn about Transmedia and coding.
It’s impossible to get good at social media and work on your personal (ultra-learning) project with the time you have, as you have to be on top of trends or what you plan to post all the time. This is not a good strategy.
Unless your goals is to be an entertainment personality or streamer or work in digital marketing full time. I don’t think its worth worrying about the social media skills, it is not that really valuable if you are a creator.
I have left and let my Facebook and Twitter languish and be a calling card or redistribution channel of this blog.
Some of the full time content creators burn out after a while, trying to keep up with the algorithm of being popular. Unless you have funds to pay for a team working on editing the content daily or weekly. I am not sure if the cost investment and time is worth it at this moment of doing Ultralearning or building skills.
Not Shipping Products in the world
I want to get my products out or things into the world. And by doing social media it seems to be a distraction to keep up with the world trends, arguments and what is cool out there. I think shipping is harder like writing this blog post or doing my drawings. I would rather focus my efforts to make something, than playing social media games.
I am reminded of a post I made sometime back about Jake Parker who did a video to make products and not projects. But if I spend too much time getting good at social I might not create anything.
False Practice on Social Media Tactics
What practice do I want to keep? I don’t want to keep propping up these platform share prices. Doing social media feels like work but it’s not unless you want to be an influencer.
I am actually starting to read Seth Godin Book The Practice on how to Ship Creative Work and he takes about doing a practice for your art not to be FOMO. To show up and do the work and fail and do it again. Serving and being generous.
Ultimately I want to learn to love and do the process and not worry about the outcomes. You can buy it on Amazon to know more how to shift your perspective on creating work that matters. I believe he has some thoughts on Social Media being a tactic and not being the change. This is from his Mona Lisa Post.
Where to focus your efforts
Here is what to do instead Once you have something to share after the practice. (Just my thoughts)
Writing a Blog
At this point I have about 400 plus post. I intend to keep doing it, as I hope to improve my writing and create drawings and other things to publish here. I am surprised some of my not so good articles or lists are still gaining views a few years later.
I did use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to archive interesting videos and links into a newsletter, but it’s too much of a time commitment to track and see if I can build an audience there, another issues is the variable reward I cannot control, resulting in a time suck.
Podcast and YouTube
I see doing YouTube as a necessary evil since it is free hosting for your content. It’s a half step to use it as a host and as a way to showcase moving images of project I make. An alternative was vimeo, but it is becoming a tools platform and not a destination showcase platform. I may use odysee or other video host.
For podcasting, So far Anchor.fm has the easiest creation tools to record down a voice memo and publish it easily to spotify. I find that Podcasting is a nice step in-between video and text where you can showcase yourself through voice if you are an introvert and camera shy. But the good thing about podcast is you can use any app to listen. most apps are not like Facebook or Twitter you can consume shows and not worry about random ads, though Spotify looks like it’s trending towards SM style distribution.
When to use social media
I think when you are ready to promote the product and have a substantial content drop planned. If you are in the beginning stages of a project, it might not be worth it. Because you can get sucked into the algorithm and useless trends.
My ideal is when you have something ready to share out it out there on social. But even better is if you have fans they can do it for you. If not it might be better to hire a social media manager. But that will cost more money and time.
lately I am leaning more to get off social as I find the trade offs to gain “influence” is an illusion.
Some of the platform metrics like Facebook are fake. The only thing I like about Facebook and YouTube is the free media hosting like images and videos that I use for this blog. But I don’t want to engage with it beyond that.
Even though this post I write get off social I still think if you use it with proper intention which is hosting images & video distribution. Beyond that there is nothing else it can do for your marketing efforts or work. Something as a solo dev I might not do now.
But I feel as a creator and developer, it is better to stay clear so that the mind can focus on creating. I will probably go deeper in another post about it as I have tried Cal Newport digital minimalism to get myself off these platforms. The truth is I never missed it for business use case and write here on my blog instead.
I believe everyone will come to their own conculsions and design their Social Media plans and usage habits.
I won’t be deleting my accounts but I won’t log in anymore to share besides using it as a blog re distribution channel. Too bad I can’t use WordPress to share to Instagram or Pinterest automatically.
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