I have always had a love-hate relationship with social media… on one hand, I know that it’s beneficial for my business and there are a lot of unique opportunities that social media brings that we just wouldn’t have otherwise. On the other hand, I get caught up in the comparison trap, doom scroll, and many times I leave the app feeling more anxious, drained, and irritable. In this episode, I walk you through my personal journey with social media and how taking 60 days off (like literally LOCKED out) helped me set a new standard for how I show up online.

I’ll be sharing:

  • My personal experience with social media and how I took 60 days off at the beginning of this year and how that sparked a fresh wave of creativity for my business
  • The addictive side of social media and how the algorithm is literally inspired by slot machines
  • The strategy I use that allows me to be in the game without having to play the game

… and so much more.

If you’re feeling like social media is feeling like pressure, making you feel drained, and honestly giving you a lot of stress — but you know that you should be utilizing it for your business, this episode is for you.

Tune in for a new way to manage your online presence in a way that is not only better for your mental health, but positions you as a leader and authority in your industry.

Like the podcast? Leave us a review on Apple or Spotify.

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Ways I can support:

[VIRTUAL ENTREPRENEUR EVENT] FREE virtual event for ALL Hirsh Community members! https://www.notforlazymarketers.com/experience

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh: 

Hello my friends, welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing week. I am I’m honestly having a hard time focusing on anything else right now. Besides my event on Saturday because I am so excited for it. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about something. I am just so honored, so grateful and blown away to be honest with you with this entire experience. I was talking to a friend yesterday and I’m like I have never gone through something that was such a definition, an example of alignment as this event because when you have massive alignment and when I believe that you. Follow a dream or a vision that is bigger than you that literally comes from god the universe. Whatever you believe in and you choose to follow that and you choose to you know, take the leap and try something that makes you scared and uncomfortable like. You just are on this path where everything works out so amazing. So I’m going to do a separate podcast after about it because I have to tell you guys some of the stories that have happened like when I tell people their jaw drops with like

 

The synchronicities and how things that it was just like oh and then this worked out and then this worked out and then this is easy and here’s this sponsor, it’s wild like it’s almost like I made it up how crazy it is and the experiences just kind of be incredible. So I’m so excited to meet you guys. And so many of you who are coming to Austin on Saturday and I say I’m honored because I was telling my husband last night I’m like I have multiple people flying in all the way from Canada to come to this event and it’s just such a representation of the incredible. Community that I’ve built an audience and I mean you guys over the last eight years and it’s such an honor to be able to create this opportunity and this experience for us to connect and I’m honored that so many of you are willing to. Make the trip to Austin and get the flights and the childcare and the hotels and whatever’s required to get here just to be a part of this. So. Okay, I’ve been wanting to do this podcast episode for a little while but I needed to figure out. How this was going to actually look for me after taking sixty days off of social media to be honest with you my relationship with social media as a creator is something that I’m consistently fine-tuning holding myself accountable with and navigating.

 

It’s not something I’ve perfected. It’s not something that I feel is exactly how I want it to be. I very much feel sometimes that there has to be all in or all out like it’s really hard for me to find that gray area that harmony, place between the two and. I’ve worked on it in the last month because I came back on social media. So I’m going to give you guys right now where it stands my exact strategy for showing up on social media in a way that allows me to be really authentic and connect with my audience. Have the opportunity to have the impact and the connection that I want to through social media but not be in it all the time, not be on it all the time, not be let my life be run by it which ultimately leads to burnout and I’m going to give you a little backstory. So.

