Is it Time to Leave Social Media?


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hamyaw podcast graphic for episode titled should you get off social media.

Social media.

(Ooh, did those two words send just shivers down your spine?)

Like it or lump it, it’s become one of the perceived “necessary evils” of starting and growing an online business.

Reason being?

  1. Social media is a place to solve problems in public, attract clients, play around, put your work out there, and show your face to the adoring masses

But…

  1. It’s ALSO a complete and utter dumpster fire that’s the distinctly unpleasant combination of non-stop look-at-their-perfect-life FOMO, squabbles with strangers and racist uncles, and a never-ending surge of clickbait “articles” and videos.

It’s Like Living in High School Forever

The past few months have been an especially trying time for all of us in Social Media Land.

And it’s sparking a BIG question for online business owners everywhere:

“Ugh… do I really HAVE to be here?”

There’s an amazing joke I read once upon a time that goes like this:

Have you ever needed a break from the internet…

… But the internet is also where you work and live?

And honestly, even as the type of person social media was basically built for (I’m high-energy, loud, and have pretty thick skin), I’ve gotta say: hard same, friend.

Yet… there’s a lot I love about social media, too.

It’s a fun place to mess around, and be creative.

It’s where I’ve met some of the most amazing friends, colleagues, clients from all over the world.

And it’s basically the reason that I have a career at all.

Can You Get Social Media’s Benefits Without the Suck?

To answer this, I did what I always do in these moments of deep personal inquiry and existential angst:

I texted my friend, co-host, and notorious social media skeptic Margo, and we decided to do an episode to get to the bottom things.

Because, while we go back and forth on this topic almost weekly via text, we have yet to have the discussion in public, and invite everyone else in to join the debate:

Is social media just a “necessary evil” for business owners?

Do we have to figure out some kind of way to just… be on it, regardless of preference or energy suck?

Was the real dumpster fire the friends we made along the way?

LET’S FIND OUT.

What It Means to Be on Social Media Today

Itoday’s (very spirited debate-y) episode of #HAMYAW, Margo and I dive into:

  • Is social media a necessary evil for business?
  • Do you ACTUALLY need an audience? (or do you just want one?)
  • What’s different today vs 5 years ago?
  • Can sensitive snowflakes like Margo be on social? <– HER WORDS, NOT MINE!
  • Do boundaries work when the platforms are designed to emotionally hijack you?
  • Does being on social mean you HAVE to be a thought leader, media company, and social justice warrior?
  • AND MORE.

Confession: both Margo and I were firmly planted on either side of the fence prior to the episode, but she posed some great questions and ideas that made me think — and vice versa.

Let Us Know How You Handle Socials

So click here to catch it now, and while you’re over there, let us know:

What’s YOUR relationship to social media like? Love it? Hate it?

What are your rules of engagement — and why?

Click here to watch the episode, and if you dig it? Share it with your friends.

Because if we all have to be in the dumpster fire…

… At least we’re all in it together, right?

Write on,
H

Episode Transcript

All right, we can agree. I amend my choice. 

See y’all, you didn’t know this from social media but you can change your mind. 

What?! 

(bright upbeat music)  

Welcome back marketing nerds with the world. It’s time for another episode of HAMYAW.

And today Margo and I wanna talk about social media AKA the fucking dumpster fire that lives in your phone.

Folks, have you ever wanted a break from the internet, but the internet is also where you work and live? Margo and I are here today to talk about some of the things we’ve been seeing. 

‘Cause of course, in recent weeks with current events, it has been harder and harder for people to have a peaceful, overwhelmingly positive experience on social media. Whether they just need it for personal reasons or they need it for business.

Which led us to the question, is it possible, now, to have a successful business in the service provider space, in the creator space, in the authority influencer space, without social media?

We’ve been looking for some examples, they are hard to find right now, but before we get into those, Margo, how are you feeling about the dumpster fire?  

I fucking hate it. (laughs)

Everyday y’all I get on Voxer and I’m like “Hillary, I’m off social media. I’m never going back on”.

And then I’m like, “Hillary, I really wanna share this on social media”. I vacillate and I can’t get there.

And I have been actually forced to be off of it being with my toddler, which has been so nice. And I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so nice.

