I quit social media about a month ago. It wasn’t easy, and sometimes, I do get bored, but I’m already noticing some of the benefits. The main one? I feel less anxiety because I’m no longer comparing myself to other people 24/7. I can’t! In fact, the other day I relapsed. I signed on for business purposes and then found myself reacting quite negatively as I scrolled through my friends feeds, seeing how some of them have 10k+ followers and how I only have 600. I’d like to say this stuff doesn’t affect me. But it does. Higher number, higher status. Lower number. Lower status. And who likes to have lower status? Not me...
But quitting social media can help. I know because I’m experiencing it first hand. I feel more free to be myself. I no longer have the whole world (the internet) watching. I don’t have to be as careful. I can like what I like, do what I do, and live the life that I want and that’s about it. Who cares about likes and followers? Better yet. Who cares about the numbers? Because if we do, well, then we’re just creating art for other people. And while there’s nothing wrong with that. I just feel like sometimes we forget to feed ourselves.
I used to do that.
So much to the point where I lost all joy in creating art. I also lost all sense of purpose. I couldn’t find answers to so many questions that started popping up. Why am I creating art? Why does it even matter? And why should I continue anyways? Because I’m just not having fun anymore.
It’s like, post more selfies! Because people will engage with you more. People want to know what you’re up to! Show us what’s happening behind the scenes! More! More! More! But what about me? Is it all just for the numbers?
I used to have the dream to be able to get paid for a large social media following.
But not anymore.
Not if it means having to be someone I am not and to create art that doesn’t resonate from the depths of my soul.
So… quitting social media. Should you do it? I think you should at least try. See what it does for you. No, the world won’t stop turning. You won’t lose your job. If anything, you’ll gain your sanity back like I did. And perhaps, by doing so, you’ll be able to come back to terms with your art in ways that you couldn’t when the whole world was watching.
by Jason Lam