I’m really glad I didn’t delete this platform. It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged so I have some weeding and garden-tending to do, but I am jumping back into it. I don’t know what it will look like yet but I feel like a place like this is a little quieter and more conducive to getting some more complex thoughts into the world, as well as to share some news.
I’ve had a complicated relationship with social media. I was an early adopter of MySpace and then Facebook. Instagram came later. I really enjoyed the immediacy of it; the ability to connect with old and current friends, and the way I could learn through it (for a great example of what social media can be, please check out Rick Margitza’s Instagram page!). It caused me some problems though. When I was in the service it tended to blur lines between work and non-work life and caused me (and probably others in my orbit) some unneeded stress. It also has an addictive quality that I struggle against. I have addictive tendencies and the jolt of dopamine I get from a like on a post or a comment can be a powerful to me as a shot of booze or other substance.
There is an understanding that a social media presence is a requirement to work in the arts. In my own artistic life I have a new recording releasing this month and the idea of not using social media to promote it makes me anxious, while the thought of promoting it on social media makes me just as anxious. It’s a powerful tool to engage your audience and build a base of supporters to be sure, but for many of us it can be more of a distraction than anything else. I know of many musicians and artists that are purposefully eschewing a social media presence to allow for the space to work more organically.
The climate in the world in the past months hasn’t helped. Again, social media has been invaluable for organizing and communicating, but the unfiltered platform for hate and vitriol has been too much for many of us to deal with in healthy way.
I don’t yet know the answer for me. My intent with this post isn’t to make a grand exit announcement (social media isn’t an airport, departures don’t need to be announced). I read this post a couple of weeks ago and it has really been resonating. Clearly, I am not an elite athlete, but the spirit of the post has a lot of universality.
I do know that my goal is to move my online home to places like this blog and my website. It feels calmer for me.