Have you ever felt like taking a break from Instagram? I definitely have!
It’s a big decision that brings up a whole lot of other questions like:
- How will I grow my business if I’m not on Instagram?
- Will my community remember who I am if I’m not on Instagram?
- What if I miss out on an exciting opportunity because I’m not on Instagram?
If you’ve ever thought about taking a break from Instagram, but couldn’t get your head around how it would work – you’re in luck! Today’s guest on the How I Do Content Podcast is currently taking a year off Instagram, and is going to share her experience so far with you.
I’m excited to talk to the magical Misty Johnson.
Let me officially introduce you to Misty Johnson
Misty is a Social Media Self-Care Coach and stay-at-home Mama-on-a-mission, supporting women to unplug from social media in a simple, sustainable, stress-free way (that works for them), so they can hit refresh on their time and prioritise what’s truly important.
Misty believes the unplugged woman is potent and powerful, and, by prioritising social media self-care, you can cultivate a healthy, intentional relationship with social media, and have the capacity to impact the lives of those nearest and dearest to you.
She also lives by the idea she calls “JOLO”, or the Joy of Living Offline. Where you get to be present in the moment, for the moment – rather than worrying about taking the perfect photo for social media, instead capturing that time for the pure joy it brings.
This is such a refreshing and eye-opening discussion, and if you’ve been thinking about disconnecting to reconnect – you’ll love it too!
Things You’ll Learn in This Episode of How I Do Content
- The reasoning behind Misty’s decision to take a year off the ‘Gram
- How Misty prepared to unplug and what her experience has been like so far
- Misty’s recommendations to help you practice social media self-care
Why take a year off Instagram?
Misty started experimenting with taking breaks from Instagram all the way back in 2014. At the time she was working as a personal trainer and witnessed her personal training clients constantly comparing themselves to the bodies they saw on social media. She saw how it negatively impacted their mindset and self-worth.
This was the catalyst that led Misty to undertake her own 30-day social media cleanse, to see just how much impact social media was really having on her life.
The result? It was ah-mazing. After a few initial wobbles, Misty found she had more clarity and focus. Her time and energy were channelled into different projects and activities instead of being wasted scrolling socials. It had such a significant impact that she continued to take annual breaks.
Starting a business without social media
Back in 2020, Misty trained as a life coach. When starting out, she believed that she needed social media in order to have any chance of getting her business off the ground. She reactivated an old Instagram account but, since then, has taken multiple large breaks from the platform. It just didn’t feel ‘right’ (as fellow Human Design Generators will know) or ultimately align with what she wanted for her business and life.
Craving a significant change in her mindset and lifestyle, Misty could see how social media was holding her back. And, in spite of the widely believed narrative that she needed it to grow her business, she decided to take a year off altogether.
5 Benefits of a Social Media Detox (for life and business)
1. Physical and mental spaciousness
Deciding to hop off Instagram for a year creates a lot more space in your mind and day. I mean, not spending hours scrolling for one, but also the sudden drop in the sheer content you have to create, too.
2. More clarity
No more information overload or overwhelm crowding out your own inner thoughts leaves more space for clear thinking.
3. More focus
It’s so easy to get sucked into comparisonitis and shiny object syndrome when you’re spending hours each day scrolling everyone’s highlight reels. Switching off from social media means you have less distractions and can stay in your own lane with confidence.
4. More presence with your loved ones
It’s easy to silence your notifications or delete an app from your phone. But the invisible mental hold that social media has on us can be much harder to break. Less time spent liking/commenting/engaging means more time spent with your family and friends. Having an extended break from Instagram means you can rewire your thinking and you stop considering social media at all – which is liberating to say the least!
5. More intention with your small business marketing
Social media is so easily accessible that it becomes that go-to for small business marketing. So when we remove it from the equation, we no longer have algorithms to ‘hide behind’ or blame for our lack of conversions or sales. We have to get a bit more strategic and way more intentional with putting our businesses out there, which can feel really confronting, especially at first. But when we start consistently pursuing other marketing methods we are reminded of just how impactful they can be as well.
The joy of living offline (a.k.a JOLO)
The goal for Misty in taking time out from Instagram comes down to one of her favourite mantras: JOLO – The Joy Of Living Offline. It’s really about being in the moment for the moment without relying on our phones to remember it for us.
