Social Media vs. Me

So.. I think this can be a touchy subject - where I’ve seen it’s easier to talk to friends about it or open up a bit about it during conference speeches but generally not something you see ON social media - as it’s really ALL ABOUT social media. I honestly read this over and over, more than usual before posting because just thinking about this shit makes my head spin.

About a month ago I saw one of those flashback posts, 2006 vs 2016, and I realised - shit, other creatives having been going at this professionally for much longer than I (duh). When friends and family talk about how well I’m doing - I always have social media to thank, realistically I wouldn’t be able to get a few thousand people interested in my work over a period of about 3 years…  And that made me think (considering how quickly things change now) shit… what happens if IG fades, will the next big thing keep helping me SO much?

When you’re in your own world you tend to forget that 600 MILLION people are actively using IG. Standing out is an effort in such a saturated circle (for any industry on IG), it comes with growth and experimenting, taking the time to network and engage to people - or just use the best hashtags and hashtag the shit out of your work.. I haven’t quite figured it out yet - But most importantly having a point of difference. In all honesty - I got caught up in it, (I’m only human) - but when I realised, I was pissed at myself. It really is so easy to get caught up in the pressures of social media. For people who didn’t start offline in the industry (like myself) it can be a real wake up call - as we are constantly curating our IG life and for at least 50% of us (probably more), we are worrying if you don’t post something you’re watching your followers go down *eye roll*.  

That realisation seriously got me thinking about my dependency on the internet for my work - sure if you have a good *real life* network/name, it can only help you, but it really can’t be something you depend your life work on - which even though sounds simple, many probably don’t see it that way yet. I think it’s a super valuable tool today but definitely worth keeping it as JUST a tool, and not your body of work - not you, looking at other ways instead of what’s always in the palm of our hand may not be as easy but could really be a deal make/break in time.

After my wake up call and some advice from a friend to take a break from the feed/fiending- I was initially quite hesitant but I wish I had done it sooner. I think at the end of the day - specifically for people starting out in the industry and relying on social media as their main tool - don’t (as much). I guess I count myself lucky that I have come to realise it sooner rather than later - but I’m fairly sure it would’ve made certain things a lot easier for me to swallow if I had woken up to it as a tool rather than my dependency some time ago. Showing yourself and most importantly your work not as an account - but as physical reality - will be your/my strongest suit. Using social media to communicate and engage - take it a step further and meet these supporters, inspirations out in the sun, at a table will make those connections stretch further than an internet fad. Even from writing this blog post I’ve reinforced for myself, how much I can use the internet to help myself still - but enough that I don’t want it forever. I’m sure I’m not on my own as I can see more people around me talk about that pressures, put down the screen - take some time to put the real life goals into real life actions and enjoy social media as a visual diary rather than your only option. 

So now…? Internet - 0, Alex - 1