 

I’m a pretty like I don’t like technology and screens as a person. I think that it really impacts our creativity. So I already have strong opinions and thoughts about that my kids pretty much don’t have any screens. We don’t even have a Tv in our house. They get 30 minutes of they can watch like Amazon prime video on a computer or an ipad after dinner every day that’s it no games. No tablets, no tv I think you do you as a parent but there’s a lot of studies and a lot of proof and I’ve seen it real hand real firsthand what it does to kids creativity. I think the same for adults like we are all addicted to our phones and they are literally designed to be as addictive as possible and you can you know whether you have awareness to this or not like even me. I’m addicted to my phone. It’s a constant thing I have to work on and I have to be aware of and so. As a person this is a core value of mine is being present in life being present to experiences not living life through a screen not allowing it to the noise of social media and screens and technology to cloud my creativity and my presence in my life and so I’ve had many times where I’ve deleted social media a lot of times I’ll do it like I’ll delete social media for oh the weekends I’ve been off social media for a few months before but I always was able to still go log in on the computer and I’m not kidding you you guys like it’s so addicting that I’ve deleted social media.

 

And then went in through safari on my computer I mean my phone and still logged in like it’s crazy. So anyways, I did that, I deleted it like when I’ve gone for a week to Costa Rica when I go on my retreats like no problem. Well in February if you’ve listened along to the podcast. You know that I took the entire month off and part of that was I wasn’t just deleting social media from my phone and when I say deleting it I mean delete the app like my profile still existed I deleted the app for my phone but I actually had my team lock me out. Had them change the passwords to my social media so that I could not get in I mean I guess I could have been like forgot password change what password it didn’t get that bad so I had my team change it so I couldn’t get in on desktop I couldn’t get in on my phone and I took the apps off and it was supposed to be all of february. But it turned into all of March too that I wasn’t on social media and it was incredible like I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t see anybody’s updates or stories or posts like I didn’t have any content and I didn’t consume anything. I don’t already don’t watch Tv I just choose not to and so I didn’t consume anything but books for those sixty days like that’s all, and so for me, it was an experiment of what will happen to my creativity and my presence in my life if I have no noise.

 

From social media and other creators out there and you know as suspected 10 out of 10 recommend it for creativity like if you’ve watched my business in the last two months and the things we’re doing and. And our messaging and my connection to my audience and my authenticity skyrocketed because my creativity is through the roof. My presence. My energy is different and one of the things that I really loved is the privacy. And I’ve talked about this a little bit on the podcast before but you know I went on several trips during that time I went snowboarding and I went on trips where I was like nobody knows where I am and like my team didn’t know because I wasn’t also participating in our huddles and I still didn’t go back to that. Whatever. But. Anyways I was like oh this is how normal people live their life like you know it sounds so silly. But when you are a creator and you have a brand and you have a following you get very very accustomed to I don’t really want to say sense of obligation but it is kind of. This obligation of I need to be sharing. I need to be creating content. I need to turn these life experiences into content because that’s my job right? And then there’s a deeper layer to that where you actually enjoy the response you get from doing that.

 

Like I mean you’re lying if you say that you don’t actually enjoy getting people’s positive response to whatever you’re doing or your takeaways or your life or whatever and so it was very fascinating for me to. Experience what it would be like to just not tell anyone anything and to not share anything and to not have to create anything that was happening in my life into content and the few times that I did create it into content. It was like in a Google doc and then my team just took it and posted it. And so I had no connection to how that did, how people received it the likes like I didn’t care I for I didn’t I didn’t know and I didn’t care and with it being sixty days I definitely got to a place where I didn’t even think about it like. Thinking about scrolling Instagram or thinking about posting or creating content for Instagram in terms of stories or turning something into a piece of content didn’t cross my mind anymore because it was so long I did notice the first week or 2 and that I was off social media I would notice that. My brain would immediately turn to creating something that was happening in front of me into content. So let’s say I’m snowboarding and I’m having a certain experience I have a thought I have a takeaway. Whatever I would immediately.

