I’m in the home stretch of my month-long experiment with stepping away from social media! I can say that I really, really do not miss it.
I’ve noticed a few times when I felt like complaining about something, and thought that it was the sort of thing that I’d be tempted to post on Facebook. Like how I had a bizarre font problem that was causing Outlook to completely malfunction and I spent three hours troubleshooting and fixing it. Or how an InDesign file got corrupted and I was facing having to re-do about 10 hours of work or pay a service a couple hundred bucks to fix it. The file was fixed- thankfully I found a post on a forum that gave an Adobe email address to send damaged files to [firstname.lastname@example.org]. I had zero expectations of anything coming of that, but they actually got back to me the next morning and eventually fixed my file. They even called me to help with it! Kudos to Adobe!
Anyway, I think it’s probably human nature to want to complain about things that are aggravating us- it makes it seem less burdensome. But do I really need to share my bullshit computer problems with the world? I’ve never quite been able to figure out the line between sharing something to alleviate the burden of it and just straight up complaining.
Today’s favorite article: I trained myself to be less busy – and it dramatically improved my life by David Sbarra, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona. In particular:
As part of my effort to create time and space for doing less, I also got off Facebook. At first, I was simply trying to escape the toxicity of the election on social media. In time, though, I realized I was also escaping an attentional black hole, one with an incredible gravitational pull. I would never willfully stand in the middle of a noisy room with everyone screaming for my attention, yet this is best metaphor I can think of to describe my mind on Facebook. I was weak and could not resist its forces, fair enough, but I also started to see it as filler and fluff. When I got past my FOMO and let it go, I gained back many moments in my day.
I love this because it is exactly how I would also describe “my mind on Facebook”- standing in the middle of a noisy room with everyone screaming for my attention. (And when I am sharing things on social media I feel like I am screaming for the attention of others. Neither is pleasant!)
If/when I do go back to social media, I am going to have to figure out a way to strictly limit my time spent on it. I’m not sure how to do this, because in the past my addiction to it has overcome the various hurdles I put in place. I have placed various blocks on it, only to remove them for a variety of excuses. I have set timers, only to ignore them and go right back to mindlessly scrolling…I have quit it for a couple of weeks at a time before, but always returned to my previous state of more or less addiction to it in short order. I wonder if it’s like being an alcoholic where there is no such thing as “just one drink?” Is it all in or all out? There has to be a middle ground somewhere…
I also need to figure out a good way to share the art journal pages that doesn’t necessarily involve posting them to Instagram every day. Maybe making some sort of video once a month or something?
It’s not that I don’t want to engage with others about my art practice via the internet. I like the idea of sharing works in progress, timelapse videos of my process, etc. I just need to figure out a way to do it that feels more integrated to my practice and less fake, less checking a box of “how to do social media as an artist.”