So it sort of begged this question of what is necessitated?

Because we all know those examples of businesses that have succeeded without social media that sell widgets or where the founder is not known or where your business model’s not predicated upon your having an audience.

That’s totally cool. 

But what if you’re us, right? What if you’re building your personal brands and all the things that Hillary was saying before about the creative fields and the service providers and the coaches and the thought leaders and like, what does that look like today?

And I really don’t know.

I’ve asked a few people and everyone has varying opinions on this. Like there seem to be like two camps.

Are you seeing the same thing, Hill, where it’s like, you’re either in the like, “I’m holier than thou I am off all of the things. And I am better than you for it”, which is…

My favorite kind of people. (laughing)  

And then there’s the people that are like, “I have to be on it for business or I genuinely enjoy it, and I don’t see it a problem”.

I’m looking like where’s the middle ground?

I think it’s there. It’s kind of in that group ’cause for me, I straddle like, okay, social media has problems but also I like having a place where I can go and people have to listen to me.

It’s been incredibly useful for business and I frankly wouldn’t have a business without it.

So it’s kinda like I can spit on it all I want, but at the end of the day I gotta clean it off and just ride that horse back home, you know what I mean?  

I mean, it’s a really good point.

We were talking before the show you guys about sequencing. And how every single person who’s told me they’re off of social media, had an audience already that’s fairly large.

And so they understand the risk of being off of it and it is worth it for them. A lot of them have sat me down and said like, listen, I know what it’s costing me not to be on those platforms. And I’m okay with it because my audience exists.

The question is when was that audience formed? and how? So when I say just starting out, I mean, in the last, like maybe five, I say if your business is five to seven years.  

Yeah.  

Yes, no? I think it’s a weirder question.  

Yeah, I think so. The most famous examples in our corner of the industry, first of all, is Alexandra Franzen.

She is a copywriter still, I think. But she had a really thriving business and had social media platforms. And was really on the forefront of the first B-School wave.

So she had a lot of really heavy hitters singing her praises, got a lot of notoriety. So she already had a great audience built again.

I only know a little bit about this, but this is how the story looks from the outside. So I’m sure there’s more nuance to it, but I’m giving you all the top level view.

So she had thriving audience. She had influencers supporting her and sharing their platform when she desires such an event. And so she was able to step back without necessarily cutting herself off at the knees. 

And I think that’s a really great spot to be. And she has no social media, as far as I know Twitter, Instagram, Facebook there’s none of it.

Because I didn’t have any other examples.’cause she’s also touted as like “the example”, your business can thrive without social media and like, yes, but, and that’s the answer to every single example I’ve been given here.

Which is that, “Oh, I did this before, but it was in like the early 2000s.” Or one actually.

So I made a Facebook thread about this. And I was like, hey guys, we’re looking for examples. And probably at a hilarious twist of fate were people tagging their clients’ Facebook accounts on the thread.

And also people saying: “Me.” (laughing) In terms of like, I have a successful business by not being on social media and I’m like, but you’re here. 

So that’s really the question. Can you run a business without being on it at all?

There’s also the argument that even if you step back from social media, if the way you are building your audience is through being featured on other people’s platforms, are you essentially just kicking the can down the road?

So this is where we kind of run into problems, but there was one great example and I think it’s someone in, like, 2013, 2016 had like a 300K, 500K business without even a website.

Just referrals, really strong network from their corporate days.

But ironically, guess what they were doing? Social media and ad strategy. So the whole thing kind of comes full circle.

And I think that what we want to spend some time talking about today is sort of like, so social media is driving you nuts. And I also find, I know for both of us that when we kind of hit our…’cause I’m not pretending like I don’t hit a wall with social media.

Absolutely, I do, I’m a person.  

What (laughs)  

Shhh, we don’t wanna say that too loud. I like the creative element to it. I like humor.

So I’m mostly focused on just kind of dicking around on social media overall. Like I don’t do a ton of business promotion except on Instagram. And like when I’m launching.

But it can be a fun outlet. It has its ups. But I think that what we want to spend a little time talking about today is when you need a break from social media.

What does that look like? And how do you do it mindfully? But also do we need social media at all? Is it just a necessary evil that we’re all gonna have to live with?  

