Social Media Makes Me Feel Bad…

Yes, I said it. And I don’t feel ashamed about it. That said, I’ve been taking a break from social media. As much as I miss some of my favorite IGers, I have pulled away for my mental and creative health. Let me explain. I don’t know what it was that happened, but one day I saw a movie and I felt present in a way that made me not want to be on social media for a little while. First, I started with was a couple of days. I noticed I felt something reawakening inside me. But then, habitually, I checked into IG and I immediately started feeling down. I couldn’t understand it. So, I went off again. And in doing so, I felt better. I become more present for myself and my creative inclinations. I also felt more present for my kids who had also been caught up in a wave of media over consumption. I know I am not unique.

Don’t get be wrong, I love the fact that I can connect and reconnect with people who I love and admire. It’s the best thing about social media for me. But outside of that, being plugged into the collective online consciousness is overwhelming and emotionally draining for me. I often leave less inspired and motivated than I did when I went on. It’s almost like how you feel when you gossip about someone you don’t like. It feels a little good in the moment, but in the end you don’t leave better.

So what does that mean about me and my future with social media?

I will continue to post updates as a means to bring my supporters to my online home, which is HERE. My website, my little piece of online land. THIS is where I will be investing my energy. It’s so wild, in some ways, my relationship to social media felt like every romantic relationship I’ve ever had—waiting for a return on investment which would NEVER receive. I would pour so much into the relationship and when it would end, I would leave feeling empty and lost, wondering why was I there in the first place. Social media has had a similar effect on me. And where I do not plan to totally end my relationship with social media, its function in my life and my creative life will change. It will serve as a channel.

The world of algorithms may not even allow you to see this post, but that’s ok. I believe everything that needs to be seen and heard will be seen and heard by the right folks in the right time. I am learning that all happens as it should. And I am working to humble myself to the unknown. My energy will also go into my newsletter, (have you signed up) and blogging/writing my thoughts here on this platform.

I’m from the “old school.” I blogged for many years (2007-2012) until I stopped some years ago. My long posts on FB made me realize just how much I missed it. Intentionally writing and editing my pieces. Posting my pictures along with my blogs. It brought me immense joy. IG is cool, but it’s not the same.

I know the online world has changed and the amount of followers people have is important, in some way. But, I want to engage and honestly connect with folks who are really interested in my work. A random like, does not equate sincere interest or support. I know I’m guilty of liking people’s posts and sometimes I don’t click links. The medium and amount of information itself undermines our ability to really take things in. My need to step back and critique comes from my own self-examination of how I engage with this medium and how it can cultivate or compromise our sense of connection.

I want people who are going to click the link. Open the newsletter. Comment. Come out to a show. Support my work. Buy my art. Tell a friend. Listen to my podcast. Part of me feels like I’m shooting myself in the foot for being so candid about this. But, look, I’m grown and being silent about my desires at this point in my life does not serve me. If I lose folks, may they go in love. For those of you who still rock with me, I love you and I appreciate your patience and support in whatever way you’ve supported me over the years. For those of you who are new to me, welcome. I am so glad that you are here.

Oh, one other thing, I saw this really interested TED talk about the impact of social media on our mental health. Have a look! It’s had over a million views, so I am not alone.

So what’s next. You can expect more here. If you want to get notified when I post, feel free to sign up for my newsletter. There are events and sales that I may not announce here, so if you’re interested, I highly encourage you to sign up. As for those of you on IG and Facebook, you can also follow me. I’ll be posting notifications of my posts. But do know that newsletter subscribers get special attention because they give me special attention, feel me?

I hope this finds you well and inspired to be more mindful of how social media impacts your life and well being.

In Love and Unapologetic Creativity,

GaBrilla (Gay-Bre-Lah)

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