It has been a year since I deleted my Facebook account. Here is why I think other photographers should do the same.
About a year ago, I was so snowed under with work and I was getting increasingly annoyed with the amount of time I was spending dealing with texts, Tweets, WhatsApp, e-mail, Snapchat, receiving calls, and Instagram messages as well as the main source of incoming requests from Facebook. Requests for work are obviously great, but I found that outside of email, phone calls, and Instagram that they were pretty poor leads. At this point I decided to streamline the ways in which I could be contacted to try and reduce my stress and to generally be more productive. I initially removed everything apart from my mobile phone number, Instagram, my email address, and my Facebook account.
And if I am completely honest, there was also a level of procrastination that I just couldn’t seem to brake. I would regularly find myself aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and getting angry at peoples opinions and views on various topics. The social media platform didn’t really give me anything, but it certainly took a lot of time and energy.
Even though Facebook was the main offender for poor leads when it came to people asking for cheap or free work, I hung onto it in fear. My concern was that without Facebook, no one would know who I was or that I was a photographer. It was the first social media platform that I really engaged in, so it seemed like the entire world revolved around it. It turns out that it doesn’t.
How Has it Changed my Photography Career?
In short, not at all. It has been a year since deleting it and I get more work than before, but on a trajectory that I would have hoped for. Obviously I can’t be certain that I wouldn’t have made bigger leaps in my career if I had kept it, but some simple arithmetic would suggest that the time that has been freed up dealing with poor leads and general time wasting has been spend else where.
I have left my business page open incase it has any form of impact on my website in the future and as a bit of a page marker, but I am not sure how I would access it if I needed to. I have also set up a new personal account under a different name that I use to run my weekly workshops from. I have a selection of photographers as friends and a group where I announce the next session. I check in on it once every few days, but there is certainly no apps on my phone nor indication that there may be a response from me if you were to send me a friend request or DM. I do however bow down to Facebook's amazing group system that it has. I am yet to find anything as good for organizing workshops etc.
What Do I Do Now?
With the extra time I have having deleted most social media platforms, I put all of my time into my Instagram account and more recently on rebuilding my website, which will hopefully be done in the next few weeks. I give away lots of advice to other photographers and use the grid to showcase my work to clients. In terms of consuming, I follow accounts that show me the sort of work I want to see as well as accounts that produce images related to my hobbies. For now, this seems like the best way to get myself out there as a photographer and a teacher as well as the easiest way to reach the art buyers who might be interested in working with me.I don’t have any plans to return to Facebook.