Multi-passionate Joi

Case Study

Leaving Social Media: A Year Later, How It Impacted My Life and Business

August 25, 2023

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I'm a multi-passionate educator, mentor, and creator who believes having many talents is a gift, not a burden. I love crystals, houseplants, and my rescue pup, Chai. More about me.
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On August 26th of 2022, I logged off of Instagram and never looked back. I chose the date at random, ironically it holds a ton of meaning now, but that year it was just a random day. It was just far away enough that I had some time to gracefully transition off of the platform, and close enough that I could taste the freedom on the tips of my hashtag-hating fingertips.

Finally deciding to leave social media was a personal choice, but I also had to consider how it could both positively and negatively impact my online coaching business. Today I’ve seen a lot of conversations around the desire to leave social media, but a lack of clarity around what that would actually look like.

How do people find your work if you’re not on social media?

How do you connect with clients?

Sure, it sounds nice- but how realistic is it?

I’m afraid everything I’ve been building would crumble if I leave.

Have you had any of those thoughts? If so, you’re in very good company. I wish I had some cool stat to drop right here about how many online business owners are complaining about being on social media and carrying on as if leaving isn’t an option, while simultaneously putting a ton of energy into each post hoping it will get high engagement- but trust me, it’s a lot. Enough to inspire me to share my experience with being off of social media so that if you’re on the fence about whether to stay, you’ll realize that “going” is a choice that you can make with confidence.

If you’re considering leaving the comparison-packed world of social media, are tired of keeping up with the endless trends and changes in the algorithm, or worry that you might *actually* be addicted to the apps, this case study of what it’s been like spending an entire year off of social media (with no desire to return) will give you plenty to think about.

Prefer an audio experience? Listen to the podcast version of this case study below!



A few things to note:

  • Throughout this case study, when I mention “social media,” I am referring to Instagram as it’s the only social media platform that I was active on.

  • This is an in-depth case study, which means it’s lengthy. If social media has shortened your attention span to the length of a TikTok, I suggest bookmarking this article so that you’re able to return to it easily if you don’t read it in one sitting.

To enjoy an audio experience of this case study (with fun sound effects and background music), click HERE.


Why I Left Social Media

When I started using Instagram to promote my blog back in 2017(ish) the landscape of social media was much different. It was a photo sharing app (gasp!), captions were like a mini-diary, and nobody was stressing about having 30 perfect hashtags. 

As time went on, the simple 4-filter vibe of Instagram got more complex, with new features being rolled out and new forms of content being prioritized. When the talking heads who reign supreme showed up to alert Instagram users that short-form videos would become the favored content moving forward, I knew I wouldn’t last much longer.

Before deciding to officially leave social media, I tried setting boundaries (I’ll only have the app on my tablet and not my phone!) and taking routine sabbaticals (I’m logging off for 30 days!), but when I found myself talking to my therapist about my relationship with social media, I knew it was time to log-off, for good. 


Here are my top reasons for leaving social media:


1. I’m not a video person.

I’m not camera shy, but I’m usually not in the mood to be on camera and didn’t enjoy the disruptive energy that “popping into my stories” had on my day. With video becoming the central medium of the platform, I felt like I had to assimilate or else, and although I tried for a while I couldn’t keep up with the pace of Reels and was wasting time searching for “trending audio.”


2. Most of my content was getting little to no engagement

I know that sometimes you have to be willing to speak even if nobody is listening but when the work you’re spending time creating isn’t getting delivered to the people who intentionally opted in to receive it by following you, it’s okay to be frustrated. I didn’t like the feeling of genuinely wanting to help and be in relationship with the community I created content for, only to be iced out by the algorithms.

I share more about the emotional side of being frustrated with social media algorithms in this episode on my podcast: How I’m Responding to the Changes Happening on Instagram as a Life Coach


3. Speaking of content!

I was spending hours making content, curating my feed, and creating a roll-out schedule. “Imagine how much time I would get back if I wasn’t on this platform at all?!” What started as fantasy became something tangible that I got serious about creating for myself.


4. My DMs were not “poppin.”

I was not “closing clients in the DMs.” I had a few fun conversations but it wasn’t like my DMs were flooded with potential clients asking how they could work with me. If it was, I probably wouldn’t have left. Sure I chatted with a few people who ended up working with me, but for the most part, my clients were finding me via my podcast and connecting with me directly inside of my program or via email.