I know, I want a clear cut answer. And I think the problem with this conversation…

The answer is yes. That’s the clear cut answer. Like, if you want a book deal, you gotta have an audience.  

Yes, but let’s define an audience, though.

‘Cause like Will Smith wasn’t on social media and we wouldn’t argue that he doesn’t have an audience.

Will Smith is a movie star.  

I know, but it still counts.  

No it doesn’t.  

Why not? Because all creators feel like this is the easy place to get an audience.

What does it mean to have an audience, if it doesn’t exist on social media? It’s kind of like my favorite quote from David Sedaris. Even though there’s a lot of good ones.  

Yes. I love this one go on.  

He was like, can you be canceled if you’re not on social?  

That’s the other thing.  

Do you know you’re canceled?  

It’s vulnerability hugely. And David Sedaris is my dad, so I guess (laughing)  

But that is the question.’cause like, I think to your point, it is a necessary evil, but do you have to run it?

Because if you look up David’s accounts, they’re run by his publisher. Seth’s team is running his and actually same is true for Gary Vee.

He has 12 people running his accounts. I mean, it’s still him chiming in but like they’re helping. I know that.  

I have help on my social media, it’s not all just me.  

Right, right, right. That has become the new norm. So you can put barriers.

But I guess where I struggle with, and I’ll share this with my audience, is this default expectation that you get access to my time when I charge for my time.

And so the question for me becomes is this a barriers issue? Or boundaries issues? Where I have to discuss, what does it mean?

What are my personal boundaries? Or is it really the new default?

Can I opt out? Are there consequences? And are those consequences okay?

Like it’s possible, I would love to entertain and maybe I should do this, like sit down and go without social media, what does my business look like?

Because you do a really good job of selling. And I think a lot of people don’t sell very well on social media.  

Call me I’m for hire for this. (laughing)  

She actually is. But think about it. Like I know brands. And I’ve worked with them that they can’t justify the cost of being on social media because it actually doesn’t make sense for the stage their company is in or the amount of time or the amount of work involved in building that trust and building the audience on those platforms.

And it does feel like building an extra audience, you to actually own them. So these are all fair questions.

Sorry, go ahead.  

Absolutely and this is a matter of industry too. Like if you’re a doctor or you work at a hospital, the hospital does not need a social media account.

Like if you fix roofs, you don’t need a social media account. So this is actually, I think very specific in a lot of ways to our industry, to creatives, to online service providers as well.

I wanted to double back on a point you made because this accessibility thing is also an issue.

When people feel connected to you on social media, there’s that parasocial relationship.

They can often feel entitled to your time. And that’s another risk. That’s another vulnerability.

Beyond just having to show up beyond arguing with your uncle and all of that. So that’s another point to consider.

And I love that you brought this up a little bit before we were having the conversation.

I think there are online business owners who wanna be successful but don’t necessarily wanna be famous. Is this, is social media necessary for them? And if so, how necessary? And where’s the line?  

I think it also goes back, Michelle Warner said this, that clarity of what you do and what you sell.

‘Cause I think a lot of people use, myself included, social media as a place to play and practice. And there’s a place where that’s good. That’s a time where it’s fun.

But you can also use it as a place to hide. From getting distracted with trying to keep up. And that’s where, to me, it starts to have a cost.

Because I found myself like there are times where I’ve promoted HAMYAW, and I was like, why did that take me an hour and fucking half? (laughing)  

Because I like had to cut a sna…

No, actually, no. It’s more like that I was trying to find the right clip and then I wanted to caption it and I wanted it to be at the right lighting.

And I just get so caught up in the creative direction and wanting it to be relevant and have the words make sense and posting at the right time. That it distracts me from the things I actually get paid for.

So like yes, sure. An argument could be made. I should outsource this, fine. But I don’t actually want to outsource like my voice. That’s a different…

Maybe I’m on my social high horse about it.  

Oh God, no, not at all. This is the reality.

I mean, I have my team who helps me. I have a… Shout out to Hunter my amazing CMO.  

Hunter is amazing.  

Who’s fabulous and just really wonderful. ‘Cause I just don’t have the bandwidth to always be thinking strategically about social media.

If I had my way, I would just be on Twitter posting one-liners all day and wouldn’t do anything else. I’m just like ahhh but I think that…

Did you like that hand gesture?  

