The Pit of Despair

How would your friends and family respond to you taking a legit social media break?

Perhaps you are not on social media often and they wouldn't think much of it.  Maybe your mom would text you in a panic to make sure everything is okay, and subtly imply she is concerned about your mental state.  There might be a possibility your significant other would be greatly concerned that something they did or said influenced your decision.  Some friends and family might suggest you are unrealistic and will even laugh at your attempt to break things off.  You will likely second guess your decision and wonder if you will really be able to follow through with it.  

This was my experience.  After reassuring my mom I was fine and making sure my husband knew this wasn't because of him, I made it through the rest of the day with lots of time left to spare.  I even went to bed early.  My day wasn't sucked up by the endless stream of Instagram and Facebook awesomeness.  Before quitting social media I would compare myself to Westley in the Princess Bride when he is in the pit of dispare having his life being sucked away by Prince Humperdinks torture device.  I was spending so much time scrolling through post after post, feeling like a jerk if I didn't push the "like" button on everything that showed up on my timeline.  I was spending so much time doing this, that it was sucking my life away post by post.  Not that the things on Facebook and Instagram weren't important, because they were very important and it was hard for me to miss out the lives of people I care about.  I just knew it was more important for me to be more involved in real life, not social media life. 



Underground Social Media

So what finally made me do it? 

I knew I spent a lot of time on social media.  That wasn't any kind of mind blowing insight. Especially with my blogging, brand promotion, and photography.  I began to notice that I was becoming envious of people who are not on social media.  People who don't post, and don't even have an account.  I wanted to become one of them.  I imagined they had more happiness because they could do things without feeling like they should post about it.  They have a less is more thing going on, no one knows what's going on with their life, and that makes them even more intriguing. 

The biggest thing that influenced me to take a break was the underground social media world that I found to exist while I was promoting brands.  When I refer to the underground social media I am talking about the stuff you don't see when you are on social media for only personal purposes.  When you get into blogging and being an ambassador there is a whole other world people are unaware of and probably don't care much about.  If you are a retailer, in marketing, or any other company that might market on social media you are very aware of this world. 

Brands, especially large retail brands, use social media to market.  And they are able to do this at no cost to them.  In fact, a lot of the time they are actually getting paid by others to promote their own brand.  Stay with me here.  They will recruit an ambassador and give them a discount on the apparel, then will require the ambassador to post pictures of themselves in the merchandise.  This guarantees the company will get income from their ambassadors on a steady routine basis (even at a discounted price, they are still making money).  Back in the day retailers used to to hire photographers to take pictures to market their apparel.  Nowdays they can make their ambassadors buy the merchandise, take awesome pictures (in hopes their photo will be featured) and the retailer may use it on their social media account as free advertising and marketing.  Do NOT pay to do someone elses marketing. They should be paying you or giving you the merchandise.

The part that bothered me the most about the underground world is how I started being less confident in my photography.  When the brands didn't use my pictures, I tried to follow their recommendations and take pictures based on that instead of my own inspiration.  I started spending more and more time trying to get pictures my brands wanted instead of expanding on my own artistic photography ideas.

Because of these things I was done being an ambassador, and I had little confidence in my photography skills.  I cared too much about what people thought about my photographs.  Art is when the photographer is able to take pictures of what they see as beautiful.  Not what others think they should be taking pictures of.  I was super disappointed that I let others influence me in a negative way.  That is why I was in need of a social media break.  To find my confidence again and bring myself back from the underground of the social media world.