5. Longing for long-form.

I craved spaces where long form content was desired (like podcasting and writing on Medium). I also realized that creating long-form regenerative content is much more sustainable than making short videos with hopes of going viral.


6. I was comparing myself to others. I don’t feel the need to explain this one. I know you get it.


7. I was addicted to the app. Don’t need to explain this one either.


8. It wasn’t doing my mental health any favors. Enough said.


How I left social media

Around the time I was planning to leave social media, I found a podcast called Off the Grid: Leaving Social Media without Losing All Your Clients, hosted by Amelia Hruby. In each episode of the first season, Amelia gives a step-by-step playbook for taking your business off of social media, specifically Instagram. I followed her advice and added in a few of my own strategies.

Here’s a snapshot of my exit plan:

  • First, I chose a date to leave and mentioned it repeatedly in all content leading up to that date.


  • Next, I let folks know where they could find me once I was no longer on Instagram
    ”Join my email list, listen to my podcast, read my articles on Medium!”


  • Then, I decided what I wanted my *legacy feed to include.


  • Most importantly, I got clear on what I would be focusing on once Instagram was out of my life and business. This was the key to making sure I was focused on what I would be gaining by leaving social media versus what I would be missing out on.


  • When August 26th 2022 came, I posted a reel expressing what I wanted to be remembered for on Instagram, and logged off.

*A legacy feed is a static feed that you leave up on the platform so that if someone happens to find you there, they can be guided towards your other platforms of choice. My bio clearly states that the account is no longer active and guides folks towards my email list, for example.


How Leaving Social Media Impacted Me on a Personal Level

Leaving social media is a decision that I made with my personal mental health in mind. Here’s how being off of Instagram has impacted me, one year later.


A Deep Sense of Relief

When I made the choice to finally leave Instagram, I felt a massive weight lifted from my shoulders. I remember crying in the shower weeks before my log-off date because I felt so much relief! I also felt that I was prioritizing my needs and taking very good care of myself by choosing to walk away from a platform that was distracting from my life instead of enhancing it.


More Boredom. More Creativity.

One of the most valuable aspects about leaving social media was the amount of time that got handed back to me as a result. Instead of thinking about what content I could create to try to win over the algorithm, my brain was free to daydream.

As a creative person, I need to let myself get so bored that my mind starts to generate creative ideas, concepts, and visions of the future. Time spent daydreaming is difficult to come by when every idle moment is filled with another quick scroll. I gave myself the gift of being bored and my creativity was enhanced as a result.


Easier to Be Present

When was the last time you hung out with someone and spent half of the time talking to the top of their head because they were looking down at their phone checking socials? Annoying right? When was the last time you realized that you are sometimes that person, too? Also annoying!

If you’ve ever deleted Instagram or TikTok from your phone to “clear your head” for a few days, you know what an immense feeling of spaciousness it can create. Since leaving social media for good, I’ve found it much easier to stay present when I’m engaging with friends and family. 

It’s easier to appreciate day-to-day moments as well. While out on a walk with my son I watch the shadows from the trees dancing on the grainy pavement as I thank them for their shade. I feel the cool rush of an unexpected breeze on my skin, and actually FEEL it- not just “notice” it. Even a cold sip of water is something that has become a moment to slow down and be more present in my body. (Can you tell I’m writing this during the summer?)

I’m not going to pretend that leaving social media immediately transformed me into a mindfulness expert, but without the constant scrolling or story-binging, I’m more likely to keep my phone in my pocket and focus on what’s actually in front of me.


A Nourishing Maternity Leave

Now that I’ve mentioned my son, let’s talk about how absolutely wonderful it was to be off of social media during my 3-month maternity leave. The time that would have been spent mindlessly scrolling, comparing myself to those insta-perfect new moms, and buying a bunch of stuff I didn’t need via invasive ads was instead spent listening to an array of podcasts.

The way that podcasts showed up for me when I was up at all hours of the night nursing a newborn gets me emotional when I think about it. When my partner went back to work and it was just me with a new baby, I would pop an ear bud into one ear to feel a little less alone (new motherhood is notoriously isolating).

