How I prepared for leaving Social Media

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

Throwing my hair back and tackling this new chapter without social media with confidence.

Art available as Print

In the last article I shared with you why I am leaving social Media and today I want to share what I will be doing exactly as a first step to ease myself into a new world without Social Media.

When I mean leaving Social Media I mean solely platforms that rely on your attention to make money and that connect you to other people at the same time. I’m not leaving social media in itself. I'm leaving the platforms that are using addictive technology to grab my attention so I stay on the platform for longer which leaves me feeling empty and my work uninspired. Read more about the 6 reasons why I left here.

First I needed to decide which Social Platforms were falling into this category and what I will fo with them. My guide was to see which once distracted me the most and therefore hurt me and my work. I had to look at this really honestly and it wasn’t an easy decision but this is what came up with:

Leave Facebook:

This was an easy decision and one that I was about to do anyway before my account was disabled so it was easy to just keep that one closed. Facebook didn't bring me much more then the contacts I had on it. With them permanently lost it was easier. But even if they wouldn't have been gone. A quick request for your data and you have all your contacts downloaded and you are ready to leave.

Leave TikTok:

This new platform full of controversy and discussions. I enjoyed it for the full length of the quarantine like so many other people but I knew if I wouldn't stop it will pull me down the rabbit hole of the video after video. The Algorithm makes sure of that showing me only videos of things I am interested to see. Which is amazing but also scary. With no idea where that data goes and what this platform will grow into I decided to let it go.

Leave Twitter:

This one was easy because I feel like Twitter is not that big of a deal in Europe. Basically, nobody I know is on it and I had an account that was old and not really cared for. Nonetheless, it works similar to the bid once like Facebook and Insta so I didn't feel like it was necessary to keep. So I deleted it for good.

Stay on Google/YouTube:

If I would be a die-hard super strict person I should probably leave YouTube and all Google services. They belong to this machine as much as FB, Insta, and Twitter do but I need to make compromises and because I still want to be found on the platforms I will continue to be on Google for now. I am thinking of transferring my Email to another service. So let me know in the comments if you have a good suggestion for me.

Leave Instagram:

This is definitely the biggest one because every one of my creatives friends tells me that there is no way I can live and be successful as an artist and illustrator without an Instagram account But when my Facebook was disabled, Instagram with my 7000 Followers was also disabled. I reopened it with the name @vollgasstudio but as I mentioned in a previous blog post I felt so much resistance towards this new account that I decided to leave it before I put to much effort into it. I felt like the time and energy I would have to put into it was better served somewhere else so I decided to let it go

But I still didn’t feel like simply deleting it would be the most effective way of leaving the platform because there were still people out there who needed to find me again after I got deleted.

So this what I did instead:

  1. I made a post letting people know I am leaving soon and where they will be able to find me from now on.

  2. I updated and posted all my latest work that was on my last account so I can leave a Portfolio on Insta without actually using it. Each post mentioning me leaving Insta and now being found on Patreon. My idea was that if people find me again from my old account they recognize my work and have the possibility to follow me to Patreon if they choose to do so

  3. Make a finishing post explaining one last time where they can find me on my feed and as a story.

  4. Post the link to my welcome website with links to my newsletter, my shop, and Patreon.

  5. Send a message to each of my 180 fans and let them personally know about this transition in case they haven’t seen the post or story.

  6. Leave Instagram, delete the app everywhere necessary.

  7. I will allow myself one log in a month through my computer till the end of the year to check in with messages and let new people following me know that they only find me on Patreon. But I will not post new images or any other updates.

Stay on Pinterest:

For me Pinterest is a search engine for images and Blog articles. Until that changes, I will stay on this platform and show my work similar to the portfolio platforms I use.

Stay on Dribbble, Behance and Ello:

These platforms are professional Portfolio sites that are here to showcase my work. I have never been keeping them up to date because my whole energy went into Instagram and now it is time to do that before I enter the new step of this endeavor.

The last step and the platform I will be using primarily:

Transition to Patreon:

All Social Platforms are now sorted and done except one. Because I still believe in the social component of social media I wanted to make sure that I could still connect to the true fans of my work so I opened a Patreon Account.

Why is Patreon not another evil social platform? Because it embraces the balance between platform, creator, and fan by putting the high-quality content that is presented on the platform behind a paywall. This way Patreon can make sure that they will never have to rely on ads because they get paid directly instead of a third party. The creator can make sure that they can create content that is meaningful and not only there to feed the algorithm. And the fan actually gets value from their payment on a monthly basis because neither the platform nor the creator tries to push products on them they don’t need or see content that they don’t want to see.

The big upsides of Patreon:

  • You only see my work and the work of artists that you choose to support (or not) and nothing else

  • The timeline is based on time and not algorithms

  • The feed is completely ad-free

  • You can be sure that your data is not sold to third parties which will manipulate your behavior and influence you in a political or product-based way.

  • You can actually make a difference in your favorite artist world and financially support them. This way you allow them to continue the work they create.

  • There are no bullies or trolls, only true fans

I choose Patreon as my new Social Plattform because I believe that the best way for creators and fans to connect is a platform that allows the fan to have the highest possible quality of content by supporting the artist directly to create it.

Now I am all prepared for the next step. With the major Social Media Channels gone or on hold I need to figure out other ways to reach the right audience.

If you are interested in more behind the scenes content by Andrea Forgacs visit her Patreon page where she talks about her creative business in a weekly podcast available nowhere else on the internet.