Last Updated on 04/25/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
Staying away from social media has been such a blessing to me as a photographer
At the time of writing this piece, I’ve kept myself unplugged from most social media for over a month. I’m not completely against social media but I don’t think it’s either healthy and beneficial for us: humans being a highly sociable species. At the beginning of this year, I committed myself to change the things that I don’t like about my life. I started with taking my martial art training more serious, focusing all my energy towards my craft and my business, stop drinking regularly, changing my food habits and try to ignore social media.
I never got the impression that I’m addicted to social media, I first joined Facebook in 2007 to stay in touch with a girl in Austria and then I found some friends from my childhood and always tried to keep my friend list under 300. Don’t ask why, it just sounds reasonable. I joined Twitter and Instagram in 2015 to use as tools to promote my skills as a photographer. While Twitter did its thing for the first couple of years, now all the interaction has shifted to Instagram.
Facebook has never been my favourite. There has always been this sort of anxiety or discomfort while using it. Be it because I’m seeing very personal things about people I know but don’t care about or because of the whole bunch of fakery and entitlement that it has created over the last couple of years. Facebook for business has been a freaking nightmare to figure out plus, why would I give them money to be seen by 10,000 people who will just scroll past my post and not click on it. I’ve tried it several times and totally got it: Facebook advertising is not good for my business. I’m a food photographer so my niche is super-industry-based. Unlike wedding and portrait photographers that do get the results of paid Facebook posts and happy customers, my niche is so tight that I get the gigs by meeting chefs and restaurant owners, getting published in industry magazines, being tagged and mentioned by my clients’ posts or by getting contacted by PR agencies and publishers. Networking is 80% of my marketing and I do enjoy the face to face meetings.
So, with all these in mind, I’m having a go at a social media-free life using it purely for professional purposes and the occasional personal post on my Instagram’s personal account. I haven’t deleted any accounts or uninstalled anything on my phone or PC, I’m just ignoring it because it’s a simple decision, not a drastic one.
“I’ve never liked Facebook. There has always been this sort of anxiety or discomfort while using it. Be it because I’m seeing very personal things about people I know but don’t care about or because of the whole bunch of fakery and entitlement that it has created over the last couple of years.”
See, I’m turning 36 this year and I’m part of this last generation of human beings being bullshit-proof. We’re not incredibly tech-savvy but we figure things out pretty quick, unlike our parents. We grew up with no internet so I kinda like being detached from technology from time to time.
As I mentioned, staying away from Facebook and Twitter has been SO LIBERATING. I’m in such a creative high, I’m finding my information from printed-high quality media and trustworthy sources, I don’t feel targeted by random advertisement campaigns, I’m super efficient at work and I feel so in tune with the real world around me.
All this Facebook scandal has just been a coincidence for me to leave the social media and my decision is purely based on the changes I mentioned at the beginning. I don’t feel entitled to an opinion anymore, who cares about my opinion anyway? Life is so beautiful without social media