Whether I was listening to an immersive show that took me on an adventure, getting advice about breastfeeding, or just enjoying some adult conversation, the content I was spending hours consuming was worlds more nourishing than the time I would have spent scrolling on Instagram.

Being a podcast host myself, my experience of embracing podcasts as pseudo companions deepened my dedication to showing up for my listeners.


Taking My Time to Make Decisions

I’m a person who needs to take their time when making decisions. This is partially due to my authority in Human Design (Emotional Authority) and partly due to the fact that I’m a highly multi-passionate person who has a ton ideas that I want to act on at any given time.

Taking my time to make decisions allows me to gain clarity about how I can structure my priorities so that I’m able to take action on my Big Ideas without overthinking, overworking, or trying to do “all the things” at once (this is also what I help my clients to do inside of my coaching program).

It wasn’t until I was off of social media for an entire year that I realized how much easier it is to take my time when making decisions when I’m not being influence by the fast-pace of 10-second videos. I’m also not subconsciously making decisions based on what I see others doing, because I don’t see what they’re doing.


I’m Still Addicted to My Phone

I’d love to be able to say that I no longer check my phone first thing in the morning and that I’ve been completely liberated from any feelings of addiction when it comes to that sneaky little device, but that would be a lie.

I’m still addicted to my phone. I check my email on my phone way more than I need to. I scroll through Pinterest once or twice a week (I find the content there to be truly inspiring in comparison to Instagram), and I will often pick up my phone to “check it” even when I don’t see any alerts.

Phones are addicting. Before having a kid, I had better phone boundaries, but now that I have to be more creative about getting my work done during the day when I’m caring for him, I do a lot more on my phone because it’s convenient.

This is a space where I would like to find more balance. If I figure out how to break free from cell phone addiction, I’ll be sure to report back.


How Leaving Social Media Impacted My Online Coaching Business

My Coaching Business GREW After I left Social Media

In the months after leaving social media, I signed twice as many clients as I did in the months prior. Wait, what? Yep, you read that right. Let’s discuss.

I held the belief that leaving social media would be GOOD for my business and I focused on what I would be gaining in terms of my business vs losing. This put me in the mindset of doubling down on what was already working.

My podcast is what was already working. Clients were not flocking to my Instagram and then DMing because they wanted to work with me. They were binging my podcast, putting the tips that I share there into practice, getting results, and then taking the next step to work directly with me inside of my coaching program.

Not having to worry about social media content gave me the space to produce a more high quality show, create a marketing plan, and focus on offering potential clients everything they needed in order to decide if my program was a right fit for them.

Psst! I had a conversation about doubling down on my podcast and how it grew my coaching business on the In My Non-Expert Opinion Podcast with Chelsea Riffe. Check it out HERE.

Another reason my business continued to grow is because I never stopped sending emails. Email marketing will always be a part of my business. Can’t stop, won’t stop. And I didn’t stop. And that meant my business didn’t stop just because I wasn’t on social media.


Thinking More Long-Term

As mentioned before, being off of social media creates a lot more think space. When it comes to my business, I’ve always thought “big” but I haven’t always thought long-term. Today, when I consider what to do next in my business, I consider the long-term impact it will have.

Instead of thinking, “what should I post this week?” I’m thinking “what is my current framework missing that I can elaborate on to get my clients better results?” 

Instead of batch recording reels that may or may not get any engagement, I’m creating an updated free training that will be one of the most valuable long-term assets in my business.

Instead of researching which hashtags to use (still makes me wanna barf), I’m planning out the next season of my podcast. 

In short, it’s much easier for me to think long-term when I’m not trying to keep up with the impossible pace of social platforms.


Blissfully Unaware

I almost titled this case study “Blissfully Unaware,” because that’s how I feel about every one-off social media trend. If I’m not aware of it, I feel no pressure to “jump on it.”

This goes for meme trends like that whole “Little Miss” moment, and larger conversations like whether or not coaches should have a certification in order to offer their services. These trending topics come and go and I am grateful that I have no awareness of them because it’s a waste of precious think time that could be spent implementing more long-term strategies. (Look at us bringing it all together!)


Brands Don’t Want to Deal

Part of my business strategy is to partner with aligned brands and promote them via my podcast and engaged email list. Aside from a brand that is run by one of my former clients, none of the brands I’ve attempted to connect with have been interested in partnering with me. 