I did it’s very appropriate.  

We found there are certain things you just can’t outsource and you have to respect that part of the process.

I would never outsource someone else doing my Instagram stories, you know? It has to be you. But this is also…

And you brought up the example of Seth, not really being on social media and like people who have these huge teams running them.

That’s also, I think about where you start as a brand because I started with accessibility being a focal point of my brand.

And so do you, and that’s how a lot of us come up. But they are in the aspirational zone. Like you go on Beyonce’s Instagram. It’s not her.  

It’s not her.  

She also does no captions, its amazing.  

Yeah, I know, I know, Bae. David Sedaris, I don’t think David Sedaris probably even has a cell phone. He’d be proud of it.

And the same thing with Seth. It’s like, okay, cool. A bunch of quotes from your book.

I know you’re not sitting in like Canva, dragging and dropping, you know? And that’s when it makes sense.

But I think this is a particular struggle for a specific kind of business owner. A specific pool that we are a part of.

Who are these people who came up, you know, let’s say around 2010?

If you started around there you were provided extraordinary opportunities with social media that at the time, frankly weren’t being leveraged.

Like Facebook Ads, Oh my God! You remember the early days of like, remember Shenee talking about 20 cent leads? Like that keeps me up at night.

Oh my God! I just gotta catch every social media wave before it’s real. Off I go to Tiktok. 

But I think that, you know, this has been a growth tool. This is an incredibly powerful growth tool. This is a connection tool. And this is also like a fun tool.

And so it has to be all three things for our particular group. And it’s exhausting. You really have to be mindful of how we use it.

As we were talking before the episode, you were talking about sequencing when it comes to social media.

Can you tell me a little bit more about that? We’re talking solutions now guys bring it on.  

I think that’s the question is that, like, if you want to start an audience in today’s world, I don’t know how you do it without social media.

I keep thinking about… We’re publishing this. Let’s say we just publish it on YouTube, then what? (laughing)

They don’t even notify our subscribers barely.

We have people complaining in the comments, we see you. 

It’s not our fault.  

We don’t know why. You don’t get a notification from YouTube when there’s a new video that you subscribe to.

Like that would really take care of things for us. That’s where it becomes a chicken or the egg question.

‘Cause like I was talking to another friend who was like, well, you could talk distribution channels, you would do what they did in the olden days.

And I go, hold on, but the olden days you couldn’t have a YouTube channel. Like that’s not a thing. Like we would literally need national syndication and it would be a whole different thing.

So like the beauty of today’s world is that everyone can throw their hat in the ring and I’m in charge of my own distribution, which means the only channels I have access to are the ones that I own.

Which like, “I own.” (laughs)

So like I don’t own, like, my Twitter feed.  

Zuckerberg’s like, “Ha.Ha.Ha.”  

Laughable. I have immediate access to my own followers. To some degree, it’s all limited.

But like that is the case. And it’s not for lack of hustle. It’s that the landscape is different.

So I think sequencing wise, we are small enough that we are really reliant on social media for distribution. And also to play.

I wouldn’t have wanted to make a distribution deal with what we thought HAMYAW would be in the beginning versus what it is now.  

Can you imagine, oh man.  

Can you imagine being driven by those sunk costs? In that sense, I think that it is a very real, necessary evil to what you were saying.

I’ll use myself as an example, like where I am now professionally, it feels like it takes more away than it adds.

That is a question that’s worth asking. Okay, let me not talk about myself first and finish the sequencing point.

The sequencing point is simply that you can graduate to a level where you’re not as reliant on what you needed when you started out.

So you can actually afford an entire team. You can not make it so personal. It could be a brand’s social media account. And you have clearer metrics on what success and failure are. 

So like where I think, we get lost in the beginning and why sequencing really does matter is that you start to build an audience and then you become obsessed with building an audience on that platform.

Like HAMYAW’s not obsessed with building an audience on Instagram. HAMYAW’s obsessed with using Instagram to drive you to YouTube.

And so I think you also need clarity. And then as you graduate and grow, the need or the ‘what’s it for’ question is gonna change.

So it could be that you need or rely or want social media for distribution. It could be that it’s for sales. It could be that it’s for editors and opportunities. I mean, that’s huge for writers especially. 