 

Like start formulating how I would turn that into content a post a story and I’m like this is wild like I am seeing life through the lens of creating content instead of just experiencing it and that’s so deeply rooted. Because I’ve done it for so many years now. It’s not a black or white thing because the other piece to that is I really enjoy it writing and creating content like even my podcast you know doing this is my art. It is my expression. It is a gift of mine. It is something I believe I’m here to do and so what is the balance with that. So I know that the answer is not I’m never going to be on social media. But also when I come back on social media I know that I have a hard time like just opening the app to post a quick story and getting off. Like I’m being fully transparent with you guys I look at how many people viewed my stories I look at the response and I go and then you end up on Instagram and then you find yourself scrolling or watching stories like consuming. It’s so hard not to consume when it’s right in front of you. And during the sixty days I read the book scarcity brain by Michael Easter I highly recommend he also wrote comfort crisis which is another really good book and he talked about the science behind Instagram and it’s really fascinating to me. So basically they discovered that.

 

With slot machines how to get slot machines to work and actually be effective. There was like all these things they did to them and number one it was the idea of the unknown like you, you pull the slot machine and you don’t know what you’re going to get and Instagram is literally designed. Like a slot machine. You pull it open and you don’t know what you’re going to see you swipe down to refresh your feed. You don’t know what you’re going to see and our human brain actually loves the unknown we crave constantly. Watching these things because we want to know what’s happening next and it’s like that’s that fast-paced like dopamine addiction of like oh my gosh I’m going to open the app and what am I going to see is it going to be something that makes me feel good. Is it going to be something that makes me feel happy. Am I going to feel jealous? Whatever it is, so that was 1 thing with the slot machines that they discovered is a long time ago I don’t remember how long ago slot machines were like really predictable if you would win or not and then the other thing is they make them where it’s like very random so it’s like win win lose lose lose lose win lose lose win win right? And so then your brain is like oh maybe next time like I know I’m so close I’m so close to winning I’m so close to feeling good. So Instagram’s the same way because you get on and like you might see something that you don’t really like it doesn’t make you feel good. But then you swipe again and you’re going to see something that does right? You just don’t know and so.

 

Literally the science behind Instagram is the same science that they have used to design slot machines to be incredibly addictive. It gets all intentional. So side note on that I thought that was really interesting with that said. I wanted to come back on social media because there are parts of it that I enjoy, there are parts of it the connection and the impact and so since I’ve been back. It’s been a month and as I said it in the beginning like it hasn’t been perfect. I’ve had days where I’m like god I feel like shit like I was on Instagram too much. I hate that I pick it up. I open it to post a story and 20 minutes goes by because I scroll like I feel gross after I do that I don’t like it and sometimes like it’s hard for me to control it and I’m a very disciplined person, so here’s how I have my social media set up and what is working for me right now. First of all I’m playing by this line that someone said to me and I love which is you got to play the game without being in the game instagram is a game like all of it is intentionally designed. To make us subconsciously just follow something and engage and consume without being intentional, but as a creator as a business owner you need to play the game.

 

Right? If you want to grow your business. It is an incredible opportunity There are so many there are many positive sides to social media I don’t know if they outweigh the negative like I really don’t know sometimes I do wonder like what would life be like if we had no social media and would it be better today in terms of people’s. Mental Health and connection and community. But there are positives right? There are positives in you know the impact that there’s there’s probably no way that I would have people flying to Canada to come to an event with me in Austin had I not have. Social media for them to connect with me for the last months years whatever there are people you can meet. There’s information you can find there’s connections. There’s community. You can build online. Does it trump you know in person? No. But there are positives right? and there is an opportunity for everybody to have a massive reach very quickly because of social media and so if you want that and you believe that that is part of your calling you have to play the game and you can’t be mad at the game because the game is the game right. But you don’t have to be in the game. You don’t have to be a player in the game that is just unintentionally and subconsciously being ruled by the game. Okay, but you can play it so that’s what I live by right now.

