I have decided to scale back my use of – or at least take a break from - social media for Santosha Yoga Australia, for a number of reasons.
1) Social media robs me of my presence
I’ve wanted to be off socials for a long time but have always told myself that my business HAS to have a social presence. As a result, I spend a lot of time scrolling, whether that is checking for response to my own posts, engaging with my community, or keeping up with industry news and trends. Which would be fine if I maintained good discipline about only checking at specific times, for specific purposes. But I’m not. And I am sure I’m not alone. How many times have you thought “I just want to find that post I saw about….” And 20 minutes later find yourself down a rabbit hole with no idea why you opened the app in the first place. Instead of cultivating presence in the here and now, I find myself filling spare moments with mindless scrolling.
2) Social media is affecting my self-worth
I am completely addicted to the feel-good hormone infusion I receive whenever someone has interacted with my content. This is what social media is designed to do: every time we see those little notification icons that someone has liked, commented or shared what we post, our brains release dopamine and makes us feel validated.
Yet yoga teaches us that our self-worth should not come through external validation. It is an active part of my yoga practice to develop acceptance, love and self-worth from within. My rational brain knows that just because someone has responded to my content that I am not somehow more worthy, but the unconscious dopamine hit is training me to believe otherwise.
If you want to know more about this, read here: https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/dopamine-smartphones-battle-time/
3) Social media consumes an inordinate amount of my business time (and life)
When I keep track of the hours I spend running my business – not including the actual time spent teaching, which is the “task” that actually delivers value to my “customers” (ie my students) – social media consumes the most amount of time. Planning, designing and creating content, scheduling it, responding to comments and DMs etc all takes up hours. Added to that, that every moment of my life is viewed through the lens of possible content. Out for a walk? Ooh, better take a photo for my Stories. Class full of students looking in perfect sync with each other? Quick, take a sneaky photo for a future post. Which circles back to my first point about robbing me of my presence.
Now I know there are ways to make this efficient. Believe me, I have done plenty of courses and enrolled in various mentorship programs designed to help business owners do social media efficiently. But to be honest, I’d rather spend my time investing in my understanding of yoga, or developing my teaching skills, or just doing my own practice, than worrying about my next Instagram post.
4) I am uncomfortable with the power that Facebook wields
As I said, I’ve been thinking about “breaking up” with social media for some time. But what really tipped me over the edge was how Facebook behaved with the whole Australian-news-ban saga. Yes, they’ve reinstated news and no, Facebook wasn’t my primary source of news anyway. But gee did that display of power and arrogance really make up my mind.
If you are reading this, then it means you are part of my community. And it is still very important to me that I stay in touch with you. I plan to do that primarily by this blog and my newsletters, and possibly through You Tube. I will still have a Facebook and Instagram page, so will still receive your direct messages if you communicate via these channels, but email is the best place to reach me.
If you would like to receive my email newsletters and notifications of new blog posts, then please subscribe on the homepage of the website here.
And if I can offer you any support, advice or encouragement to break your own social media addiction, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org