A Rant About Social Media

I’m suffering from a condition called S.O.B. (SOcial media Burnout).

This condition is a result of my brain obsessing over “the next thing” to put out on social media. What is something funny and creative I can share on Instagram stories? A cool angle or intriguing shot to post to my Instagram feed? A witty snippet to tweet on Twitter?

And it has left me burned out. Sharing and scrolling are not fun anymore. Is it time for drastic measures?

THE MOMENT FOR “X”

The moment my finger hovered over the “x” on my Instagram app, I hesitated. I fell in love with photography at age 13 and still have my DSLR Canon Rebel XS from when I was 14.

After Instagram launched in 2010, I joined 4 years later at the age of 16. Instagram supercharged my motivation and inspired me to try even harder.

But Instagram has been stealing the original joy I found in photography. I use to take pictures for fun; now, I shoot pictures with anticipated likes and hearts already floating in the distance. And when a photo doesn’t receive as much attention as I thought it would (or should), I get frustrated.

*deletes Instagram app*

As soon as I deleted Instagram, I felt like a huge pressing weight was lifted off my shoulder. It was the weirdest feeling. I don’t have to check my feed, update my gallery, and keep up with what everyone else is doing.

Because I can’t.

Maybe I was more addicted than I wanted to admit.

*deletes Tumblr*

*deactivates Facebook account*

Good riddance.

*goes to delete Twitter*

I can’t do it.

Twitter is the one place where I have found some of the most interesting articles, book recommendations, online content, and ideas. The platform has its flaws, but I appreciate how Twitter is different from the rest of social media.

Unlike other platforms, Twitter still relies (for the most part) on text rather than images. And they kept the option to display tweets in chronological order rather than relying on algorithms.

I’m looking at you Instagram and Facebook.

*delete YouTube app?*

Not happening.

A TIME FOR REFLECTION

Every weekend, my best friend and I talk on the phone for about an hour. What do we talk about?

He’s an artist, I’m a writer. We talk about the creative struggle, projects we’re working on, crazy things we’ve done, crazy things we still want to do (don’t ask), and…well, life.

Last week, we talked for 1 hour and 45 minutes. And during our conversation, he made an astute observation:

People think it’s weird if you’re NOT on Facebook, Instagram, or some other social network. In the world we live in, you’re expected to connect, stay in the loop, and be “social”. How else will people know you exist and see what you’re up to?

Too bad no one has invented email and phones yet.

My friend and I both agreed: we would rather talk to one good friend for an hour every week than “superficially” keep up with a hundred friends every week.

WHAT NOW?

And that’s why I’m pouring my creative energy into these projects instead, even if only a handful of my friends see it:

  • My book
  • This blog
  • My newsletter

Hey! Did you know I have a newsletter?

I send pixel-paper letters over invisible virtual airways to my fellow secret, super cool club members every Monday.

Except our club is not a secret because I’m about to tell you how to find it. And let’s face it, our club is probably not that “cool”.

But if you want something different and fresh in your digital mailbox every Monday (and join the not-so-secret-or-cool club of friends), here the two steps you need to take:

  1. Sign up below.
  2. Take that back — there’s only one step.

Thanks for reading. And I hope to see you soon!

  • Wow, I love this post. Social media has really become that way for me as well, and I’m learning that sometimes it’s ok to take a break from it. Thanks for writing, Samuel!

    • Thanks Ashley! Yeah, it’s so important to take a break from social media every once in a while. Glad you enjoyed this!

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