 

And the way I have it set up is so first of all 1 of the first things I did when I came back I unfollowed almost everybody not because I didn’t like them but because I wanted to limit the noise and so I think I follow like one hundred and forty people every person that I follow I either personally know and have a relationship with or I genuinely get a lot of value out of their content and every time I see it I feel good and it adds positive energy and value to my life I unfollowed like 800 people didn’t even know some of these like I didn’t even know people that I was following so that was the first thing I did because now my newsfeed when I do see it is at least not people that either I don’t know like why would I honestly why would I follow. Somebody who I don’t really know, not not like have to personally know but like respect their content and their values and who they are if there is somebody that was causing me to feel inadequate or comparison or just wasn’t a healthy interaction for me. That’s not their fault like that’s on me I would either unfollow or if I didn’t want to unfollow I muted their profile because I wanted to make sure as much as possible that when I open my feed.

 

I wasn’t getting that negative experience that can happen without even realizing on social media. So. That’s the first thing I did. I highly recommend it because now you’re taking some control over the noise and the consumption that you have. Now I want to say something. I do think it’s very dangerous to be in an echo Chamber of only following people who agree with you on whatever you think like whether it’s politics, religion, business, health, whatever. I’m not saying to unfollow and not listen to anybody who doesn’t agree with you I’m saying. The people that their content has no value or meaning for you like you don’t feel a positive whether it’s getting you to think about a belief that’s a positive interaction right? We need that it’s the people that like for me, it’s people who complain who have that victim mentality who are not adding value. You know or maybe for whatever reason they’re making me feel like this comparison to their life and their business. That’s not healthy for me at this moment. So I think echo chambers are very dangerous and I do try to follow. I love following people who when I read their content. It makes me think like oh that’s a really great point and I haven’t thought of it that way like I Maybe think this and you think this and I love that I think that’s very Important. So side note on that and so this allows you to take control of your consumption.

 

Now for me and how I post and how I show up I think having a specific number of times that you want to commit to posting a week is a good goal this is going to vary like for me, it’s 4 to 5 we post 4 to 5 times a week is our minimum. And I actually plan those posts with my team. I do have a team supporting me but I plan those posts outside of Instagram in a Google document. They’re preplanned. They’re pre-written and the creative is done. I do have a team who supports me in creating the content. But if you don’t you can still follow the same process. And I think having an amount that you want to post per week is the structured masculine side that’s important in this in your business and all of marketing because what this will do is it’ll help you avoid. Where you post 7 times one week and then you burn yourself out and you post none the next week right and it creates some consistency so have an amount per week that you are going to post but then give yourself some flexibility in terms of what those posts are. We have pillars that we go off of for my social media and we have a general idea but behind the scenes what you don’t see is sometimes there are times where I’m like this doesn’t feel like to post today like I just there’s something off with the content and I’m really inspired to post this instead and I follow those nudges.

 

Because the other piece is like my rule is only showing up when it feels authentic and from my heart if there is anything on our social media. So I have a team who writes my social media for me. But I actually review everything right now because I like to have a final look at it. I don’t know if I’ll do that forever or not I haven’t always done that but right now that is what I’m doing partly because I have a copywriter who’s only been with us for three months writing for me but I review everything and if it does not feel authentic to me if it does not feel like something I would say if it feels like it’s templated if it feels forced. If it doesn’t feel from my heart. We will not post it. I would rather post less that week than post something that feels like it’s robotic and inauthentic and not from my heart. It’s very important to me that my content comes from that place of authenticity. And not trying to be somebody else and is fully what I would say and so I think when you consume less you have a deeper connection to what that is unfortunately with social media when we consume. Or when we look at somebody else who we look up to in business without even realizing it that alters our content creation because we are subconsciously molding to what our brain has thought oh that’s the right way to do it but is it really you right.

