We established our yoga and Pilates studio, Trunk Studios, on the ethos of creating an inclusive, positive and empowering community. Even back in 2018, when we ran our first yoga class, I was never a big fan of social media. Our studio stands for self acceptance, compassion and giving back to all those in need. We couldn’t see these values reflected on Instagram and Facebook, but we felt that we needed to have a presence on social media to legitimise our business.
Once we created our social media handle back in 2018, we were faced with a plethora of heavily edited images, particularly in the health and wellness industry. This did not align with what we were trying to achieve with our business. We were promoting self-love and body positivity at this time, and the lack of cultural diversity and body inclusivity we saw on social media in the early days was concerning.
Moving forward to now, the Meta platforms have parted even further from our studio’s ethics. So at the beginning of this year, we logged out of our Facebook and Instagram accounts for a one-month trial. We loved it so much that we’ve decided not to log in again.
It is a bit scary to leave social media behind since it feels like we are the only ones in our industry doing it. Like so many other businesses, we are still trying to recover from lost business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these fears, we know it is the right thing for us to do. We simply cannot claim to be all about health and wellness but then go ahead and support a company that doesn’t protect its users.
In 2022, the average Australian spends an hour and 40 minutes per day staring at a social media site, with some cohorts, such as women aged 14-24 spending an average of two hours a day on social media. Keep in mind, these are average figures so much higher usage definitely exists.
We do recognise that many people use social media to maintain social connections, however, as Meta has grown to a point where regulation is difficult, we’re seeing these platforms allow racism, misinformation and have no protocols for protecting young users who are being bullied online. More importantly, we want to encourage real-world connection and community. And despite all the success and money it has made on advertising in the past 20 years, Meta has done very little for the community and our children.
An example of Meta falling short is its protection of our future generation is the online bullying that is rife on social media. With a slow response rate from governments and social media giants, it remains crucial that we are vigilant with our approach in keeping our distance from this negative space.
We wouldn’t tolerate bullying in our studio, so why would we align ourselves with a platform that doesn’t protect people online? We would rather think outside the box to nurture our community.
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This year we are focused on continuing to build real, genuine relationships that support our members and clients who come through our doors. By making this decision, we see it as an incredible opportunity to operate more closely with our alignments, values and ethics.