Multiple studies have linked social media use to depression, anxiety, and stress. [source] It’s also thought to contribute to issues with time management, focus and attention—why is actually why so many users (especially entrepreneurs that I talk to) have a strong desire to unplug from social media.
I know from my own experience how that endless scroll on a social media feed left me feeling “blah,” and wondering where the last hour had gone. And after one too many comparisons of myself to someone else’s perfectly curated Instagram got me down, I started to take notice.
I began to worry about the negative effects of social media on my personal happiness and my family’s.
So I did something about it.
Over the last year I’ve taken all social media apps off my phone. I deleted the Facebook app, Facebook Messenger app, Instagram and Twitter.
Meanwhile, I’ve maintained those social media accounts AND grown my followings and my business with those accounts.
So if you want to know how you can unplug and still grow your business with social media you are definitely in the right place!
If you’re new here, I’m Moriah, the owner and creative director of Moriah Riona Branding—helping creative female entrepreneurs build brands with confidence and success.
This month’s topic is Social Media for your small biz—and I’ve been sharing my best tips to use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to grow your business. But today, I’m sharing something near and dear to my heart:
Three ways to unplug from social media, so you can get your life and your joy back!
If the thought of deleting all social apps from your phone scares the heck out of you—that’s okay. And I’m not gonna tell you that you have to.
I actually did my whole “Social Media Detox Experiment” in baby steps.
And the first thing I did was turn off all of the noise—meaning I turned off ALL notifications.
It’s actually amazing to me how much this seemingly little step reduced my stress levels.
I don’t think we’re aware of the constant noise and distraction that surrounds us. If we don’t take control of it, there’s always some “ding” going off, a message popping up, and another notification that’s screaming for our attention.
It’s a lot to process, and more importantly it can distract us from the things in life that are really important—like our children and our spouses, our family, and our friends—the people who truly deserve our attention.
After several months without notifications (which I thoroughly enjoyed—and had no plans of turning the notifications back on), I still found myself getting sucked into the “social media black hole.”
I’d go on my phone to check one thing, like an email, then I’d end up on Facebook or Instagram scrolling mindlessly for 30 minutes or more… forgetting why I even got on my phone in the first place.
By the way, please leave me a comment down below to let me know I’m not the only one who has done that!
So it seemed to me that despite having notifications turned off, I was still drowning in social media.
It was time to do something drastic. I decided to take a break.
Now, I usually take several weeks off over Christmas, and I put a big banner over the top of my website letting people know I’m not working, not answering emails, etc. I’m on my holiday break.
So this last year, I decided to take a break from social media as well. I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts.
For me those are the two main culprits. I don’t really use twitter anymore, and as I mentioned in my last video, Pinterest isn’t a social media platform (it’s a visual search engine). So I don’t feel that same negative “social energy” that I get from other platforms.
Anyway, before my break, I was a little freaked out to deactivate my accounts because I use them so much for my business—but it was amazing! I was living in the moment, enjoying Christmas with my family, and never picked up my phone for a mindless scroll.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your social media, give yourself a break. It’s okay! And it doesn’t have to be long. Mine ended up being a month in total, but you could start off with just a weekend.
You’re not deleting your account, you’re just deactivating it. You can always reactivate it.
Which is what I did.
After my social media-free Christmas break, I was surprisingly hesitant to reactivate my accounts!
Before the break I was sure I’d be dying to get back on, and see what I’d missed… but I wasn’t. And it turns out I didn’t miss much.
Sure I had a ton of notifications waiting for me—but it wasn’t anything I cared about. None of it added any value to my life.
That’s when I had the realization that the only value that social media brings to my life is for my business. It’s a great place for me to connect with clients. But that’s it.
So I decided to start treating social media like it was work—and for me that meant setting boundaries.
No more social media interfering with my personal life, which meant no more social media on my personal device—my iPhone.
Now if you think that can’t work, I’m here to tell you it absolutely can!
The thing is, I not only have my own social media accounts, but I also manage social media marketing for several of my clients. And I don’t keep their accounts on my phone, because it’s work!
I manage their entire social media and content marketing campaigns from my desktop computer in my office (and yes, that includes Instagram!).
So I decided to do the same thing for my social media.
Now, instead of hours of mindless scrolling on an app, pretending that “I’m working” (I know we’ve all been there…), I actually am working.
I have dedicated hours in my calendar every month to work on my social media marketing. And this includes a very precise social media marketing strategy, and the well oiled system I’ve created to keep it running in the background—while I’m focused on more important things, like my husband and my kiddo.
Sound amazing and totally liberating? Oh my goodness—it is! It’s truly been life changing for me.
Which is why I’m so excited to share my exact step-by-step system for creating your own profitable social media marketing, in my first ever online course which will be launching very soon!
So if you want to be the first to know when it launches, click that link down below and sign up. I can’t wait to help you get control of your social media—and get your life back!
In the meantime, think about your own self care as an entrepreneur, and how you can set boundaries with your social media. It doesn’t have to look the same as mine.
Maybe you want to try getting rid of social media all together—or maybe you just want to implement breaks, by deleting your apps from your phone on the weekends. Experiment with different things and see what works for you and your peace of mind.
To recap, here are my top three tips to help you unplug from social media, while still using it for your small business:
Well I hope this video has inspired you to take control of your social media (so it’s not controlling you)!
I’d love to know: what are your own rules when it comes to social media and personal time? Let me know a comment down below.
Social media can be an amazing asset to any small business owner’s marketing strategy—you just want to be sure it’s not affecting your quality of life.
Wanna know a little secret? I’ve used one platform in particular, Pinterest, to grow my web traffic 200% in the last year and a half. And now over ⅔ of all my website visitors find me via Pinterest.
Learn More: How I’ve used Pinterest to grow my following and find the most amazing clients over and over again.
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