I’m going to apologize for the rant in advance – but there’s a few things I need to get off my chest when it comes to social media. Let me start off with a question: Have you looked at your Facebook timeline or newsfeed lately? Other than cat pictures and Trump updates I’ve not seen much interesting recently. As I’m considering including one of the “cat” pictures I took myself with this post (on the right, or here), I realize that in essence there’s nothing wrong with either of those – but to understand where I’m coming from – let’s go back in time.
I was never a huge fan of Facebook, but when I moved to Canada just about nine years ago, a friend convinced me to sign up for the social media network so I could stay in touch with soon-t0-be-overseas friends. That in itself is definitely one of the major benefits of having a personal Facebook account. Being a very frequent traveler, I’m proud to say I probably have more friends all around the world than in the city I currently live in. From that perspective alone you might say having a personal Facebook account is beneficial.
My own platform vs. social media
But to me, it wasn’t. Most of my true social activity happens offline, and online through the channels I own and run myself, such as this blog – as well as my online courses and the communities that support those. A while ago I wrote an article about reversing the social media flow, and I’ve managed to do that quite successfully while building several of my social media accounts to influencer status. I’m not relying on any social media network to share my content, but have built my own platforms that contain the content I’ve created, while leveraging both social and traditional media networks to amplify the reach of the things I’ve created myself.
In addition to not seeing anything remotely interesting for the past few months on my newsfeed (controlled and curated by big-brother-Facebook), there’s something else happening in the world of “social” media. In real life, people ask me all the time about my travels – and more in particular they’re curious about how I manage to consistently secure completely free airfare, no matter where I go. Those questions are one of the main reasons I started on my travel hacking book, The Freedom Project, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller.
The controversy of sharing
So what’s the controversy, you ask? Well, even after publishing my book people I meet everywhere continue to ask me about travel and writing, ALL the time. But when I write (and share) blog posts about those topics (yes also ALL the time), it’s apparently too much. The final straw was when a friend commented the other day he had considered removing me from his Facebook since I’m posting “too many” links and articles. It’s not the first time this happened. At first, I was caught off guard, and taken aback by similar comments. Do I really post that much on social media?
After some thinking (and self-doubt) I concluded the comments were right: yes I post a lot, and ALL the time. I post about articles and niche websites I’ve created personally. I’m proud of these things. I stand behind the content I create. The purpose of these links and articles is to benefit others: the people who always ask me about the things I do, ranging from hacking the airlines to get free airfare, to elevating book titles and making them stand out from the crowd as successful bestsellers. My vision is to inspire other to “just fly”, both literally in terms of travel, as well as in their personal and business life. Anything I’ve been successful at, you can read about on this blog (for free) and in my books (for almost free). I share it all – the good, the bad, and (in my latest book) even the ugly.
Time to pull the plug
So I share too much you say? Well, thanks for the feedback, but I think it’s time to pull the plug on a network that personally doesn’t support the things I’m most passionate about. And let me save you the hassle – I already deactivated my personal account. Does that mean I gave up on Facebook altogether? No, not quite. In my social media masterclass I list Facebook as one of the five power social media networks. Any self-respecting business owner has to be present on at least all five. As an entrepreneur, you simply can’t afford not to have a social media presence. That doesn’t mean I need to do that myself, so as of this past Friday I’ve delegated maintenance of my Facebook pages to my assistant (if you don’t yet have an assistant, read this post) – and subsequently cancelled my personal account.
Stay in touch
Please, if you’d like to stay in touch with me personally, drop me a line anytime. I’m serious. After sifting through the sales and book pitches, my assistant forwards anything personal to me directly – and I enjoy staying in touch with my friends, fans, and supporters all over the world.
Thank you for being you – I love you all and I’m excited about your success. If there’s anything at all I can support you with, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Sending you love, peace and happiness from Canada! And remember, just fly!
Wilko van de Kamp Author
WILKO VAN DE KAMP is the author of #1 international best seller The Freedom Project and several other books and e-books. He's also an award-winning photographic artist, and professional world traveler. His inspiration comes from traveling all over the world. He calls the Canadian Rocky Mountains his home, and the rest of the world his office. He has been capturing our wonderful planet, and it's beautiful inhabitants, for more than half his life. Wilko has spent his life traveling the world to capture awe-inspiring images for those who wouldn't see them otherwise, and to inspire others to embark on their journey of a lifetime. Through his art, writing and appearances as a keynote speaker he enjoys sharing his colorful experiences with the world. Visit him online at www.wilko.ca