When we stop reaching for our phone at every moment, we start to notice all the little things going on around us and really tap into what’s present and here for us to experience.
How to prepare for a social media hiatus
Let your community know you’re going to be taking a break
You don’t have to totally ghost your online community if you decide you want to undertake a social media cleanse. Misty decided to peter out her Instagram use and include her community in her decision and journey without socials.
Find other ways to stay in touch with the people and businesses you love to follow on social media
For Misty, this looked like signing up to newsletters so she could stay in the loop with her favourite accounts. Joining a newsletter community gives you the power to connect with accounts you enjoy, in your own time.
Let your followers know where they can find you instead
Curate your feed to communicate to your followers what’s happening (because there’s a good chance they may be unaware thanks to the algorithm). Let them know where they can find you when you’re not on socials. Update your links to reflect this too.
Download your content to repurpose
We often have some really good content that we’ve posted to our social media over the years. Don’t let it go to waste! Download your copy and/or images to repurpose on your other platforms in your time away.
Switch to a private profile
Misty also changed her business profile to a personal profile on Instagram, made her account private and turned comments off on her posts. This was to prevent an inundation with bot followers or comments in the time she was away from the platform.
Time off Instagram means more time to do… nothing!
Without time spent scrolling or creating perpetual content for Instagram, you could easily find more activities to fill in the free time you suddenly have. One of the best parts of a social media hiatus though, is the space to do a lot of nothing at all!
Our brains thrive with time out from the hustle and bustle of life. Misty consciously took the pressure off the need to achieve anything, business-related or not, during the time away from social media to give her a feeling of true spaciousness.
The result? More presence, clarity and focus in everyday activities without any feelings of FOMO or urgency to see what the rest of the world is up to.
Social media can actually make us lazy marketers
With so much focus on social media as THE marketing platform for small businesses, it becomes easy for us to stop ‘thinking outside the box’ and pursue other marketing channels. Social media provides us with a sense of false productivity. We post, engage, like and comment and leave the rest up to the algorithm. So when we don’t see the results we’re after, the algorithm becomes the scapegoat. In removing social media from your marketing strategy, it forces business owners to get more strategic and intentional with their small business marketing.
Offline marketing ideas
Connect to your existing networks and client base
Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful AF. When you’re constantly focusing on new/more followers on social media, you can easily overlook the solid connections and support you already have. Connecting with previous clients as well as your existing community is a way to help increase word-of-mouth referrals and boost sales.
A simple conversation with even one person can go a long way in business growth. It’s all about the ripple effect. When you don’t have social media to rely on, building genuine connections becomes an impactful way to spread the word about your business and what you can help people with.
Tap into your local community
People love to support their neighbours and community. Small but mighty, local business communities and networks are often a fabulous source of support and referrals.
Embody your business values
When other people see you ‘walking the talk’ of the work you do – it inspires them to want more of what you got! Think of yourself like a walking advertisement for your business (minus the pressure of being salesy).
Tips for social media self-care and mindfulness
Assess your relationship with social media
Exploring how you feel when using the apps and what you want from your relationship with social media is a good place to start. What are your core values and does your social media use bring you closer to these or take you further away? Knowing how your scrolling is affecting your body and mind helps in guiding decisions around how you use it.
Get intentional about reaching for your phone
Often our app-checking is so habitual, we don’t even realise we’re doing it. Take a moment each time you pick up your phone to remind yourself of what you’re doing and whether you need to be scrolling right now.
Removing social media apps from your phone
Using social media apps on your laptop doesn’t hit the same as scrolling on your phone. This can be a simple but effective way to break a doom-scrolling habit without the need to break up with socials altogether.
Create a what-else-instead list
This is one of the most supportive methods Misty uses with her clients. Make a list of all the things you love doing that you can use to replace your scrolling habit. Reach for your list instead of reaching for your phone to help change your habits.
Connect with Misty Johnson
- Join The Unplugged Woman Newsletter Family at https://subscribepage.io/Am6tYA
- Listen to The Unplugged Woman, Unplugged Podcast at https://www.mistyjohnson.co/podcast
- Purchase The Unplugged Woman Audio Experience at https://www.mistyjohnson.co/audio-experience
- Find out more at https://www.mistyjohnson.co/