Social Media Blackout

Yup, I am going to do the unspeakable and embark on a social media blackout.


“What?” you gasp!

Yes, no Facebook. No Twitter, or Pinterest, or LinkedIn.

No blogging, no commenting, no replying to comments.

No newsletters from me or others I subscribe to.


Except emails as I still have a business to run.

Why a social media blackout?

This goes over and above “social media fatigue” – we only have a limited capacity for information input before we get overloaded.

“You cannot create when you are consuming”.{click to tweet}

That is a fact.

Can you write the perfect sales copy in a nightclub at 10pm on a Friday night?


The lights, the music, the movement – all of that is like social media and the delicious 24/7 global world we live in.

Yes, I love a great blog post, I love to check out what my “competitors“/ people in my industry are doing but it always leaves me questioning. It’s the whole “oooh shiny, oooh pretty, oooh sparkly – where the F was I?” situation. You get lost in the gluttony – the gluttony of consuming more than you produce – and guess what? You are losing out.

Inspiration for a social media blackout

Nothing kills inspiration faster than being on a computer. Binging on other’s ideas means yours are muted.

Self-doubt creeps in and you can end up chasing your tail. Next thing you know, hours have passed, and you’ve lost that insanely creative idea never for it to return.

Finding time to market your business is a huge challenge – remembering to work ON as well as in your business is something that needs time and careful attention.

There are a few people who have pushed me to make this decision:

Derek Halpern often says “What got you here won’t get you there” – it’s become an icky reminder that we have to constantly improve and up our game – time away from the noise is critical.

Danielle LaPorte recently logged off to get “Sprucing and Juicing“. Her social media “hiatus” was to allow her to make the creative ideas, she was bursting with, a reality.

Waiting until you are totally ravaged and exhausted is an obvious time to stop but it’s better to blackout well before that happens so that you can create versus recuperate.

In addition to the craziness of the online world I had a very interesting chat with Srini from BlogCastFm where we discussed the fact that the biggest movers and shakers (and those raking in the cash) had next to no online presence. It is massive food for thought.

It reminded me of when I ran a totally offline business a few years ago – online was unnecessary. Fast forward to today, if we’d not sold the business – would social media and blogging have helped us?

It’s really doubtful. The hours you have to spend sitting on the floor drinking tea and schmoozing could never be replaced by social media.

The reality of being all over social media

It is delicious, it drives the attention we fight hard not to adore. But what does it really bring your business? Another notification arrives that someone liked your photo of you on a beach and you suddenly feel that “yes, someone has noticed that I’m amazing” – the thing is to be amazing in your business you need to embrace YOU and social media can help but it’s one hell of a distraction.

I’ve run a number of personal tests to see what drives real clients (and cash to my business) via social media and I can attribute 5% in all honesty – BUT my presence is admired by those who think that’s what they want. It’s a catch 22.

Earlier this year I spoke with Robert Dempsey about the difference between online and offline business (it’s a cool video, check it out) – and there really is no difference between running an offline business vs. an online business as David Risely can attest!

Blacking out to create new habits

The idea that I will delete the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone is making me feel a bit nauseated. My Android is like another limb (I am not proud to admit that fact) yet I rarely use it for its basic function which is to make a phone call.

My social media habits are unhealthy – and I know I am not alone. The only time I am truly off is when I am asleep or leave my phone at home and go for a walk.

It’s so important to not confuse activity with achievement. And social media can keep you as busy as you like – just post a silly picture of a dog with painted eyebrows and watch the flurry of attention that is so irresistible you simply have to join in the fun.

What did that just bring your business? Nothing.

Yes it was fun. But fun can quickly take over and you lose hours of your life you’ll never get back.

Am I nuts for doing this?

NO, I am not. I am simply applying the rules and lessons I have learnt in over 5 years of being an entrepreneur.  I have created businesses which go over an beyond a blog and virtual presence, and worked in some of the the most challenging markets for a woman. I am a serial entrepreneur, a creative, a wife, and a mother.

I am not nuts:

Life is for LIVING, not for working. {click to tweet}

And rather than be the busy fool, I’m going off to create something you will find useful, actionable, and hopefully incredibly and deliciously inspirational.

And yes, I am gonna get out there and smell the roses, or the lavender – I live in the South of France – I need to enjoy it’s bounties – and that goes for where ever you are. LIVE.

Today is the day.

So today, Friday 27th July 2012 at 11:59pm I will logging out from all social media to work on the next phase of

See you on the 20th August (it’s my birthday so hope you’ll be back to celebrate with me!)

