Fishing, but not with a worm.
The past few weeks have been a wild ride.
My son was hospitalized in Denver so I went there and spent time with him and his girlfriend, and that was delightful. It is always difficult to see him hit a rough patch but I have the best friends and family and they always support me well.
When I got home from Colorado, I was behind on many things so I scrambled and on Sunday, was beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
And then, it turned out to be a freight train, as they say.
To make a long story short, my Instagram account was hacked with something called phishing. It’s not as much fun as the kind with a worm on a hook. It’s not fun at all.
Before I knew what was happening, they’d taken control of my account and demanded $500 in bitcoin (do I even know what bitcoin is?) for its return. I resisted the urge to answer profanely. I had quite a few messages that day, taunting me and making demands. I don’t know if they were generated by real people or by a bot (do I even know what a bot is?).
But here is the interesting part. This has made me do some real soul searching. Let me try and explain what I mean. These are the some of the questions I’ve had to consider.
- Why do I care about Instagram? Why does it matter?
- What does it mean if I have a lot of followers? What does it mean if I have none?
- Does Instagram generate dollars for my business or is it just an ego thing?
- Why do I spend nearly four hours daily on my phone?
- How many more quilts could I make if I used those hours differently?
- Should I try and get my business account back? Or just forget about it?
- Is all the effort to grow my following (14.4K) over the past five years now pointless? Was it wasted?
- How should I go forward?
It’s pretty interesting to think about social media and its impact on my life and my business. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are useful ways to reach customers. They are also a curse, in my opinion.
Do you notice, as i do, how people don’t spend as much time talking with each other because of their phones? My husband and I sometimes find ourselves on our phones after a meal instead of chatting with each other. I know my adult children who are raising children also work hard not to be focused on a device when their kids want to engage. I had enough challenges raising children and there were no cell phones to contend with. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for my kids.
In the days of anguish over the Instagram debacle, I tried to sew. I made good progress on this Halloween version of a new pattern I’m going to publish. It felt good to do something useful though I did at one point realize there was no place to post my progress, as Instagram was gone. In the next moment I asked myself what purpose did sewing have if nobody could see it.
I think that’s when I realized that social media had warped my sense of what matters.
I don’t sew just to show it to others. I don’t make quilts to impress anybody. I’d be fine if quilting remained a solitary activity with no interaction at all. I am by nature a loner.
I’ve always made things for the enjoyment and I won’t let social media rob me of that.
Does any of this ring true? How do you feel about social media? I’d love to know and I hope you’ll tell me in the comments.
I have yet to decide how hard I’ll fight to recover my account or how much time I’m willing to spend on that fight. I wonder if I should just let go of it all and focus my efforts elsewhere. Still debating in my head. Time will tell.
Tags: fabric savvy, make extraordinary scrap quilts, quilt design, scrap quilts, social media
SO sorry to hear your Instagram account was the target of a malicious phishing attack!!
I have a love-hate relationship with social media — and I certainly can’t imagine having (or losing) 14+ thousand followers!!! But it is a tremendous time suck. It made me feel less isolated during the pandemic, and now, as I assume full-time caregiving responsibility for my husband who has mid-stage dementia.
But I, too, wonder how many of my UFOs would be completed if I devoted the time I spend (waste?) on social media to sewing for pleasure or charity (not mutually exclusive categories).
I don’t have an easy answer for you, but I do empathize with the quandary you’re in.
I too realize I spend a good part my day “reading ” my “magazine” called FACEBOOK. I check my magazine named Instagram as well. If someone asks what I’m doing with my free time I tell them I’m reading. I’m not reading any of the recommended books that lay near me. Nope, I’m reading all the memes and checking out all the projects I will never find time to make because of my electronics time. I’m 69 and now know about the addiction this mini TV screen holds on me. What about our Littles? It is a monster, isn’t it? I think I understand your thought process.
Just my two cents….I’m on no social media these days. Personally I found it to be just a giant time suck, ha!
Tammy Jo Allison
I wonder too. I would use seeing some of what I see on Facebook…quilts, people. But o spend too many hours looking at my phone. And for what really. I haven’t even tried Instagram. So I’m considering taking a social media break. Don’t think anyone would really miss me.
I still don’t “do” Instagram and rarely visit Facebook as it usually locks up my computer (I need a new one). Just following Blogs is enough of a time issue for me. I get a taste of what others are doing. I stopped blogging after I saw my quilts on Pinterest with no credit. I guess I’m with the “why bother” group. I love following your blog. It is enough for me.
I’m so glad you are finding some silver linings AND I hope you can get it back, because for me, your account brings SO MUCH JOY! ❤️
I am so sorry this happened. Most importantly, I hope your son is doing well That is what really matters.
Your words are very thought provoking. I agree that social media can take up lots of time. But I also think it can provide inspiration, ideas, resources and friendships. I have learned so many things and found so many quilting ideas and tips. It is fun seeing what others are doing. Like so many things in life, it is all about balance.
About two years ago I had my Instagram account “stolen” and Instagram fixed it by cancelling my account. That didn’t make me very happy. But I decided to start new with a new name and keep posting my quilts and finding people I enjoyed following. That has worked for me but we all should do what works for each of us.
I hope this all works out for you. I will continue to be inspired by you! Take care and follow your heart.
Diane, I feel your pain, so sorry you have to deal with this. I don’t use facebook, instagram or twitter, so I’m thankful I can read your posts via e-mail. All I can recommend is to ask you: what benefit do your instagram followers give you? I know what you give them, and I think: if they truly enjoy your posts, they will hopefully move over to one of your other formats if you close this one. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing. I too have a love hate relationship with social media. Best of luck on your journey.
That is just so frustrating!
and I do not know the answer… sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t – but! I find that I always love blogs… the reading, the details, they make me happier than that quick snap.
Glad you were able to spend time with your son and things are getting better
I am sorry Diane, but as you have stated maybe it is a blessing that it has made you search for these answers. I have refused to get on Instagram, as I spend enough time on Facebook and Pinterest, but I am not trying to run Stash Bandits. &:-D I keep Facebook and follow people on the internet because I want to see what they are doing. Gosh, wish I had a better answer for you. Keep up all your nice work!
Laura A Geiger PsyD
Hi Diane I am so sorry for this really frustrating situation on Instagram. I think reaching out to your customers and clients who have taken your classes and building your email base might be the best thing. Look up a fellow named James Clear. He has not utilized social media and has gained quite a bit of success just blogging and so forth. I think you can Have your website and post progress and so forth on your website and people like me who have taken a class and who enjoy you will certainly follow you. If anything you should use social media to funnel people to your website because that’s something that you can control. Love the new pattern! It’s beautiful. Thanks for all you do and your creativity and teaching.