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Becoming a social media non-poster

I haven’t posted on social media for almost a year now - only looking, liking, sharing, occasionally commenting, NOT posting on either my personal or business IG’s or FB. (a semi-lurker?). I stopped - you could say froze - because a deluge of questions ensued whenever I tried, questions I didn’t have answers for and no clue how to find them. So I ceased, death knell to the fledgeling business or no. But I did, with encouragement from friends, get out a few blog posts (yes, months ago) and a couple of newsletters. As my wise wondertwin, @cindymorefield, reminded me: an email list of 20ish people is still more eyes on your work than none, and in an easy-to-share format. 

As I’ve navigated this year of non-posting, I’ve found more and more reasons to despise Meta and its bogus “Community Guidelines” that selectively punish content creators but do nothing to address the vitriol from commenters. I’ve watched people I follow get hacked, lose their platforms entirely or teeter on the brink repeatedly, and some understandably jumping ship to Patreon or Substack or whatever.

Down underneath it all I know it is more of a crisis about how I want to show up, engage, be known. There’s a lot of shame around the very real fear of being seen and criticized, around shrinking away from that when so many others I learn from and respect are there on the social media frontlines (mostly IG for me) getting attacked by commenters and suspended or deactivated for “violating community guidelines” (read: speaking out against the systems, capitalism, patriarchy, racism, etc.). It intersects with the conundrum about activism that’s plagued me from way back: the internalized and external judgements about whether I’m committed enough if I don’t lean into discomfort in specific ways, from social media to direct action.

Then there’s the difference - or not? - between a personal account and a biz account, what their purposes are, what the crossover is. There is definitely a difference between sharing something useful, a service, that you’re passionate about because of its potential for good and actively trying to persuade others not to do harm. On a pragmatic level it’s a moot point for me because I don’t have a following and am certainly not an influencer. But I do want to show up authentically. The questions rage and I still do not post. 

The entrepreneurial end is somewhat easier to sense.  I'm an introvert. I don't want to interact with hundreds of people, let alone go viral. Call me stubborn or hopelessly idealistic, but I just don’t want to play the social media game as a way to get a following and run an entrepreneurial venture. I don’t want to spend my energy that way. Truthfully, something in me swings from terrifying projections of financial doom to snarky “Yeah sure, just see how that works for ya,” as I assert that, but I’m increasingly convinced that that part of me is the one who has internalized exactly the messages these systems want it to! (No shade on that one - you can’t not drink the koolaid when you’re swimming in it) So I’m just not going to do it right now, whether I ever get enough income from my Biz to quit my day job or not. It’s my tiny f-you to the systems, my hack for living inside but pushing against those systems, for my own sake at the least. At least not until it looks different to me than it does now. Maybe in some mysterious collective way, that benefits others engaged in the same struggle. I hope so. 

But here’s what’s encouraging to me in this moment, and it emerged as I was writing this post. Somehow I’m finding a web of people who are trying to do some of the same things, who have some of the same conundrums, who’ve figured out some ways to move that are both sustainable and radical, and I found most of them through personal connections first, not from scrolling IG. For example, I heard of George Kao’s heart-based solopreneur coaching from a friend. I took a couple of his courses, including his 2022 Gentle Summit, where I encountered Bear Hebert, an anti-capitalist entrepreneur coach - major resonance energy! I’ve now done Freely, one of their online courses, and plan to do Marketing for Weirdos next time it’s offered. I found Ride Free Fearless Money’s creator Hadassah Damien on a resource list shared by Bear, and now I’m working through her Financial Resilience Workbook. My sis forwarded one of Cody Cook-Parrott’s Monday Monday newsletters and now I’m working through their Substack newsletter course on SkillShare. I met Corinne Loperfido (IRL!! It happens!) at her pop-up Slow Fashion Center for Degrowth at Art Fields in Lake City, SC and got to sew and learn with her in that magical but concrete mutual aid space for most of a rainy day. I’m finding my incremental next steps with these folks just when I needed/was ready for them. And, though I now follow most of them on IG, I didn’t find them there! There does seem to be another way. If I find people that way, isn't there at least a 50/50 chance people who want to learn or grow with me will find me that way, too? I dare to hope.

So I will write here because 1) it’s an exercise in expression and realization for me, 2) I hope it will give interested folks who land here enough information to decide if they want to work or collaborate with me, 3) maybe it will spark some curiosity and dialog for both of us, and 4) no disingenuous “community” (read: megacorporation) content policing here, thank you - I get to co-create this community just with y'all, the actual participants. Sigh of relief.

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