Don’t forget to subscribe below to make sure you know what’s next!

37 Responses to Social Media Blackout

  1. Go Gurlfriend! More power to ya.

    I’ve been toying with just that same idea myself. In fact I’ve pulled back from twitter in the last week, and didn’t even post on the blog last week either…did I get a OMG where is she???….no, not even a blip on the radar.

    Follow your gut, and do what is necessary for you. Thanks sis…you’ve just given me the kick I needed to re-evaluate whats most important for me.

    • Thanks Jackie – I noticed 🙂 I find the tipping point is 2 weeks – and I have had a few ask me when my next post was up.

      But yes, it’s important to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t – it’s too easy to get caught up in the busy trap …!

  2. Ameena, I couldn’t agree more. While social media is great and gets us easily hooked – I look at it at least too often during the day 😉 – I surely don’t get my big business idea or the warm smile from it. All the best, you will be missed, only to have you back with greater excitement. Yalla, you can press that “uninstall” button and then “Yes” when asked “are you sure you want to uninstall fbook from your phone?” <3 – Much love, Z

    • Hey Zeina,

      They say that social media is more addictive that alcohol or cigarettes – an interesting idea. Yes, we get hooked, we get pulled in and as you rightly pointed out – that next big idea was never found on Facebook!

      I can do this – I hope the detox is kind on me! See you soon!

    • Hi Zeina! Nice to meet you! I was “born Lebanese” too, though born in Canada. I used to have a friend in Lebanon by your name but we lost touch years ago. I had met her at a maharajen (haven’t a clue how to spell that) in Sydney N,S. Yalla, this is one of the great things about social media – meeting people!

      • Hi Lori! Amazing indeed, it seems like my name makes me meet people! Just last month I met another person “thanks” to a Zeina Abdo he’d met in the past…? Yalla! To more. All the best Lori

  3. Good luck! I went completely off line for three weeks two years ago and it was the BEST thing I have ever done for my sanity, my business and for my family. Make sure you celebrate with some champagne!

  4. Go! You good thing, go!

    If all the tweets and blogposts were as inspirational as yours and a few others, Social Media would change the world. Sadly, that is not the case.

    So have a good blackout, and from within, let the creative juices flow again.

    • Thanks Jens – yes, I am really excited to see what I will really accomplish over the next few weeks without the distractions. I’m hoping that I’ll stop talking and thinking about my personal painting projects and actually get them done!

  5. Less is more, everyone else is just too petrified to do this.

    Not because it means you don’t have access to FB, TWitter and all that other noise online.

    The fear here is because it suddenly opens up a whole new space in our lives where you actually have to look at yourself.
    Think about it is you are doing with your life and then make decisions which have real consequences.

    No real change ever started online.

    Sure online is great at broadcasting the message, but what is your message to start with? What are you actually doing in your life to help others which desserves to be broadcasted?

    We overcomplicate way-too much, the big things that happen come from simplicity not noise.
    Go on a social media black-out.
    Leave your tribe.

  6. Hi Ameena,
    You won’t get any arguments from me! I’m doing the same thing! No Blogosphere as of Monday until August 9th when I return! I’m unplugging and taking a little staycation and working on my business so I too will be tending to email because of that business. I feel a little time away will be refreshing (like a cat nap) and I’ll come back renewed. Also, this us normally the time we go away for our 10-day vacation (you can see it all on my current post) but we can’t get away this year so I need to do something to approximate a vacation at home 😉
    I hope you enjoy your time being unplugged. See you later in August!

    • Great minds! Wishing you a fabulously productive time on your blackout! We’ll have to compare notes when I get back.

      Yalla, get creating!

      BTW I had no idea that you were part Lebanese! Another person on the interwebs I can yell “yalla, yalla” at!

      • Not part Lebanese – as I like to say, even though I was born in Canada, ALL my blood is Lebanese 😉
        We were at my son’s graduation this spring and a Lebanese family sat behind us. They kept saying “Yalla” but I didn’t know what it meant (I only know swear and food words 😉 but now I do. I love the word!
        I plan to go through my TCP website with a fine tooth comb. So much needs to be done there! I’m looking forward to having uninterrupted (by me checking facebook and my Reader) time to work on it!
        I’ll be back before you! Enjoy your time away!

