Social media: it’s been at the forefront of mental health and well being conversations a great deal recently.
And whilst we can all greatly appreciate and acknowledge the benefits it can have for our businesses and our relationships, there is a down side to our social media marketing that can’t really go unspoken any longer.
From working with my clients over the course of this year, as well as speaking from my own experience, I can openly say that our use of social media is becoming more and more of a negative issue and I wanted to write this post to explain how and why, to perhaps highlight a few things that often go over looked but can have huge implications for our well being and our subsequent business success, growth and results.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
As I mentioned a moment ago, whilst I fully acknowledge that social media can be wonderful for marketing our businesses, the downside to marketing this way is the added pressure it places on us, the time that we spend scrolling, wondering and worrying about creating the perfect post and its implications.
In most cases this means procrastination, anxiety, insecurity and stress are all experienced on a daily basis which means conditioning our minds and our bodies to understand that this stress and pressure is “normal”.
What that means chemically for your biology is that the more each cell in your body experiences this state of being over a prolonged period of time, it produces more of these chemicals – conditioning it against the production of the opposite which in this instance may be ‘happy’ chemicals which help us feel at ease, content and secure.
And so a stressed state of being becomes our norm. Our bodies naturally produce what we need to survive in this state short term BUT this stress, this fight or flight response that we have – even on a miniscule level – repeatedly also depletes our natural resources, our energy, our enthusiasm, our creativity, our hope and enjoyment.
When it gets to this state our life force energy also depletes meaning our ability to manifest and create with the quantum field is radically reduced.
Unfortunately social media is also set up in a way that means if we make a change, miss a day, are inconsistent at using it then we are also penalised for that – our reach goes down, our ability to get the eyes we want on our work is affected and the change or growth that we personally experience is not rewarded. In effect isn’t social media therefore asking us to 1) remain the same and 2) to stay in a state of stress, pressure or insecurity and for business owners this can mean that we believe if we don’t continue using social media the way it is set up our business suffers – regardless of how much we are personally suffering.
The use of social media is also affecting how authentic and true to ourselves we really are.
Considered content whilst perfectly natural is therefore designed for the reader – for their satisfaction, for their readability and relatability which isn’t always a perfect alignment with our truth. Which is essence means we’re shaping ourselves to suit other people and what we may think will help create success in our businesses or have people like us more.
So we are – quite unconsciously – shaping our posts to please other people again contributing to detachment from yourself, mistrust in yourself and who you are as being good enough, insecurity, comparison once more down regulating positive emotions and experiences.
Yet whilst we experience the more negative emotions and are conditioning our bodies and minds with them, we’re also becoming more and more addicted to using the platforms as they are openly designed to play with our natural chemical make up giving us dopamine hits at every like, comment, meme, filter that we see, use or receive.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO STAY SANE AND WELL WHILST MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Honestly if I could recommend anything it would first be to take a break from social media in order to evaluate just how you are using it and how it’s affecting your mental, physical and emotional well being.
If you feel as though taking a social media marketing sabbatical it will dramatically affect the success of your business then take a look at why you’re thinking that:
- Are your marketing efforts based solely on your social media accounts?
- What would happen to your client base if Facebook decided to close down it’s use for business?
- Are you actually reaching a decent proportion of your audience through your Instagram posts?
- Are you equally getting as much reward, pleasure and joy out of using social media as you are putting time in?
- Is the stress or insecurity that social media promotes in us worth the amount of income or success that your business has gained through its use?
None of these questions have right or wrong answers BUT our well being IS something that needs to be placed at a higher priority than it has been in the past when we were quite unaware of how living in this digital world could affect us.
Anxiety, depression and suicide rates are rising.
Comparison, insecurity and constant pressure to ‘hustle’ adds more stress into our lives, into our bodies, making it a tough uphill climb to get where we want to anyway.
MY SOCIAL MEDIA STORY
I personally pulled back from using social media marketing for my business after posting multiple times a day for years. It all became too much for me: the noise, the pressure, the conformity, the disconnection from myself and what I really wanted to say, the insecurity and feeling unseen and unheard for my efforts of spending 17hours plus on social media was no longer worth it. My hope ran out.
Believe me, hope marketing is not the healthiest or speediest way to run a business or create consistent, sustainable results – been there, got the freaking t-shirt.
The results of doing so: a greater peace of mind, reconnection with myself, a deeper sense of belonging in my body, greater enjoyment of my life moment to moment – the ability to be more present – with myself and my family AND a much easier way of working and creating income which just feels ridiculously simple and isn’t that how things are mean to feel: more fun?
I am now more present to life not preoccupied with my business and that gives me more energy, more focus, more intention, more results – without the stress, insecurity and struggle.
This isn’t intended to be a negative portrayal of social media marketing or our personal of it, simply a conversation around the deeper effects that often go unspoken so that we can be more aware of how our use of social media affects us and so you can make your own informed choices over your use of it fully armed with the knowledge of perhaps why you’ve felt similarly, how it’s occurring in your body and life and the longer term affects.
CAN WE STAY WELL AND USE SOCIAL MEDIA?
I believe so yes.
I also believe that there must be a balance that works for us in order to do so and that that balance is personal – it’s going to be different for all of us because we all have different levels of confidence and trust in our selves that social media marketing or use may play on.
Suffice to say that taking a break from social media is what is going to highlight to you where and how your use of social media is affecting you and how to stay well whilst using it also.
Here’s 10 things to look for and make note of if you do decide to take a social media sabbatical:
- What are the thoughts coming up regularly for you?
- Are you experiencing any worry regarding being off of social media?
- What are you feeling in your body?
- Is being off of social media affecting your emotional state?
- How does being off of social media affect your mind?
- Are you experiencing more peace of mind or stress and anxiety mentally, physically and emotionally?
- Do you feel you can be more present to other things without the pressure of social media?
- How can you alleviate any worry you may be feeling with regards to being off of social media (e.g. any alternative ways of marketing?)
- How can you design a strategy that feels good for you around social media if you want to keep using it?
- How can you raise your confidence, security and trust in yourself?
Contrary to popular opinion I don’t believe that taking the usual self care actions of getting into nature, journaling, taking time off of social media and taking more time for your self are clear or the most beneficial for us on a long term deep level although they may prove short term respite.
If you do want to continue using social media for marketing or personal use and want to find that balance, it is going to take you feeling more confident, more secure, more aware of, more connected to: yourself – first and foremost – because these platforms are designed to take us away from that, away from our sovereignty and individuality and keep us conforming.
And that’s a journey – it’s not something that can be created or solved in a snap BUT it can be built successfully, with strength and in your brain, body, personality and energy, in increments on a daily basis.
If you’re interested in learning how you might like this post on building confidence and self trust . You could also check out this post on building self esteem and being seen. Or drop me a line and let’s have a chat about how you can build more confidence into your life or create a strategy for your business that does allow you more peace of mind, space, ease and income to flow.