So if you’re on social media you may have seen (or not – damn algorithms!)  that I’m currently on a break with social media. It’s coming up to 4 years since I started social media for my business and it’s occurred to me that I’ve never actually reviewed it. Does it actually help my business grow? Does it improve my finances? Is the impact on my time and mental health as minimal as I think?

I’ve found myself saying that I need it for business. That I’d like to be off social media, but I can’t run a business without it. I’ve also assumed that if I’m teaching people how to run a soulful business and creative passive income then I must also be teaching them how to use social media

Time to test it. My first measure is actually my mental health. For years I’ve skimmed the research closing tabs on anything that doesn’t fit my comfort zone. For years I’ve known about the dopamine hit my sleep-deprived, touched-out, tapped-out mum brain gets when the kids are whinging and someone on the ‘gram comments on my post to tell me I’m helpful. I also know how overstimulated I can feel when one minute I’m looking at a hedgehog in a beanie, and the next minute someone has launched into a horrific birth story that I’ve had no time to prepare myself for.

A few days ago I took a DASS – for those unfamiliar it’s a measure of depression, anxiety & stress that is widely used by psychologists.

I got: Moderate for depression, normal for anxiety & Extremely Severe for Stress. Shit.

My husband said to me: “you know, despite all the fat shaming & homophobia that was the 90s…I think you were happier before social media”

I started social media for my business in May 2017. It began as “I probably need this for my business to grow” to something I now catch myself saying “I can’t run a business without it”.

The most rebellious, scary & freeing part of leadership for my business I can imagine is to actually stop using social media. To test out my own narrative of “I have to do this for my business”

To admit that *for now* it doesn’t serve me. So I’m going to experiment – 8 weeks cold turkey documenting my mood, sleep, finances & productivity.

Ego says how will I anesthetize myself when the kids are feral, I’m tapped out, touched, missing social connection & exhausted?

Super ego says my business will die on its arse

Optimism says I might get my book written, and maybe even another about this experience! That people who want to connect won’t mind email, blogs, podcasts and other algorithm- free communication.

Heart says what am I teaching my two girls about motherhood, business & ignoring your nervous system screaming at you?

I’ll re-check my DASS score at 4 & 8 weeks & share my observations once a week here on email, on my blog & YouTube or possibly a short podcast if I feel like it. I might even turn the project into a book, I don’t know yet.

What I do know is that I can’t be the only one who feels this way. To KNOW that social media was always designed to be addictive but do it anyway.

Around Mother’s Day, May 9th, I’ll report back & share the results of my experiment 😊

Just for the record, I don’t think I’m better/wiser/have stronger will power or upper moral hand. You do you & what you want to do with social media. This is just what I need to do for me.

Always happy for email pen pals 😊

Erin