Many of them said things along the lines of, “we’re focusing on user generated video content at this time” which is code for, we only want to work with social media influencers.

I’m sure that there are brands out there who see the value in podcast advertising over and above social, especially when I’ve got an email list to go with it (if you’re one of those brands, please reach out). Still, I can’t deny the fact that when you’re not on social media, it can make you way less attractive to brands who aren’t willing to think outside of the TikTok sized box.


Minding My Own Business

I’m also in a pure state of BLISS not having to see every business move that other coaches are making. I remember feeling like everyone around me had a picture perfect business and I was failing. Or seeing someone else post content three times per day and feeling like I didn’t care enough because I couldn’t keep up with that pace.

Today, I could give two shits about what any other business owner is or isn’t doing on social. Blissfully unaware!


Things I Miss About Being on Social Media

There are a couple of things I miss about being on social media (literally, only two things) and I want to share them here because I don’t want to paint a picture that leaves out the negative aspects of getting off of Instagram (or any other social media platform).

Thing 1: One of my MANY passions is graphic design. I miss being able to utilize that passion to create static social media graphics (that hardly anyone got shown because they weren’t reels). I did get back into my love for graphic design via my free digital magazine, creating custom graphics to add visual elements to my emails, and designing my own presentations and course materials.

Thing 2: Meeting new people. This is less of something I “miss” and more of something that I thought I would miss after leaving. The good news is, there are more places to be in community online than on social media.

Groups that I love being a part of at the time of this case study include:


  • Mel the Oracle’s Inner Circle which is a group centered around being Human for a living and all of the messy and beautiful things that come with embracing your humanness (refreshing is an understatement).


  • Mariah Coz’s Creator Party (affiliate link) which is a literal party for coaches and content creators in the online space. 


If you’re worried you’ll never meet any new people once you get off of social media, joining an online or IRL community first might help your transition.

Note: Facebook groups don’t count. That’s still social media! The groups I’m a part of are NOT on Facebook.


How to Plan Your Social Media Escape

If you’ve been inspired by my year off of social media and are wondering what it could look like to leave the ‘gram behind for good or never try to lip sync to a TikTok video again, here are my top tips.


  • Take some time to think it over and weigh the pros and cons. If 90% of your clients come from social media, maybe you need a DM-only profile versus leaving altogether. Consider what it’s worth for you and be honest about your options.


  • It’s okay to start small. Delete the app for one week, then work your way up to one month. Take note of how you feel and allow that to guide your decision.


  • Listen to the Off the Grid podcast with Amelia Hruby and download her Leaving Social Media Toolkit. Thank me later!


  • Don’t let fear be the reason you stay on social media. You can always change your mind and go back. Give yourself permission to live your life on your terms. The fear you feel is also the power that social media currently has over your life. What would it feel like to take that power back? 

Thank you for reading this case study. If you found this helpful or have follow-up questions, I’d love to connect with you. I’m not on social media, but you can send me an email at


D’Ana Joi is a life coach for multi-passionates and host of the Multi-Passionate Mastery Podcast. She believes having many talents is a gift, not a burden, and helps creatives from all walks of life finally break free from the pressure of doing “all the things” at once.


Continue the conversation with these resources:


On my podcast, Multi-Passionate MasteryHow I’m responding to the changes happening on Instgram (highly recommend listening to this one) + the follow episode up where I announced I was leaving altogether

My interview on the Off the Grid Podcast: Your Next Client Isn’t In Your DMs — Coaching Success without Social Media with D’Ana Joi


Amelia Hruby’s Interview on My Podcast: Leaving Social Media as a Catalyst for Clarity and Bravery


My interview on My Non-Expert Opinion Podcast: “It’s Bringing My Perfect Fit Clients” – Quitting Instagram, Doubling Down on Podcasting, and No More “Coffee Chats” With D’Ana Joi


Online communities that I love that are NOT on social media:

  • Inner Circle by Mel the Oracle: A community centered around being human for a living. All are welcome! (FREE at the time of publishing this.)
  • Creator Party by Mariah Coz: A literal party for coaches, course creators, and content creators, thinking differently about how to do things online. (This is my affiliate link which will give me a little kick back if you use it to join! FREE at the time of recording this.)



Leaving Social Media, multi-passionate Joi, multi-passionate coach

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