Before I get going on this post, I want to say THANK YOU (!) to everyone who shopped my ‘Counting My Blessings’ sale. You kept this girl very busy & I appreciate so your support of my little online shop. I’m hoping to expand my shop a bit this next year with lots more exclusive kits, & hopefully some exclusive little projects as well. Keep checking back to find out what’s up in my little website shop!
Things around the my backyard garden beds have been transitioning for the winter. We did get some wonderful soft rains over the weekend & all my winter flowers plantings of violas, pansies, petunias, & decorative cabbage & kale are settling in nicely. I got the final pots planted knowing the rains were coming & now I can be where it’s cozy inside & still look out on them & enjoy their subtle sparkle they add to the garden. While several of the perennials are ready for a cutback & a winters nap - these pots become the center of interest. I just love them.
As the end of the year approaches, I think we all start to reflect on the past year & I wanted to share one thing that has been on my mind (for most of the year actually). It is about social media… & the direction it has taken over the past few years. I’ve wanted to write this post especially because I get asked on a regular basis about my activity (or lack of!) on certain platforms, so I wanted to explain to you the direction I’m taking.
I know that everyone has their own opinion & experience of social media & the various platforms it now has, & I truly believe that each person’s preference for how they use - or don’t use - any of these to be just fine. I have found in the past few years - that while it might be a great way to reach folks - I’ve been pulling back from what it feels like are platforms that aren’t really interested in how & what we want/need from them - but rather what they determine we should (or shouldn’t) see, as well as *if* the folks who follow me actually will ever see what I post. (…very long sentence… sorry.) That direction seems to be increasing as time goes on & as we use & become more & more ‘dependent’ on these platforms.
For some reason (a gut feeling I guess you could say) I never jumped on the Facebook ‘bandwagon’. I’ve never really been a fan of their ‘policies’. I did create a personal account & I also created a business page (I’ve since taken down the business page) - but it’s only because I’m in a private group where the company has chosen to communicate to the folks in it through that private page on Facebook. It’s the only reason I still keep the personal page. So… if you ask to follow, friend, (or whatever it’s called on Facebook) please don’t be offended if I don’t respond. I only go to Facebook to check to see if there is a post on the private group page. (I actually don’t post, comment, or click on anything on Facebook anymore.)
The only other social media platform I’m still on is Instagram. I have a personal page (@brengr) & a business page (@brendariddledesigns) & hopefully some of you found this post because of the post I did on Instagram letting folks know that there is a new journal/blog post. (… & if you did - I’d love it if you would let me know in the comments that you did!).
I remember (many years ago!) when I first learned of Instagram, & created my personal account & I actually thought it was simply a place to store my own photo memories. I had no idea that others would be able to see my page! (Ha-ha!) I had someone ‘like’ one of my photos & I was so surprised! I really did enjoy Instagram in its early years. You could follow people & when you opened up your feed page you would see what all the folks you followed had posted in chronological order! It was bliss. You knew when you were caught up & that when you posted something - you knew that folks could see it. Fast-forward to today & the direction it has now gone - eliminating seeing things in chronological order & then adopting algorithms that now decides what you will see… when you *might* see it… & now I’ve come to realize that I can ‘like’ a photo & later it shows it to me again & it’s as if I’ve never ‘liked’ it. On top of that there is the ‘pressure’ to pay to “boost” a post (which means pay to have your post seen by those who follow you & also to those who don’t.). There have become so may ‘hoops’ to jump through just to use the platform in a meaningful, sensible way. And, once Facebook (now called “Meta”) has taken over Instagram - it has just become worse. It’s not user friendly…at all.
I’ve reduced all of my social media accounts & I’m still considering leaving Instagram - but for now, I’m keeping it mostly to (ironically) notify folks that I’ve posted a new journal/blog post.
Here, on my journal/blog pages, is where I can control what goes out on the internet. I know that if I post it - those that want to see it will be able to. The ‘sticky’ part of this is though, is that so many have become accustomed to going to one place, like IG… & maybe only want to see a photo or two & very little words…(!) (Oh my… then those folks would not be a fan of a post like this!!!) I know that it’s not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ - but this is where I’ve decided to plant myself. I want it to be more like inviting someone over for a little visit, chat, rather than choose to meet folks on a busy crowded street corner - where we may or may not be able to find each other no matter how hard we try.
So, I’ll be keeping my Instagram account for now - but this, & my newsletter, is where I’ll be doing the majority of my communicating & sharing from now on. So I hope you’ll visit often! (I use feedly.com to follow the blog posts of folks I want to be sure to keep up with, & I’ve really enjoyed it.) I’ll also be updating (on a more regular basis… I’m a little behind!) - my Pinterest account. (I’m @brendariddledesigns (https://www.pinterest.com/brendariddledesigns/ ) on Pinterest)
So… there you have it. All my thoughts about how I’m choosing to navigate the ever-changing world of social media. I know to some it may seem as if I’m taking a step backwards - but I’m okay with that. For me the current direction most of these social media platforms are taking aren’t the direction I want to go or be a part of. I’ll just snuggle in to the places where I can host folks myself & hope you come to visit. :-)
And, as a thank you for hanging there & reading this lengthy post - I want to offer you a discount code to the website! Whether you want to treat yourself, or get a gift for another quilter/stitcher you know, or get a kit for a new project for the new year… just use the code (at checkout) SNUGGLE-IN (all caps) for 20% off everything on the website. (This discount code will be available through the end of December!)
From the bottom of my heart, thanks so much for being here… (& reading this to the end!) … I’m looking forward to meeting you here again soon!
