25 Comments

Sorry I don’t know your name to say hi - but hi!! I just came over from todays post. Gosh I really heard how much there was to overcome here. I’m not “big” on socials but I have a friend with an interiors account who is and he’s described it as a feeding frenzy a few times.

Good for you I say! I don’t engage with you tube much but I’ll go support you over there too.

What I’ve found with Substack is it’s given me my attention span back - I can now see social media for what it is and it’s connection I’m after and that comes in so many places - it’s possible here on substack I think but I’m craving the depth in real life too. Thanks for writing here! ✍️

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Hi! I love your point about attention span and connection. Substack feels like a slow way to consume media which I'm all about! :)

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Sep 25, 2022Liked by Molly Ella

I’ve not ‘quit’ it yet, but I’ve definitely kind of abandoned my Instagram really. I no longer have it on my phone either which is a huge help. I own my own business and only have 550 followers and business is good! Numbers aren’t everything, it really is about authentic quality engagement. 😊

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I completely agree :)

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Thanks so much for sharing this - you inspired me to write a similar piece on Medium this week! https://medium.com/@tiffany.francis/the-death-of-instagram-is-setting-me-free-7ad3cd4473d4 I have always struggled with social media, had a big break a few years ago but went back to it for 'work reasons'. I am a writer and illustrator and make all my money through sharing my work, but I realised over the last few weeks and months that it was absolutely crushing my creativity. I'm now making a new communications plan so I can still share my work without Instagram, and I won't be using it anymore. I think we are all so convinced we 'need' it to run a successful online business/service but it's just not true - congrats!!! I hope you love your new freedom as much as I do! xx

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I've just read your blog and you've captured the struggle so wonderfully. I really felt your honesty when talking about how Instagram 'doesn't want you.' I hadn't thought of it that way but of course you are right.

And this 'I didn’t want to spend an hour creating a reel that would be instantly forgotten — an hour I could have spent creating real art and writing' is the reason I knew I had to give it up. I've already got so much more motivation to write again!

Thank you so much for sharing. I've admired your work before, so it would be great to keep in contact :)

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I've just found this post because Substack tells me my lovely friend Claire likes it. I have been on maternity leave recently and with my phone a LOT, and I really do feel the addictive pull of it...this piece of writing has really helped me think - thank you x

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Thank you so much lovely! Really glad it's helpful 😊

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Wohoo! That is no easy feat so well done for making the right choice for you.

I quit Instagram last summer and it was honestly the BEST decision. My creativity has blossomed. I find I have so much more bandwidth to things that actually matter which has allowed me to shift a few other things in my life. Saying that as an avid Instagram user prior to it. I was completely addicted and dependant on it for external validation.

Life without social media can also be social ;)

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I completely agree! Its amazing how much energy such a seemingly small app can take...

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Molly, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I gave up Facebook long time to ago. I was never on Twitter or Instagram. I'm only on YouTube. I only subscribe to the channels that inspire me and I can learn from.

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I love this, good for you! Sounds like a very mindful approach to social media :)

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Aug 15, 2022Liked by Molly Ella

Thanks for this thoughtful content. We are enjoying your work, and glad to hear that you are happier with your decision. Many vlog YouTube authors use Instagram as promotional media for the longer vlog and blog. I understand the Instagram to blog capture rate is ≤ 10%. What have you found? Recognizing that "success" is more than numbers, do you have a content discovery goal?

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Thank you for your comment! I'm not sure about recent figures, but I tended to find that the conversation rate of Insta followers to viewing my blogs and vlogs fairly low. Instagram doesn't want users to leave the app so it can be tricky to move people over. I also found the engagement rate comparatively lower compared to my YouTube. It can work well, but its just not for me anymore. Hope that helps :)

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Aug 15, 2022Liked by Molly Ella

Thanks. This thoughtful, well considered reply reflects the excellent quality of your overall content. The key is you are finding out what works for you, and you are happier doing it. We look forward to reading your continuing chronicles.

