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A Social Business in an Online World – Seattle Wedding Photographer Tonie Christine

May 7, 2014

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This post is personal but meant to inspire other business owners to not get sucked into the lie that we have to be online and have the best “following” we can obtain to be successful.  It will shed some light on how my life has changed since January 1, 2014 when I set a “goal” or a resolution…. Well I set a few but one was harder than all the rest so far. In my journal I wrote “I want people to take note of how much LESS I am using social media. My success will come when either my best friends, my family or my husband bring it up to me and say they have noticed a change” Well, to tell you the truth I personally know I have changed. Even if others around me may not be the perfect judges, or may not notice the changes I have made, I have learned new techniques to help me work smarter not harder, broken bad habits and made changes to my business and personal life in order to be more “present” in this life that God has blessed me with!

You see, as photographers, we often tell ourselves “it’s my job- I have to be online and be social… even MORE than the rest of the world so that I can get my name out there, reach more people and find more clients!” I have realized in the last 4 months that those thoughts could not be farther from the truth. ( BIG SIDE NOTE HERE: It’s not JUST Facebook people, it’s constantly watching youtube videos, checking the scores, googling that answer to that one burning question all the time… it’s just being on your phone in general)  Since dialing back my time and use of social media (Mainly Facebook, Instagram and E-mailing for me personally…) I have seen real true growth in my relationships, not only personally, but within my BUSINESS and those relationships have become more of a friendship rather than just another client. I have found ways to schedule posts, write blogs during work hours instead of night time, and utilized scheduled time with social media to get done what I need to do while still enjoying the fun part of social media and all that it is. Social Media is not all bad. I am a firm believer in that. But in moderation, it is the best.

I know for a fact that I have changed, and will continue to do so! I know my husband loves when I am not on my phone after he gets home in the evening, or when I get to be at the hospital with my best friend who just had the “first baby” in our group of friends and I’m not dying to throw it on Facebook. I am just sitting in the moment, hearing about the joy that was her birth story and being present with them. I took one 5 min break on Easter to take a cute photo with Eric and post it to commemorate the day, but then went back to sharing in an amazing home cooked meal that evening, by my mother, with no phone in hand or near the dinner table. These changes bring a smile to my face and even more, a growing desire to have more friends in our home for “game night” and grow and cultivate the relationships I have! This photo is from game night at our house a couple weeks ago. I specifically had not been on my phone that evening and went into my office to grab it and document this special moment in order to later write this blog post. I uploaded it to Facebook right then and tagged my friends quickly, because I knew, for me, that night was a success. Others may see it differently, but in the past I may have sat on my phone a lot longer. I may have pulled up Facebook to show a friend something or I may have just missed out on part of the fun when quickly checking an e-mail. But here it is, in all it’s glory and I am proud of that memory:

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So, now I challenge you to watch this video and take to heart, one or two small changes you can make in your business or daily life to put down the phone.      DISCLAIMER: I realize not everyone is so sucked into e-mails, social media, you tube videos or “googling the answer to that one thing..” that they can put their phone down, but I do think that EVERYONE who has a phone and uses it more than a few times a day, could stand to make a small change as well!)

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  1. Wendy Duchemin says:

    I really agree that we miss so much in terms of enjoying the moment we are in, the building of relationships and the nurturing of those relationships! I have a hard time not getting annoyed and even sad, when I am at dinner with one or more people (either out or at home) and the phones come out, everyone checking that beep or e mail or whatever else they are so anxious to check. The question that comes immediately to mind is, “what does that say about me” ? Am I that boring or uninteresting? That is just the feeling, I know that isn’t really the case. I think we have just come to rely so heavily on instant answers and the moment by moment news cycle of friends on F.B. that we forget that right in front of us the same things can and should be happening. The person next to you may be a wealth of information or have a true desire to know you (which every person needs). You also have much to offer others, those who are there with you sharing the meal or sitting in the room. I enjoy some social media and think it has brought much to our lives but I also think it has the ability to take away much more than it gives if it is not used in a balanced way. If in an evening or afternoon with someone you are spending half of your time looking at the computer or on the phone whether checking texts, e mail, googling something or ordering your groceries, you might think about cutting the time with the machine and adding the
    time with the person. There are not many more important things
    in life than the relationships with those around you!

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