In December of 2020, I decided that I’d had enough of Instagram. Between the creepy data harvesting and life-sucking hours of mindless scrolling that seemed to sneak into my day no matter how intentional I tried to be, it was becoming an unhealthy part of my daily experience. To top it off, censorship of the alternative health industry was ramping up in massive ways which made me feel muzzled and anxious. I never knew if something I said was suddenly going to make the black list and get me banned for life. That’s no way to feel when you’re starting a business and using social media as a platform for growth.
I think the last straw for me was finding out that my hashtags were getting outright blocked. Topics like #naturalimmunity no longer were allowed to show up in the search. It seemed like a waste of time to grow a platform where my readers and viewers couldn’t even find me — especially if it was only a matter of time before I was blocked altogether. It was happening to my counterparts in the space, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for me.
The Social Dilemma
The exchange was obvious: hours of my time taking and editing photos, writing captions, researching hashtags for a few new organic followers per week OR find something better to do with my day. Plus the added benefit of removing myself from the toxic comparison-itis environment that had me constantly wondering if my photos were good enough, my captions were captivating enough, and my hashtags were viral enough.
Initially, it wasn’t an easy decision, even though it seems like it should have been. I felt a lot of FOMO. What if I’m abandoning the best resource I have for reaching my community? Instagram seems to work for everyone else, so what if it’s just me? If I just stick with it, will the slow growth be worth it a year or two from now?
I decided: NO. In truth, I’m not convincing Instagram is always so profitable to influencers, even when they appear to be doing well and their pictures are on point. And if I’m not enjoying it anymore, it’s not going to work for me no matter what.
Abruptly, I cut ties. I deleted the app from my phone, signed out on my computer, and never looked back. The only time I considered rejoining the app, two days later the entirety of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went completely down for several hours (maybe even most of the day — I don’t remember exactly how long).
Looking back, it was well worth it. I had given myself a wicked case of burnout investing so much time in the “system” that others told me I had to use if I wanted to be successful. In fact, I soon after bailing from Instagram tapered my Facebook consumption and stopped all social media posting for my business entirely.
I started getting more sleep and feeling less stressed. Cutting off the massive influx of daily information was SO good for my brain and body. I got back to doing the things that made me who I am and had given me any value as a coach, consultant, and educator. Throughout a majority of 2021, I even took a sabbatical of sorts to reset, clean up the clutter I had created from following mentors that weren’t suitable for me, and decide what I choose to do with my experience in my personal and professional life. This was particularly tricky in some respects because my products and services are so intertwined with my lifestyle and daily activities.
In my time away, I was also able to invest the time and energy I would usually use for social media into learning and expanding my own understanding and experiences. I went to some crazy places and recharged myself after finding balance in my own personal enrichment. It really is true what they say to fill your own cup up first. Continually filling myself creates a permanent overflow from which I can give to others.
Whether you’re a fellow entrepreneur or use social media strictly for personal reasons, never feel like you can’t take a break. (That’s how *they* want you to feel.) You don’t need Instagram or any other platform for entertainment or success, particularly — especially — if it no longer feels good to use it.
If Not Instagram?
Moving forward, I am considering using my Gab (@katemoore) and Telegram (@mrskatemoore) to embrace a healthy, censorship-free social media experience. You can follow me there now, and maybe one of these days, you’ll see some cool stuff from me come along. I also go back and forth about emailing a newsletter or using Pinterest (@katemitchellmoore and @earthdwellerdaily) again.
I’m choosing to give myself space and grace to experiment with these tools in a way that feels fun and exciting for me without being rigorous or promising a schedule that overwhelms me and isn’t sustainable. For those of you who have stuck with me from the beginning, THANK YOU. For those of you who are new and missed my Instagram days, WELCOME. And also thank you for being here.
I’m excited about what’s to come in this year and what I have to share in the areas of health, wellness, womanhood, and expanding my family’s experience in our natural lifestyle with everything from growing our own food to raising pets with natural health support.
Cheers, ya’ll! 🎉🥳 2022 is going to be good.