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Aug 15, 2022Liked by Molly Ella

Gosh I am surprised. I noticed you left Facebook a while ago. I'm not sure I could be that brave. But if you can continue to do all you want then go for it . Good luck. See you on YouTube.

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Thank you Helen! :)

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Aug 15, 2022Liked by Molly Ella

I thoroughly enjoy your youtube videos. I am glad you will be focusing on it. I have never been to Scotland but i love the scenery and the music. I do not have any of the other social media accounts (facebook, Instagram or Twitter) I am from a different generation. I am at the tail end of the boomers. I am retired and trying to simplify my life and down size. I am from Michigan, US. Keep up the great videos and inspiration. Thank You Mark

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Hi Mark, thank you so much for your comment. I'm really glad you enjoy my YouTube as I love making the videos! A social media life is no bad thing...

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I was really interested to see this pop up in my inbox as I literally deleted my Instagram yesterday as I couldn’t take it anymore. I posted saying I was taking another social media break ‘maybe for good this time’ and I really think it might be. Like you I already feel that relief. Once upon a time I think Instagram did give me some value connecting with the wildlife community when I was actively blogging. Though I did fall into the pitfalls of being miserable when I had low engagement and comparing everything I did to others who I perceived as doing so much better. But I’ve shifted away from the blog (and what felt like the necessary social media presence that goes with it) as I spend my full time job creating nature content for an environmental charity now so no longer felt the desire to do it in my spare time too.

So then Instagram was just personal use but it definitely has become a harmful addiction for me, mindlessly scrolling and barely engaging with the posts I’m scrolling past. Most of the people liking my posts are people I don’t even care about. And the constantly picking up my phone, for no reason and somehow ending up on Instagram or Reddit wasting so much time. I told myself that I use insta to save all my memories so I can look back. But I don’t need Meta owning all my photos to do that in reality. And there’s the constant comparing my life to others which is so bad for me. Sorry for the essay, I think I needed to see this today! So yeah it is gratifying to see I’m not the only one feeling like this and making what many see as the extreme step away from social media.

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Hi Sally 👋. I'm honoured you took the time to write such a thoughtful comment. Interesting to see the commonalities between our decisions to take away.

Social media is a double edged sword and its very difficult to be intentional with consumption. At least that's my experience.

I wonder if this decision will be 'extreme' in the future or it will be more comment to live a life without social media 🤔.

I'm glad you've made the decision that's right for you 💚

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Hi Molly 👋🏻 This post has resonated with me A LOT. I am a digital minimalist too and decides to delete my account with 12.6K one month ago for reasons very similar to yours. I think it’s been the right choice for me and it also feels exciting to see what I can do as a creative without this app! it’s been amazing to read your take on this 🧡 And I’m happy to have discovered another Scottish Substack!

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You know, so much of the resonates with me -- I have been considering quitting as well for many similar reasons and for such a long time. It just doesn't fit with the life I want and "The Social Delma" also really influenced me as well as learning about some horrifying realities behind these popular social media outlets. It is hard though -- personally, it has given me a leg up when publishing and my writing career, my chapbook "mo nighean: the universe inside the comma" was published by a publisher who originally found me on Instagram. As well as that, my family is spread across continents -- many of them being in Scotland (I'm in Canada) so giving up social media also means less ability to connect with them. And yet, with the onslaught of stress it brings to my life -- I am seriously considering giving it up. I'm sure I will actually -- it is just a matter of when.

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Reading this after a month-long break away from social media and a week into my journey with Substack. I am SO excited for the return of my attention span, inspiration and ideas. It is so incredibly comforting to learn more about what happens for others when they take a step back from social media too. Great pos!

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Hi, just finding this post after reading a few of your others. This resonates with me as I’ve felt for awhile that I’m not getting from Ig what I wanted when I started my author account. I’ve connected with wonderful authors there and I’m very grateful for that, but every time I post I feel strongly that I could have been writing instead...I’m going to give Substack a try! Thank you.

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