          • LOL, it’s hard to get away and stay away! (technically, I’m still here today ;-o) I’m not very good with zucchini but I LOVE the dried eggplant stuffed with meat and rice in tomato juice. And of course rolled grapeleaves. I’m departing from my roots to turn my leban into frozen yogurt – trying out a recipe!
            And would you believe my 23 year old son makes the bread? He loves to cook – he’s probably better at it than I am ;-O What fun! What’s your specialty? Do you make Egyptian food for your guests at the B&B?

          • I log off in 2 hrs … eek! Firstly the eggplant recipe I make is with fresh aubergines! Frozen yogurt from laban sounds interesting! I make a lot of kofta and moussaka, plus picked aubergines and roasted peppers. Very cool your son makes the bread – I remember it well as a kid.

            We are gluten and dairy free most of the time but my favourite dish is Koshari – which is rice, macaroni, lentils with spicy tomato sauce and fried onions – carb overload – Egyptian street food. Oh and no, I don’t cook for the guests in the apartments – they are self catering.

            Happy hiatus – Saturday morning is the start for us both – ok? Am here via email if you want to talk withdrawal symptoms!

  7. Go girl…we all need to do that quite honestly. I have to admit I never thought of doing that, but I sure won’t rule it out either. Taking a mental break or hiatus is good for the soul to reconnect and get focused on the things we need get done or we are redoing something we have been putting off.

    You know I support the Falchetto’s and I KNOW you are coming back with a bang. Have a good time, relax, focus and just have some dam fun!

    • You rock Sonia, thank you so much – yes – I did toy for a while of how to have this much needed social media break – I considered working my butt off to get stuff scheduled in advance whilst hanging back – then I realised I needed to just pull the plug.

      I am guesstimating a ridiculous number of hours will be gained – will see you in a few weeks!

  8. How wise, Ameena, and I wish you a most creative and productive period! Your birthday is on the same day as my daughter’s, what a lovely coincidence. And I will bring the balloons and maybe also a cake and some candles?
    Enjoy and I hope you take some time for long schmoozing sessions, too!

  9. “Binging on other’s ideas means yours are muted.”
    You were looking over my shoulder when you wrote this post, weren’t you?

    I am eager to find out what amazing things you’ve been up to while immersed in life! Au revoir!

    • Thank you Karen – we are all guilty of this – it’s easy to get caught up in consuming other people’s creations …. our quest for perfection then rapidly becomes procrastination … I am keen to practice what I preach so here goes!

  10. After 36 hours I predict tremendous relief equivalent to a healthy exhale. You may find it hard to come back. I did. There are times where I still wish I’d stayed blacked out. Happy early birthday!

  11. Ameena,

    I think what’s going to be interesting to see is the impact that thsi has on your business. I”m in some of what a weird position in that I use social media to find the guests for BlogcastFM. But I’ve been contemplating doing a mini version of what you’re doing every week. Maybe 48 hour sabbaticals. But knowing what I know about social media, I’d imagine a lengthy sabbatical can have a profound impact on getting things done. See you on the other side.

    • Thanks Srini, I would be surprised if the impact was negative to be honest. I see loads of businesses in France and around Europe literally close their doors for a month and their businesses survive and actually flourish. The myth that we need to operate 24/7 is unsustainable. In the same way you cannot create something truly great when you are tired, overstimulated and you’ve exhausted your true genius.

      See you on the otherside. And yes, 48hrs off a week is called a weekend. Something we need to practice a lot more 🙂

  12. Awesome Ameena! I disconnected for 5 days and meditated and I can say it was refreshing! I hope to continue my habits of being more connected to my offline self! Really happy to see you doing this! ENJOY

  13. Weird – I posted just 5 minutes ago on how I’d decided to change my approach to Twitter/Facebook, trying not to ‘succumb to the frantic struggle to keep up with everyone else. Better, I’ve decided, to find advocates who’ll be happy to do that job for me.

    Reading my mail I saw that Jackie Purnell had decided to take a break .. and she referred me to your post. Is there something in the air?

  14. Hey Ameena,

    Agree with you – If you want to be creative, we have to do something like, like taking a break, rather on focusing on the computer.

    Social media is indeed a great distraction – you may miss a lot of things during this black out, but I think it would be worth it – the creative ideas and things you can work on, without any distraction from social media (I bet it would be awesome as well as tough to keep away from SM).

    Good luck!

    Jeevan Jacob John

  15. I truly hope you enjoy your media blackout, am totally with you in your reasons for taking this action and looking forward to catching up with you on your birthay and finding out the results you will have come up with during this blackout time.

    Enjoy and much love

  16. No twitter but {click to tweet}. It seems {click to tweet} is a way to market on twitter. Maybe I got confuse.


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