The Insidious Nature of Social Media

Social media is like a poltergeist. It’s malicious and sneaky and sometimes frightening. And pushy. So, so pushy.

Earlier this year I deactivated my Facebook and became largely inactive on all other social media sites I’m subscribed to. It was amazing how much better I felt without that (in my case) mostly unwanted connection to the world. The useless nature of social media for me was rendered void, because I no longer had the apps taking up space in my phone.

After a few blissful months, I succumbed to a weak, stupid idea that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad to get my social media back up and running. And then it all came flooding back, like some kind of tidal wave of awfulness. There were all the useless posts; I don’t care that you’ve taken a trip to the supermarket and can’t decide what to have for dinner – and why is it that you need to share such a mundane detail with the world anyway? I went through a series of culls, unfollowing almost my entire friend list. If you bore me or annoy me, chances are I will have unfollowed you ages ago. Then there were the pointless tests; taking a test to find out which minor character from the third Harry Potter book you are most like on a Wednesday afternoon is not my idea of a fun way to spend my time. And let’s not forget all those stupid click bait articles; “this high school student took on a ten foot chicken in down town London and you won’t believe what happened next!” yeah. And I also don’t care.

It tries to keep you “connected”, which I understand is the point. But I think we should be allowed to connect when, and with whom, we want, without the pressure to make everyone happy by announcing our presence. Yesterday I got a notification from my sewing page connected to Facebook that demanded I write a post. Excuse me, Facebook, but I will post when I like and no more or less frequently. You can take your demands and shove them firmly up your Zuckerberg.

It’s so strange to me how much time we dedicate to keeping connected with the world. If you can even call it that. We’re more interested in a screen than a face and a conversation. I’m guilty of it too, and I don’t even like most social media. So why do we do it? What is so entertaining about wasting our lives in front of screens? I’m seriously considering taking it all down again. I rarely use Facebook myself anyway, only checking it occasionally when I get a high enough volume of notifications. Which in my case can easily take a month. In fact, the two sites I use the most are this blog, and Instagram. Which is in large part, due to the cool creators that I follow, because I love all the inspiration and creation I get to see.

I’m not social in real life, so social media itself has very little value or merit for me. It’s creepy, and irritating and a significant waste of space. But that’s just me.

Deactivation, and Decluttering

I deactivated my Facebook a little over a month ago. I haven’t really been all that active on that particular social media site for a long time, only posting sporadically. And I have long since unfollowed probably half of my Facebook friends, because they annoyed me, so my news feed essentially consists of memes posted by the friends I do still follow. Which, in my case, is about as far from interesting or entertaining as it gets.

I decided to deactivate the account for those, and other reasons. Essentially, I have grown tired of it, and it serves little to no real purpose for me anymore. I was pretty much only keeping it as a convenient way to arrange group gatherings, and to keep the page for The Elegant Fox open. But even that grew tiresome. On a busy schedule, it’s not easy to find time to sew and post something every day – or even every few days! And the constant reminders from Facebook, telling me to update the page because I hadn’t posted in five whole days, grew increasingly tiresome. I have to admit, not having that constant pressure to keep my followers updated has been a pleasant change of pace for me.

Most of my social media presence is via this blog, and my Instagram. I have a Goodreads account, but I find that’s less about social interaction, and more about sticking to my reading goal for the year. The truth is, I didn’t outright delete my Facebook account, in case it becomes of use again. In any case, I’ll need to reactivate it so I can keep up with the Fox. Assuming, that is, that I don’t follow through with my plan to simply let it lapse, and go back to taking commissions only when people ask. See, here’s the thing; I hate where I live, and I am no longer particularly fond of my job. I don’t want to spend any time on any other things that bring me no joy or serve little purpose. Facebook is one of those things. And to a degree, my small business venture is another.

I love sewing. I love creating things from nothing and wearing my handmade items with pride. I love learning new skills, and putting them into practice. But the business, if you can even call it that, is far from profitable. I’m thinking, instead of dealing with the pressure that comes with expectation, simply keeping the business name registered, but not trading publicly anymore. It is the kind of thing I need to dedicate more of my time to, and working full time isn’t really conducive to full time creation.

I’ve kind of reached this point, where I am sick of doing things for the purpose of keeping other people happy. Especially because it hasn’t really worked out all that well for me. On the contrary, I feel worn out and spread thin from all the trying. So I am going to slowly, but surely remove the things from my life that no longer serve a purpose. Like a big spring clean, only it’s the wrong season and I’m decluttering my life instead of my house. Though that will come later, when I move.

I think sometimes it’s good to take stock of our lives, and work out what things are holding us back, dragging us down, or making us unhappy. And then take steps to improve those things, or rid ourselves of them. Because what’s the point of being alive, if we don’t get to enjoy living? Forgive the cliche, but it makes sense, don’t you think?

A Fox and a Fledgling Business

the elegant fox 2

Recently, I made the decision to go ahead with my plan to start a small ‘business’. I don’t own a shop, and I didn’t invest in anything. All I did was decide that I would start putting my sewing skills to good use, develop them a bit, and hopefully start making a little bit of extra cash. But I’m a hopelessly hopeless adult, so it’s been a somewhat slow process.

The first thing I did was register my business name and secure myself an ABN. Basically, this allows me to trade under a business name, and I’m registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. When I received the letter in the mail telling me that I was an official business owner, I got a little bit excited, and thus, The Elegant Fox was born! There’s something about taking that first step that just seemed really positive. From there, I kind of got sidetracked. Life has a way of…well, getting in the way.

The next step in the process was to organise a logo. I contacted my tattoo artist (an insanely talented fellow and all around rad dude) and threw some ideas at him. He was happy to oblige, and within a week, I had myself a dapper little character to go with the business name. Once I was happy with everything, and had a logo ready to go, it was time to actually do something productive and open a shop. I scouted a bunch of online selling platforms and settled on I set up my details, created a business paypal account and then…didn’t do anything about it for a solid two weeks. I want to blame it on life again, but in this case I was just lazy and unmotivated.

Finally, this week I put some items in my madeit shop, and for the first time since I got my letter in the mail confirming my business name, I felt like I was doing something productive. I made a Facebook page to help promote what I do, and that was that. Now I have to get sewing, so people can get buying, so I can get buying more fabric, so I can get sewing, so people can start…well, you get the picture.

Please feel free to go and check out my shop here or my Facebook page here. Both are a little naked at the moment, but I have things in the works, I promise!