Do you remember this scene from Risky Business? Back before Tom Cruise was Maverick in Top Gun. Or Tom Cruise the Creepy Scientologist Guy?
Sometimes you gotta say what the fuck. Take your chance. Kinda like deciding to take a pause from Instagram to get back to a little more authenticity in writing postcards. To really work on real connections. To chill a little.
So, you might be wondering how I came to this idea. It’s multi-pronged, but let me give you a list:
- Massive time suck. Huge. I gasped when I discovered I spent an average of 29 hours per week on Instagram. I have lots of things to do, but that IG alert going off is a drug.
- Content delivered to fewer and fewer followers. I have a lot of followers, but on a good day IG showed what I published to fewer than 500 of them.
- Feeding the beast is exhausting. Receive cards. Photograph cards. Write captions. Determine timing for posts. Respond to comments. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
- Is it about connections or social media recognition? There is good to be had on IG — that’s the connections. But it morphs. And it can rapidly become about likes and exposure.
- I don’t own my content on IG. And neither do you. If Instagram decides they don’t like what I post, down it goes. Same if someone angrily “reports” you.
- Not enough space to write meaningfully. I like writing captions, but there’s a moment when it’s nice to have a little more breathing space to write. That’s here.
- If you’re not paying for the product, you’re the product. Notice all those ads? I mean it was getting to the point where every third post I’d see was an ad. Had to search for friends’ posts.
- More creative freedom. I want to do more than post photos of cards I receive. It’s a feed the beast issue. I want to write more about postcards and connections.
- More time to work on The Postcardist Podcast. I’ve enjoyed making that show. And I plan to make many more. That takes a lot of time to produce. Now I’ll have more time to do that.
- More joy; less stress. Those of you who know me know that I’ve dealt with a pretty serious health issue for three years. I have more to deal with. Lowering stress is good for all of us.
That’s a list. I could write 10 more or 90 more reasons. I think you get the point. I’m not saying I’ll never go back to IG; it’s just a pause. I threw the circuit breaker. I’m not a person who announces something then changes my mind. It’s why I didn’t give a warning before I pushed pause. But I do reserve the right to wander back to Instagram someday with some guardrails in place. I’ll miss out on the interactions with kind people. And I’ll miss seeing some photos. But I’ll be glad to reclaim my time.
Just to show you something I could never show on Instagram without being reported, here’s a postcard I got from my Sugar & Kiki subscription this month. And it’s the words I said when I pushed pause. Kate knows me. And it cracked me up that this was in my mail that day.
If you’re here — thank you. If you’re not, neither of us will be the wiser. Let’s work on getting back to basics. Postcards connect people. Let’s do more of that.