Like it or not social media is a huge part of our daily routine. We get up, we check our phones. We sit down for lunch, we check our phones. We watch television, we are on our phones! Technology is most certainly entangled in our lives for better or for worse.
We can debate the pros and cons of various technological advances until the end of time but let’s be honest social media is one technology that is taken a bit too seriously sometimes.
A BIT ABOUT ME
I will be honest here; I find myself in creative ruts more often than I would like. Of course, nobody is perfect. I am human after all. However, art and creativity is my livelihood. I must keep the engine that is my creativity running at peak efficiency in order to provide the means for me to live the life that I have enjoyed for so long. This type of pressure can lead to a decreased sense of motivation, feelings of defeat, and other emotions that no artist wants to feel.
All of these significant emotions should not be ignored; however, they often come and go with people who work in the creative industry. This is not to say that we are depressed, it is just a fact of life when you count on something as intangible as your imagination for your income.
I find myself experiencing times of creative highs and lows that are only compounded by the use of social media. I know, it is probably uncool to rant about social media and its negative effects on human social interactions, but I have some serious thoughts about how to combat them!
- “HOW MANY LIKES DID YOU GET?” – A mantra that people live by. Whether it is a “delicious lunch” or “killin it with some friends”, people are obsessed with documenting their lives like they have a fear of being forgotten by generations to come. This unfortunate obsession has desensitized people to great photography, which creates unnecessary pressure on the true content creators of the world.
- RUNNING THE TREADMILL – Some people refer to their work as a rat race. This is a broad term to describe the need to work hard and achieve some sort of reward at the end of the “race.” Unfortunately, this culture of working harder and harder to climb the ladder of success puts even more pressure on us creatives to create new work constantly, no matter how mediocre it may be.
- DON’T CHASE LIKES – Social media is great. We can see what our friends and family are doing. We can find out about our favorite companies and their various offerings. The list goes on and on, but the key to being a successful content creator, is to ignore what other people think. As a perfectionist, I have found this to be an overwhelming task; however, I have recently chosen to create and post the work that inspires me. By creating work that I am passionate about, I am happier about my level of creativity and content with my progression as an artist.
- PERSONAL TIME – I have learned that taking time away from the camera/computer to partake in activities that make me happy is more than just healthy, it is nourishing for my soul. I regularly take time to explore fun hobbies with my girlfriend in an effort to purge my mind of the stress that comes with the mundane routines.
In the end, we all need to just find a balance between personal time and screen time. Obviously, my goal is to not just provide another “little bit of both worlds” solution, so I recommend putting away the screens for a month. Don’t check your Twitter, don’t post on Facebook, and especially don’t like your friend’s posts. Just take your time and find what makes you happy outside of our technology. I am confident you will be happier as a result of this interesting exercise!