Every single one of my back links, and I have great site authority as a result of this, is because of Twitter.

As much as I fucking hate Twitter. It’s because I made friends with editors and they were like, can I quote you on this? And I’m like, yes, you can.

So there is a lot to be gained, but I think as you evolve in your brand and in your company, in your creative outlets, you do have to ask yourself what the cost benefit analysis is of it.

So one of the things I wanted to bring up in addition to sequencing is disposition.

You, for example, have a disposition where like you have known how to play with social media since I met you. I mean, you guys know the story of how we started.

It’s because Hillary was like, are you dumb? Get on stories, give me your phone.  

That is literally what I said to her. (laughing)

Give me your phone, Margo. I can’t do video! Margo!  

That’s how it started. And like truly it is one of her superpowers. And I have some friends that when I say way more famous than me, I mean like on Bill Maher regularly.

You know, like, that level of famous, and they have the type of disposition where they could fight with trolls all day long and they sleep fine at night.

They’re just like, bring it, let’s go.

Or they’ll like say something incendiary, and they’re like, yeah, I said it. And like, they just want to go with you. And I do think you need to have a little bit of that.

I don’t have that. I am a highly sensitive snowflake. I’m like exactly the millennial stereotype.

So I will get on, and this is where that cost benefit analysis really matters, is I will get on and I’ll just be having fun, and then I get so derailed, not even by trolls, but just by the energy of the like anger of whatever we’re canceling that week.

Or like… sorry, it’s a real, or just like, I see a friend transform into someone I don’t recognize, and I’m like, why are you that person online? You know, it’s like ahhh! 

And it just sucks so much out of me and then you’re distracted.

So I’ll also do this thing where I post and then I really want to know what everyone has to say about it. And so like I’m also completely distracted.

And we all know that distractions totally demolish your productivity and your ability to focus and reach flow state.

And so where the question becomes is like, again, what is social media for?

If it is causing this much of a disruption in your life, which I think for people who’ve chosen to go off it is, is it a matter of simply turning pro and setting better boundaries?

Or is it a matter of finding new distribution channels and being more creative? Or is it simply the necessary evil?  

By the way, if we wanna provide a solution to this, if you wanna go off social media all together…

The answer is you will hear this a million billion trillion times, have an in-person network, have a strong referral network, have people who talk about you and support your work and, kick the can down the road or not, will share their platforms with you, and that’s a way to do it.

But also this is where we’ve run into huge issues with COVID. Is I had people in my life who had strictly In-person businesses who were like, no social media.

I hate it. I’m not about it. And guess what happened? COVID hit and there’s tremendous suffering because of that. 

And so I think that it’s somewhere in between social media being a necessary evil, and realizing that if you want any kind of protection, ’cause for me having my own audience, having my own platforms is largely, it’s awesome.

I love building and I love attention. It’s insurance in a lot of ways.

It gives me a pool of people to talk to. It gives me a place that I can go that’s not necessarily reliant on my client referral network. Because that has its weaknesses as well.

You know, because it’s sort of relying on your great reputation to bolster you when often it will.

But also if you want to be an influencer and authority in any way, it’s really difficult to do that just with doing in person workshops, and especially now. Like, if you want that platform, if you wanna be a voice, you gotta figure out how to use social media.

But also you gotta figure out how to use it responsibly.

So I think that a lot of people who find social media really untenable are in that zone that you’re in Margo and that I’ve been in, in these last few weeks as well. Which is actually really unusual for me where I’m like, I cannot be around this much negativity all the time. I’m sorry, if it’s not appropriate 

How’s that not appropriate? That’s just descriptive.  

I would say that it can be a lot and it’s allowed to be too much. And for me, for Twitter, I just get out of the general what’s trending.’cause I’m like, Twitter is not real life. It’s fucking ridiculous.

But when it comes to everything else, when it’s coming from all sides, and as you say, like you’re looking at people and being like, is this who you really are?

And you’re arguing with family members and you’re seeing people post these long diatribes on one thing or the other, like it can get exhausting.

So I think it’s just a matter of figuring out, like you can set rules of engagement for yourself.

You can set rules of engagement.

