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Why I turned my back on Social Media

And 10m views a month!

By Parham Donyai on 30.07.2020 08:09 am

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2 weeks ago, I decided to turn off all my social media accounts.

Actually, let’s go back a bit further. Let’s go back to around 3 years ago when I started taking social media more seriously.

I started posting on Instagram just before Instagram switched their algorithm and growth on there became difficult. For a few months, I had tremendous growth and interaction, reaching around 50k followers in 6 months. For the following 2.5 years, my account only grew by 5k - a direct result of the algorithm change. I got a blue tick for Instagram after 2 years of being on social media.

Even after the algorithm change the views and interactions on my Instagram account were still pretty crazy. As a result of being on social media, my reach as an entrepreneur grew tremendously. If you are on social media, you will know that it enables you to meet people you would otherwise never meet and helps you grow your network. You come across a lot of interesting people and some crazy ones!

Through social media, notably Instagram, I launched courses, podcasts, books and more clients came to me for business mentoring. At the height of my social media life, I was reaching upwards of 10m people a month through Instagram, Tik Tok, Youtube etc I had to take off my private number plates on cars when in London because so many people were coming up to me. Same in shops and other places. I would go to eat and people would come up wanting to talk about my latest post or wanting to learn about business. I didn’t mind at first but sometimes you just want to have your private life.

As an entrepreneur and founder of LA Muscle, I was never a fan of the public life. Business was and is my life but I never invited publicity. Social media changed all that. For the most part, it was a good thing as it meant my brands reached a different audience through my personal social media presence.

Then 2 weeks ago, something happened.

I had been toying with the idea of closing my social media accounts for a while but social media had become such a huge project in itself that it seemed ludicrous to close off something I had spent so much time and effort building. Let’s not forget that in today’s world, YOU need to be your own PR.

Sometimes in life you need a wake-up call to realise what matters and what doesn’t and to stop a particular path.

Two weeks ago, I had that wake up call. The reality is this: Social media does a lot of good. It helps you network, it can grow your business or brand and can help you reach a bigger audience and influence others.

However, social media is also the biggest threat to the world in many ways. Social media manipulates everyone. Social media makes kids and teenagers feel unworthy and sad, it ruins relationships and minds and it controls people the way nothing before it has been able to do.

Sure, it is better to be part of the “power” than on the sidelines. At least this is what I used to think. However, I no longer believe this.

Social media is the weapon of choice for bullies. It is the cause of millions of people’s unhappiness. It controls millions of people through the actions of a few. It is so complicated and algorithm-driven that you, as an individual are unlikely to decipher it or even notice how deeply it manipulates.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make but once I saw the light and realised that social media for me was something I no longer wanted to be part of, the rest was easy. I was letting down many people who had been used to my free advice, interesting photos and videos. But in life, first and foremost, you need to look after your own health - physically and mentally. And of course for someone like me who has several businesses, I needed to pay close attention to what I was devoting my time to.

I closed off my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, Youtube etc within 5 minutes.

Then, this happened:

Silence. It was a strange feeling. I was no longer checking my phone every minute. My mind was not racing to think of the next post or story. I had 3-4 extra hours every day. I was no longer doing podcasts, videos, posts, stories etc etc I felt at peace.

Within days, I started getting emails and texts from people who had my contact details (and some resourceful others who found my email!). They were wondering if something had happened. WHAT had happened? How can an Instagram account with a blue tick and so active, suddenly disappear. Don’t I care about my blue tick? Don’t I care about my audience? Don’t I care about losing momentum? Don’t I care about my followers and likes?

With important decisions, you need to have a good think about them and when you make them, you need to stick to them - that’s unless your decision was based on flawed data.

I miss posting and interacting with people. By closing my Instagram, I probably lost the contact of thousands of people who I had interacted with.

Two weeks on and closing my social media accounts is one of the best decisions I have made in my social/ business life. I don’t care if I am missing out. Missing out on what exactly?

I have more time, more peace and don’t feel I owe anyone anything anymore!

The various businesses I run, including LA Muscle are thriving and nothing has changed on that front. In fact, I look at people on social media now and feel sorry for them. What a waste of time. What a waste of life. There’s much more to life than being glued to your screen looking at things you will never have, people you will never look like and seeing things that for the most part are 100% fake.

I could have toned down my social media life rather than closing it but I am an all or nothing sort of person. Others may do things different and I am certainly not telling you what you should do. Just telling you about what I did.

Maybe I will do another article from the inside on why social media IS such a destroyer of people’s minds. For now, I am enjoying life without the heavy anchor of having to post or having to check the number of “views” or “likes” a post gets. What a life. What a great life!

Parham Donyai

Parham Donyai

CEO

https://www.linkedin.com/in/parham-donyai-93727729/

Parham Donyai is the founder of LA Muscle, having established the company in 1997. He has been a qualified complimentary medicine practitioner of almost 30 years.
Parham is a very successful serial entrepreneur with companies in various fields worldwide. Parham is an author, motivational speaker and mentor to businesses and individuals.

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