As most of you will know, my Instagram account got hacked a couple of weeks ago. I felt gutted when it happened! And even more so after it became apparent that Instagram does not have a help desk with nice and knowledgeable people who will do their utmost best to help you sort the mess. Instagram help pages are scant (even more scant in a non-English language!). None of the suggestions listed there to recover a hacked account worked for me. The hack was so thorough, that I never received the recovery emails you are supposed to get. I even asked my provider to check if there had been unlawful access to my email accounts. Fortunately, that was not the case!
I badgered Instagram (and Facebook, they are one and the same thing!) with emails, snail mail letters and built-in help forms. Nothing helped! For the most part, I am still waiting for a reply. As my Instagram account is linked to my Facebook business page, I in effect, have two hacked Social Media channels. And I can't severe this tie either as I have no access to my Instagram account from where one has to do this. To prevent the hacker acting out through either channel and so harming my business, I reported the hack to the police. That was a fun experience: picture police officer in rural Bavaria making a protocol of my hack...
It became clear to me that, if I wanted to keep using Social Media, I would have to delete my Facebook business page and start again. Building up a new Instagram account and a new Facebook business page would have cost me a lot of time. Besides, which guarantee would I have that those new account wouldn't get hacked too? None! I decided to sit back and mull it over for a while. In the meantime, I would look at other means of promoting my embroidery business. Since I already sent out a weekly newsletter to alert my readers to a new blog post, why not beef that up a bit?
And then I started to note that not being on Social Media was actually a relief. Don't get me wrong, I really loved seeing what everybody was doing! However, seeing it all, comment here and there and posting my own messages took a large chuck out of each day. Think two hours or more... And with hindsight, it stressed me more than I really knew. You see, racking your brains once a week about writing an interesting blog post is quite doable. Racking your brains several times a day to make sure you show your best and sunniest side on your Social Media channels is tiring! As soon as I stopped, I felt my creative juices flow again. Paradoxically, not being visually bombarded all the time, relaxed my own creativeness and all sorts of new ideas started to bubble to the surface again. Great!
All the above, together with the whole unsavoury business of using especially Facebook to undermine our democracy, cemented my resolve: delete most of the Social Media accounts I manage. At present, I am Facebook-free, Instagram-free and LinkedIn-free. Don't get me wrong: I am not against Social Media. But I am against the very large companies behind them. They love the data you and I create, but they don't care when something goes wrong. So, my website, my blog, my newsletter and my studio are the places where I love to interact with you. You probably see less of me, which means you have more time to create. If you want that is :).
On a whole different note: I had to raise prices on the hand-dyed House of Embroidery yarns and ribbons I sell. Earlier this year, House of Embroidery had to raise their prices due to a rise in costs of raw materials. They also had to source a different delivery company as shipping things from South Africa is a nightmare (those who read Trish Burr's blog will know). For me this means that getting the parcel cleared by customs has become more expensive too. My husband joked that I should start importing weapons: far less restrictions :). In order to make the price raise hurt less, there is a 15% off coupon in this week's newsletter! You can sign up for my newsletter using the button in the right-hand column.
P.S. I am off to Vilnius (Lithuania) tonight to visit the Church Heritage Museum :). Back on Friday to ship your House of Embroidery orders!
Jessica M. Grimm
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