It’d be like, I’m not gonna participate in this. I’m gonna participate in this. I’ll only use it a certain amount of hours a day. I have tried, it hasn’t worked that well.

I was just gonna say, which one of these is working? (chuckles)  

I have a tool on my laptop called Self Control, which blocks all social media during the workday when I need it to, and then I turn off my phone and I put it in the other room, or I delete apps off of my phone.

But it really is a matter of finding that balance because being on social media does not mean you’d have to be absorbing everything all the time.

I don’t think it’s actually a moral stance to be on or off. I think people wanna make it into one, but it’s just like, do you like ice cream or not?

It’s not a moral stance if you don’t like ice cream.

And I also find that the most vocal, antisocial media people also use social media a lot. Margo, talk to me about your rules of engagement.  

My God, I haven’t found any that work. I’m trying to re-frame that if anyone follows me. I don’t know when this is gonna air but like I have not been on.

Every time I try and set rules of engagement. I break my own rules because my problem is me.

Now there’s a lot of people out there who will be like the problems aren’t you, it’s the algorithm. Like it’s both y’all nature versus nurture.

It’s both, I’m a human being. I have an ego. I have desires. I’m not like a monk.  

Margo the monk.  

I do get enjoyment out of certain platforms.

Here’s where I’ve landed, where it’s been somewhat productive. Choosing my channels.

And I used to tell my clients to do this and then promptly ignored it for myself, as one does.

Where are you gonna be vocal and where are you not gonna be? And don’t in the middle it. Don’t do it as you feel.

Just decide like I’m on Instagram. I’m not on Facebook. Okay, that’s how it’s done.

And so like pick your platform. So I think that that really helps.

And then I think having boundaries around what you publish about, is really important. And that’s where I’ve gotten a little derailed lately, because there are things that I’m comfortable talking about publicly and things I’m not.

And now it feels very blurry, those lines. And I don’t know my own comfort level yet.

Those are all words no visuals.  

And I think that also comes from my own lack of clarity on like, these are the things I talk about. These are the things I don’t.

More stringently like I know what it is in writing but in long form, I have a lot more ability to drive home an argument and paint a picture.

And social media is not quite like that. Even though Instagram, you can do some long form.

But the other thing I was gonna say, of what works is knowing your own personal limitations.

So I know for me, I like long form. I like things that require words and not visuals. Like I hate Twitter. I cannot deal with Twitter.  

I know, but it’s all quippy. Like I’m not quippy enough. And so like it derails me and it’s not, I don’t have, Hillary’s like…

I’m just having fun. I’m gonna say this. Do they think it’s funny? Different one, is this one funny? Oh, this one, I thought this one was hilarious. Why didn’t they think…

Meanwhile, I’m like sitting there crying in the corner am like, “I got one like I’m gonna delete it now.”

Those are the kinds of shifts that have worked. But I think, too, also be really clear on what it’s for, which I have not been.

I have vacillated between this is for a business. No, this is for an audience building. No, this is for me. Like, choose one.  

In my world like Twitter’s for me, Facebook, I’m trying to move off of, because I’m enjoying Instagram much more.

And that’s kind of where I’m living right now. ‘Cause I’m like, you cannot… and LinkedIn, ugh.

Ugh.

Shout out, Marietta Gentles-Crawford, who I’m actually talking to this evening about my LinkedIn strategy.

She’s a genius everyone hire her.

I do wanna be on LinkedIn more, but I don’t even know how it works. So I’m just trying not to beat myself up too badly.

But yeah, I think it’s a matter of choosing your platforms and also choosing what to engage with and who do I engage with?

Like, I have gotten more use out of my block and unfollow buttons in the last month than I have in my entire life. Like, sometimes I go and look at my block list and I’m like, wow.  

Yeah.  

See how it multiplies. My boundaries are getting so good ’cause social media is really not real life.

Like you don’t necessarily have to have someone be a part of your circles. This is just like anything in life, if they think you’re rude, fine.

Like you have to create a good environment for yourself, and I think a lot of us forget that we can actually intentionally create those environments.

But again, with all the amount of noise it’s possible for a lot of other things to creep through. So it’s just a matter of what is sucking your energy out?

For me, it was arguing on the internet. So I just decided to back out of most arguments. Or just not start them at all.