Thank you for keeping your newsletter, I always look forward to reading it! I’m not on any of the other platforms except for facebook and that’s getting a bit much! I love your fabric collections so much and thank you for the discount code!
Thank you, I appreciate your honesty I’m not a website person but enjoy reading your blog and quilts…fabric…I’m a collector of fabric…LOL
I get notice of journal updates on your newsletter!
I am on your newsletter list so that is why I popped on. I couldn’t agree with you more about the social media challenges and have been weeding out my accounts I follow so that I could see the ones I really want to and guess what?? I still can’t because of the constant advertisements and posts from people I am “supposed” to follow. I have seen a few people return to blogs as a way to really communicate rather than just post “eye candy” and I am here for it! Your talent is what “reels” me in and I am happy to follow you where you are most comfortable. Thank you for the savings code!
Your gardens are beautiful. Just as beautiful as you!
and your fabrics.
I was on bookface a year ago, just never used it. I did have an instagram account. One day in November 2021 facebook wrote me an email and said “we are suspending your account because you said something we do not agree with”
I had no idea what they were talking about. They refused to discuss it further and along with that FB account I lost my instagram account! Wow, I was bummed for a while bc I did love instagram. … but I got over that. Honestly, my life is so busy now caring for my 99 yo daddy and hubbs and frolicking with friends, I have no time. So I just got over it.
So, I do enjoy reading your blog. I hope that you can just post when ever you feel like it.
Merry Christmas, I hope you have a Blessed time with family and good friends.
Thank you so much for your post ….what a breath of fresh air! I got off Social media months ago …..haven’t miss it….I’d rather spend my time creating!
Blessings to you!
Well said… ❤️
Brenda, I came here to read about your thoughts after receiving your newsletter email. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and I found myself nodding along. While I have followed you on IG for many years, I didn’t see your recent post; maybe because IG was busy promoting worthless, mindless videos of people dancing. (Come on, IG, you know I don’t click on those!) While I have lots of followers, I haven’t posted in months, even though I sew daily. I most often feel that IG has become a place to sell stuff, even if it is from regular folks like me (“I’m testing a pattern to be published by X which she will release next week, with beautiful fabric from Y which is available here, and thread from Z.”) And while I love seeing new fabric coming “soon,” the endless promotion by designers of fabric that won’t be available to the public for 6 months seems cruel. I wonder if it would be more productive for designers to promote what is available NOW as that would help their followers as well as the shops that have that fabric in stock. I often wonder if anyone sews for the actual JOY that it can bring. Thank you for staying true to yourself and have a Merry Christmas!
Thank you for the well thought out words on the current state of social media. Totally agree
Well said and amen.
Still grateful for your postings on IG. Your work inspires me and your fabrics are a huge temptation ❤️. Continued success and happy holidays.
I too rarely go on fb! Mainly Instagram a few times a week. This is where I have been following you. Love your fabrics!
I saw your post on IG so I headed on over here. I thought I was following you on your blog but didn’t get any email with the new post. I know that for those who blog it takes a lot of time and effort. However, I find reading someone’s blog so much more enjoyable, and it is very much appreciated. There is such a personal touch and so much better than just looking at a picture on IG. I love your fabrics, so soft and pretty!
Hi Brenda! Thanks so much for this post. I have never been on FB, but I do look posts of my favorite quilters on Instagram, although I go to them intentionally, not by scrolling since it doesn’t work well at all any more, as you explain so well. Although I checked this because of your Instagram post, I’m happy to find you on your blog, your newsletter, and your website. Love your sweet designs and fabrics so much! And glad to still occasionally see a photo of your dear dad. Have a blessed Christmas season!
Thank you for this post! You stated exactly what I’ve been feeling about social media for a while now. I refuse to be ruled by the craziness of social media and I miss those that used to blog and switched over to instagram or other platforms. Thank you for being true to you and I look forward to any future post you write. It feels much more calming coming to a blog nowadays.
Good for you, Brenda! I’ve never been on Facebook and do very limited Instagram on a private account. Not a fan of social media. I am a fan of yours though and love your beautiful fabrics!
Agree with you on social media. Although I did see your post about this on IG :). Haven’t seen any newsletters from you in quite a while – was thinking it was due to my spam filter/new internet provider. I always love what you do – the gentle beauty of your fabric and designs. A pleasure to find this post!
I too followed your IG post to your blog. Congratulations on cutting the ties with FB and eventually IG. I’ll be happy to stay up to date through your blog and newsletter. I think we would all be happier if we only let into our lives and times like-minded people who enjoy the creativeness and beauty of our handcrafts and gardens.
I totally agree with you Brenda, social media is getting out of hand and I’m happy to know where you are and how to find you.
I’ll find you wherever you are. 💖Wishing you and Emmie a Blessed life together.
I love your fabrics and designs. ♥️ I am not a fan of FB at all. I just pop in once in a while to see some of the groups I’ve joined. My primary is IG, but only for the pretty pictures. I am quick to unfollow anyone who gets any kind of political. I do follow both of your IG accounts and that’s how I was led to your blog. As for Pinterest, there are so many dead ends that I rarely bother.
It’s nice to see that I’m not the only person out there upset and torn about what to do with Facebook and Instagram. It’s more and more just not doing the jobs that it did in the beginning. Instead, it’s just frustrating. You put it all very well, thank you! I may go back to my own blog eventually also.
I did follow your link from Instagram to this post. I share many of your social media concerns and applaud you for being able to let go of that which is not healthy.
Saw your post on IG so here I am.
I completely understand your feelings about social media, and also feel that things have not gone in a positive direction there. I’ll be happy to continue following your blog and enjoying your beauty fabrics!