 

And the reality is what converts. The best is the stuff from your heart because people are also craving authenticity in a very shallow world that is social media and then as of now I massively limit my time scrolling. In a best case scenario I don’t do it at all right now that it’s back on my phone if I’m being transparent when I am laying there at night with my four year old and he’s falling asleep and I’m laying in the dark with nothing to do I will usually scroll social media and that’s really the only time. Like otherwise I’m during the day like I don’t really I do I have noticed. It’s funny when you take it away for a long time. You can very easily see what the triggers are that cause you to start to numb and go scroll and I’ve noticed that when I’m overwhelmed. Or when I have like a huge to do list and I don’t really know where to start and I feel this like overstimulation overwhelm I haven’t maybe meditated I haven’t grounded myself I will turn to scrolling because it’s an easy way for me to escape overwhelm and almost feel like I’m doing something. Like I don’t think I feel productive but it definitely is an easy escape. So I’ve noticed that if I’ve got like a bunch of text messages and emails and things I have to reply to and I’ve got a long to do list I’m like well I’ll just pull up Instagram that feels really easy right instead Facey these things getting and organized and moving through it.

 

So for me, that’s when I’ve noticed I do it and also at night because I’m laying there and I’m honestly bored and I don’t have the mental capacity to like listen to an audiobook because I’m done for the day. It’s eight thirty pm but I limit my scrolling. And then when I do scroll I am getting value out of the content that I do review because it’s either connecting with people who I personally know and have a relationship with or people who I genuinely get value from their content for me like I’ll probably go back to. Taking it off my phone on the weekends I think that’s a great strategy because even just having two days to reset it. It makes it so your habits over the next five days are more intentional and then the last thing is just having more privacy around my life and what I’m doing. I personally feel torn about sharing my kids on social media now you know on one hand I enjoy being able to share it with people you know friends and family who follow me. I know I could make it so that only they can see things. But. There’s a part of me that does enjoy that connection and like my kids are freaking funny and they’re cute and you know I want to share some of those things but then on the other hand I’m like I don’t know maybe I should just not share anything about my kids so I’m torn on that currently and.

 

I no longer post stories often like knowing what’s happening in my day or when I’m on a trip or what I’m doing that doesn’t happen anymore. I will take photos real time and videos real time and I’ll go back and post them at the end of the day. Some. But there’s a lot that happens in my life that is not on social media. Good and bad and that’s the way it’s going to stay because this obligated feeling of sharing. Everything is what I will not have and I didn’t realize I had it until I took it away. So. Only when it feels intentional I think the word intentional is so important with social media because that is the difference between playing the game and being in the game right? If you’re intentional with what you’re posting, if you’re intentional with what you’re consuming and you’re intentional with the time you’re spending on social media. You’re not going to be able to do it 100% of the time. I mean if you can then tell me your secret because there’s moments that I slip into subconscious and not being intentional with my habits but I try and my goal is to be intentional with the content creation. The consumption. And the way that I show up on social media because then I’m playing the game I’m in charge right? I am pulling the levers not Instagram and Instagram’s algorithm and the way it was designed to mess with our brains.

 

And so that’s my goal and part of that is watching that obligation of sharing everything and then also you know, asking myself the deeper question of why do you want to share this. Do you want to share this for approval? Or do you want to share this because you genuinely believe that it will help people right? And are there things that I want to share where I’m like oh I need that validation right now and why is that what’s the deeper root of that is it because I’m feeling disconnected do I need to call a friend do I need to talk to my husband you know like it’s designed to where social media fulfills needs that we have but not really like it’s shallow right? So we have. We have deep intrinsic needs to be connected to the tribe to be. Accepted right and validated. But if we seek that from social media. It’s not real and so therefore we end up feeling even worse without realizing that. That’s the problem. So. That’s my strategy. You guys probably thought it was going to be like post 4 times and do these stories and do this. I mean one of the reasons I love ads Facebook ads is I run those every single day like my Instagram grows every day my numbers go up in terms of my following.

 

And it’s not because I’m showing up on social media all the time. It’s because I’m running ads. It’s because I have a marketing strategy that gets people into an email list that gets them into an email sequence that gets them to be nurtured and in my community all without me right? My visibility ads and my lead generation ads they run. Every single day. No matter what I’m doing, no matter if I showed up on social media or not so all right? My friends, I won’t talk to you guys again until the ultimate entrepreneur experience event. I cannot wait and I hope you guys have a beautiful weekend!