Because chances are, you’re not gonna change their mind. And while I think it’s important to hold people accountable for certain things, like if you’re posting racist shit, yeah, I’m gonna light your ass on fire.

But it’s not necessarily productive, and I think where a lot of the energy zap comes on social media is getting distracted by the noise, when, if you wanna use it for business, you just gotta stay focused. 

And you can use it for joy too. Like for me, I’m a mix of both.

Like I keep my personal life personal, but like I’ll post jokes and memes and like interesting articles and all of that.

Like use it as a way to share information and be like, isn’t this cool aside from my business, which again has only served me.

I also have very thick skin on social media. Like that’s just the reality, and not everybody has that.

So if it’s draining the life out of you, which is totally legitimate, I think it’s just a matter of figuring out like how you choose to engage.

But also one way, I guess, to rethink your social media is are you using your social media for business?

Or if you want to use it in a certain way, should you just be focused on using paid Ads on Facebook? As opposed to constantly creating personal content.  

Which we’ll do a whole nother episode on paid ads ’cause by the way, that is not what we’re talking about here today.

We’re not talking about paid ads, we’re talking about organic content, running your own social media accounts, and using social as a distribution channel or a conduit for being famous and building your own audience.

You said something really important here. A couple things I want to get back to.

One, emotional literacy I think is a big part of this, ’cause like one of the things you, me and Sarah Peck have sort of created a little mini text chain where…

A group chat.  

It’s a good pause moment because all of us like get kind of hot-headed with stuff, and we each have different trigger buttons.

And so instead of responding online, we just text each other the ragey inappropriate, don’t post that publicly texts. And we usually get it out of our system there, or we decide how we’re gonna approach it in public.

And I think that we do need to distinguish, all of us for ourselves, what is private and what is public? And I think we’ve blurred the lines in a way that is truly inappropriate.

And like, if you are on social media, I do think you need to take responsibility for being somewhat of a public figure. And also what does that mean?

So like answering those questions for yourself. And then having the foresight and emotional literacy to go, Oh, I’m really angry right now, maybe I shouldn’t respond. Or maybe I should just listen or maybe just shut up. And maybe if I get canceled here, it doesn’t matter in real life. 

Which brings me to my next point that you said, which is real life.

So you keep saying Twitter is not real life. Instagram’s not real life. I think a good check…

I’m gonna do this from now on, I think you should too, because I’ve not done this consciously, I agree with it in theory, but I’ve never actually checked myself on it.

If I’m spending more time on social media than I am with real people, even within COVID, like even within COVID, and like calling my friends, zooming with my friends, like even if it has to be an online interaction, it still needs to be a real person.

If I’m spending more time on social than I am talking to people I love and know personally, that’s a problem.

That’s a huge problem.

And that does not count as working.

So that’s where it gets confusing. Because you spend time on these platforms you’re like, it’s work, it’s work, it’s work. But like…  

So just to kind of button this up a little bit. Let’s just take a vote on social media being a necessary evil. Margo, necessary evil?  

I don’t know, like depends. (laughing)  

I say, yes, necessary evil and there you have it folks.  

The most conclusive show ever.  

Necessary evil for a very specific corner of the internet. The rest of y’all I don’t know about your life.

I agree with that, I would agree with that. Alright, we’re gonna bring this to a close. Hillary, anything else to add?  

Yeah. Just don’t be dicks to each other, whether you’re on social media or whether you need to build your business or not, whether you’re arguing with your uncle or whether you’re posting your favorite outfit of the day selfie, don’t be dicks to each other.  

I love that. And let us say Amen. (laughing) 

Alright, I am not sure we gave anything conclusive. I still don’t know what I’m gonna do. So I really want to hear from you guys.

Tell us where your conflicts lie. Tell us where you found resolution and where you’re still not sure what to do. Tell us examples of companies we should check out.

Show us different ways again that people are succeeding or failing by being on or opting out. We want to continue this conversation in the comments.

If you liked this episode please like it below, subscribe, and share it with your friends. I am Margo Aaron.  

And I’m Hillary Weiss.  

And this is HAMYAW. And we will see you in two weeks. Thank you for watching.  

Bye guys.  

Bye.

Photo by Juliet Clare Warren

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