As someone whose livelihood the last 4 years has depended on my ability to market my services and courses online, this was a rough breakup, to say the least. I battled fear, FOMO, and more while making this decision…and I have a hunch those feelings will linger for a while. 

I really like Instagram and Facebook, we had a good run. But their recent privacy policy changes are incredibly invasive – so invasive, in fact, that I decided to delete the apps from my phone and cancel all of my personal and business accounts with both platforms (just in case you did not know, Facebook owns Instagram, so they are essentially one and the same. Actually, Facebook owns 3 of the most popular and most downloaded apps out there).

I had an incredible community of over 17,000 graphic design-loving people when I pulled the plug.

Business aside- I also have close family and friends that I share memories and family photos with using these apps. I poured hundreds of hours into those online communities and letting them go was hard. REALLY HARD. 

But here’s the deal. I had to draw a line in the sand of what I was comfortable with and what I was not. And I could not in good conscience turn a blind eye to what Facebook and Instagram are doing anymore – regardless of how much I liked reaping the benefits of their global platforms.

Here are a few of the things I just can’t roll with anymore (and here is a more in-depth analysis, for those that like to read):

  1. IG and FB have access to my camera and microphone. And not just when I am snapping the perfect selfie to upload to the ‘gram… they have access ALL THE TIME. They even employ hundreds of people to go through the images and voice data they capture on a daily basis. 
  2. Even if I request they delete something (which can take up to 90 days, by the way), they will still hold onto it internally for their own use. 
  3. These companies/apps have decided they are in the business of censorship. They can remove my content (and anyone else’s) based on a loose interpretation of their community guidelines…and if I am being perfectly honest, I have always had a nagging worry that they could turn off access to the community I worked so hard to nurture at any time for an arbitrary reason. I have never felt comfortable not having control over the content I create or access to the people I teach.

To be fair, most of these data security and privacy issues have actually been active for a while…I just never paid much attention. Maybe you’re in the same boat. Once I did start looking into what I was allowing those apps to access, though, I felt convicted to do something to mitigate that privacy invasion.

This all brings me to the next part of this modern-day breakup story:

I found something new!

I decided to look into other community options and found It is a FREE community platform (they do have paid options as well) and from what I have seen so far, it is an incredible alternative to large-scale social media communities. Honestly, this is a killer solution to a problem so many people are having with mega apps like Facebook and Instagram, and I am so excited to dive in! I take my privacy (and the data security and privacy of my students and followers) very seriously, and even though stepping away from Facebook and Instagram is difficult, I know it is the right decision.

You can check out this brand new, baby community here. 

I set up a LinkedIn Page as well…there will definitely be a platform learning curve ahead, but I am so excited to dive into something new in 2021!

I also plan to lean in even more to the Graphic Design Vault, which is where EVERY SINGLE ONE of my courses lives on my website. Vault members get access to everything I have ever created, as well as access to future courses and content at no additional cost. There are currently more than 45 hours of content currently in the vault, dozens of downloadable resources, and even some exclusive content not found anywhere else on the web. From graphic design to freelancing to personal development, the Vault has your career goals covered!

I also teach on Skillshare, and right now you can get every class on Skillshare (not just mine, but THOUSANDS of classes) for FREE for 2 weeks when you use my referral link.

For those of you that have stuck with me through this rambling breakup article, thank you!  

I wish you all the best in 2021!

Cheers – Derrick

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