Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thoughts on Social Media...is it the new workaholic's trap?



Does blogging or sharing or putting things up on Facebook or Flickr or Yahoogroups or Instagram or Pinterest (the latter two of which I DON'T) become an obligation rather than a pleasure?  Do we become addicted to our "likes" and comments?

I journal for me, because I need to.  Response, exploration, celebration, learning, coping...

But scanning, tweaking, editing, uploading, and so forth, becomes, let's face it, a chore.  Several of my blogging artist friends and I have talked about that--and some have wisely cut way back or virtually disappeared altogether, at least in that format.

If I am not mis-remembering, even Duane Keiser, the father of the Painting a Day concept, eventually found he needed to simplify, to step back, to take his time.  To do larger works, and not be under quite so much outside pressure.

Living, creating, sharing online can indeed be a trap--a silken one, but a trap.  Creativity crack.  (And yes of COURSE I look to see if someone has commented, and what they said, and...I have an addictive personality, I'll admit it!)

People apologize for not posting--as if this were a promise we had broken, a job we'd fallen down on, an obligation unmet.  It's not.

What is important is that we create.  It is that which we have in common with the Creator.  It's what we owe ourselves.  We are given a great gift--whether we create a painting, a book, a good dinner, a garden, a piece of music, a decent life, order out of chaos.  We create.

And while sharing it can encourage others, and yes, it can be fun and gratifying and even edifying, it is not our job.  Imagining it an obligation and apologizing for our "failure" turns it into work and sucks the joy out of it.

Don't do that.

I'm trying not to.

22 comments:

  1. Well put, and thanks for putting my own thoughts into words!

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  2. Ironic that I'm answering you here...I fully recognize this stuff is addictive! But--it ISN'T a job. I really feel sorry when I see people apologize...

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  3. thanks for the words and I agree with you ..... but I am addictive too and spend way too much time at the computer..... moderation is going to have a goal for me in social media..... thanks

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  4. It's hard to keep a balance, and make the technology serve you, instead of serving it. I have to keep a narrow focus for it.

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  5. Excellent points! I also tend to get so caught up in enjoying what other artists and sketchers are posting that I don't take time to do my own.

    Simplifying and cutting back on __where__ I post was a first step. Cutting out some "time-wasting" internet activities was a second. Now if I can just move beyond that addiction-thingie . . . .

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    1. Good for you, dear heart! It is not easy...and I know I'm missing some wonderful stuff, but I'm choosing other wonderful stuff. Like reading, drawing, spending time with Joseph...

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    2. I am reading more and of course spending more time with Bill. Don't yet spend more time drawing but I know it will come. Learning not to pressure myself . . .

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  6. Such a very insightful post, Cathy. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in this. I have gotten to a point where I will disappear for quite sometime and just draw and that is okay…I think...

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    1. It absolutely IS, Jennifer! More than okay...

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  7. Thank you so much for this. I am one who has cut way back on posting my thoughts and sketches, and I do struggle with feeling bad, as if it were an obligation. I so very much appreciate your words of encouragement, as well as your example, as you simplify.

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  8. Such a good insight! I have noticed that 'apology' thing going on in all kinds of blogs, not only artist blogs. Very wise words, Cathy, thank you!

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  9. I quote you: "What is important is that we create. It is that which we have in common with the Creator. It's what we owe ourselves. We are given a great gift--whether we create a painting, a book, a good dinner, a garden, a piece of music, a decent life, order out of chaos. We create."

    Couldn't agree more. Thanks once again. Helena

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  10. Yes, that's so true, in a day when we are being pressured to identify ourselves by what we choose to consume.

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    1. I've been reading a delightful book called A Different Kind of Luxury about a group of people in Japan who choose not to be identified in that way. Wonderful.

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  11. Oh my Kate, you really said it -- yes, often it FEELS like an obligation whether it is not not ... checking comments, posting, commenting can often become as addicting as coffee!! LOL I've cut way back on my posting and on my commenting, but mercy, it is hard!!! Thank you for this ...I couldn't agree you!

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  12. Thanks so much, all, it IS good to know I'm not alone in this! And as you can tell I've been to involved in life to check back here for a while...and THIS I do miss. I will be re-establishing balance as soon as Sketchbook Skool is over!

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  13. Thank you for this post Kate! You are not alone and this is something we all need to be aware of. I really appreciate social media and my SM friends! It is wonderful to connect with other artists especially when I am lonely, need encouragement or inspiration or a push forward. But SM can be an alligator sucking up our creative time and creating a self imposed obligation that evaporates our joy. Thank you for bring this up! best, deborah

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  14. Very timely...three years later...it is an ongoing struggle to find balance as I find balance to be a fluid thing, constantly changing. What was too much last month is okay this month and may not be enough next month. But creating for myself and not for the lure of likes and affirmation is my touchstone. When I simply don't connect to my work anymore, I know it's time to step back and let a new balance settle in (which is much easier to say than do!).

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    1. Oh dear God, it WAS three years ago!

      And yes, our balance point changes! As an introvert, as much going and doing as I've done lately would have worn me to a threadneedle some weeks (or months), but I'm either getting used to it or it's my more sociable phase.

      I've had a rather dry period, not sketching nearly as much and trying NOT to make it a job. I find the pleasure is slowly returning, though...

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  15. It's very good to read this post again, Kate, and your words are just as relevant now as they were three years ago. My month in Maine with no reliable internet or cell signal was very helpful for breaking me out of the habit of frequently checking online "briefly" (which often ends up not being so brief), but I am finding myself slipping back into it, so I am glad you reposted this.

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  16. Melissa, the smart phone has NOT been good for my focus. I'm either checking it, sharing, or frustrated because it's not working right, it's slow, or won't connect at all! It DOES take good photos if you don't need a zoom, and it shares more easily than downloading from my camera, but EEEK, another temptation/distraction! Obviously *I* need to pay attention to myself as well.

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