This past weekend I was reflecting on how much time I spend on social media and I decided it was time for a change. Our world has become exceedingly digital from grocery shopping online to meetings happening on Zoom rather than in person, but it is always important to evaluate if a social media platform or a technological advancement is improving your life, or negatively impacting it. I decided it was time to not only get rid of many of my social media platforms in order to reduce my time spent online, but it was time to only keep the platforms that I felt were benefitting my life and career growth.
The main culprit of mindless scrolling and negativity on social media was coming from TikTok. I thought back to my time as teacher and how I was so frustrated when TikTok trends were focused on kids destroying school property, or even being violent towards teachers or other students. It was a negative influence in so many people’s lives and I saw the direct impact that it had on the environment I worked in. Consuming cynical online content can impact and influence people more than anyone wants to admit to think and act in negative ways. The positive and negative impacts of social media and technology does not come without consequences to society. Each day I have to choose how I want to spend my time and I have decided that my time is best spent offline, but when I am online I need to be on platforms that are inspiring my creativity and growth as an individual and business person.
I first found Pet Jets on Facebook back in the spring of 2022. I was desperate to find a way to fly with my dogs by my side to Hawaii so I didn’t have to put them in cargo. I grew my own business from being a small town side hustle to being a softball instruction business that was well known throughout the state of Ohio and Hawaii all through Facebook. I recognize the connections social media has helped me make, but I have always found it to be a stepping stone towards actually forming a real relationship with someone. Social media has helped me find and make initial contact with many people, but really working with them came from making an effort to connect beyond social media through one-on-one phone calls and in-person interactions.
Social media is a great tool for connecting, sharing, and growing as an individual and a business, but I what I have learned is that protecting yourself from the negativity online is important. Protecting yourself doesn’t mean never engaging with content that challenges your opinions or ways of thinking, but instead it means to not let hateful and bleak influences impact your life. Hateful comments from strangers behind a computer screen really shouldn’t be something that you dwell on. It’s hard to not let the put downs and rude remarks get under your skin, but that is why it is so important to surround yourself with influences that are motivating and constructive. Our time and energy is valuable and we shouldn’t waste it worrying about people who just discourage us.
Pet Jets loves doing business in what is now thought of as an “old school” way. We prefer one on one phone calls over social media or email interactions. We feel we can provide more personalized service to our clients that way. My favorite way of connecting will always be face-to-face, but it is clearly impossible to connect in-person when working with people from all over the world.
Even as a someone who researches online marketing and advertising, I know that nothing will ever replace genuine human interaction that happens face-t0-face. I feel best when my phone is left at home so I can have an uninterrupted night out at dinner with my husband, or so I can walk my dogs and enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian sunshine without any distractions. I also love days at the beach where I spend my time swimming through the clear, blue waters, or cooking dinner with my husband while my phone is turned off in the other room. Although social media and technology has led me to amazing job opportunities and connections, it will never bring me the same level of satisfaction that a real conversation or experience does.
Protecting your mental well-being and your values is important not only in your personal life, but in the business world. Associating with like-minded people, brands, and companies is what Pet Jets strives for. We want to spread positive messages about the things we value most such as helping families and their pets, and advocating for better travel solutions for pets. We want to associate with social media platforms that help us grow and flourish as a small business in the aviation industry.
Deleting many of my social media accounts helped me focus in on creating valuable content for platforms where I can grow in my career. I want my time spent online to help me create connections that can lead to relationships where I can help others through my skills and businesses. I want my time spend online to inspire me as a brainstorm new marketing, advertising, and blog ideas. Most importantly, I want to shorten my time spent online so I can focus on living my life offline.