2020 & Tech Boundaries For Creative Entrepreneurs
But first, let me take a selfie, and while I'm on here...how are my site visits doing lately? Should I be posting on IG more? I really need to update these site photos. And check the SEO on all pages. And...-PING-...I just checked my emails, how are they back to that number?! -PING- Right, my Facebook messages too.
-PING- it shouldn't be this hard
If that first paragraph resonated with you, you should take a hot minute to reassess the relationship you and your business have with technology. I often wonder what it was like to run a business in the print era which undoubtedly was a nightmare for our forests, but ohhhh what a dream for us entrepreneurs.
A recent survey found that 37% of individuals use social networks for their purchase inspiration.
Although, this isn't what accounts for all the pressure that comes with the information age. It's also the role websites, emails, and the catalyst to it all - cellphones - play.
After starting BUD + BLOOM my relationship with my laptop and cellphone changed drastically. When I wasn't on them for business purposes, I didn't want to be on them at all. If I spent enough time between them both, I would leave feeling drained of everything. Including my creativity. I started to prefer calls over text messages and ignoring my phone any chance I felt I could. This ruffled some feathers within my personal circles and at one point I was asked how I planned to maintain relationships. A notion that seemed totally ridiculous to me.
If our relationship falters because I don't engage with your online content as much as you'd like, or fail to text you back right away, then it obviously wasn't a very strong one to begin with. I will show you my love via sporadic but hilarious meme sharing instead. Whenever I choose to be online.
And that is the core of this problem. Our cellphones - these amazing devices, created with the best intentions - were purposely made to increase our availability to the world. At first it was for safety - holla at your car & satellite phones! Then it was tailored more towards business - what up, what up Blackberry! Then we blinked and suddenly they became a necessary component to our lives.
However, just because a device was made to allow us to be available at all times, doesn't mean we have to be.
So, overwhelmed by a wave of unpleasantries that compacted over the last few months, I decided to take time during the holidays to unplug. I turned off notifications, put all life-sucking apps in a folder appropriately labelled with three big red X emojis, made a few obligatory "Hey, I'm ditching my phone for a while so kindly put away your pitchforks if I don't answer," then exhaled one of the biggest sighs of relief I ever have.
Of course this was bittersweet because I knew it had to end at some point. Running a business meant that was an unavoidable fact. But after seeing the difference being away for just 5 days made in both my wellbeing & creative output, I decided to re-establish my tech boundaries so that I could at least unplug in the evenings.