Updated: Feb 25
23/12/2020 - London - Tier 4
In this blog I will speak about my social media addiction and how it affected me. The pro's and con's and hopefully shed some light for you because it might help you become more aware of how social media can affect you but coming from an artists perspective.
A few weeks back now I hit a wall several feet tall, some of it work related and some of it was personal. From where I was standing this wall looked like it was getting higher and higher to climb. Upon some reflection in lockdown two I realized that I'd placed this wall in front of me somewhere deep within my conscious. I had been carrying this problem around with me for years now and it was time to settle it once and for all. I had a few sad days regarding some personal issues and then WHAM the obstacle revealed itself to me in clear visible daylight. Upto this point I had accepted that this obstacle HAD to stay there because It was how I made a living so I didnt question it. But today was different. It slapped me in the face - I was addicted to social media.
I had known for quite a few years earlier that I spend a lot of time on instagram and facebook and kept on stumbling across stories and videos online of people doing social media detoxes but the same narrator kept coming back to me every time I would read one of these stories or watch a video. "You can't take a break for too long you got bills and rent to pay". Over and over and over again for years this voice would come into my head until finally the voice disappeared completely. Like many tattoo artists I thought I had to have instagram if I wanted to be successful with it and to build up my client base. In the beginning I felt like I had to have social media and that without it my chances would be zero and this is what I'm finding out right now, and that is, it is certainly not the case at all.
Anyway so i'm sitting there and im checking my instagram chat for messages and 0 showed up. I find out my last screen time is 11 hours. To which now I think is insane but this was kinda normal for me seeing as it was how I make my living, publish tattoo ideas and build my business up. Also a huge factor for me using it so much was chatting to friends. A lot of my friends talk via social medias and not text very much as a lot of them live abroad and all around the country and I had made a lot of group chats so I can keep them all in one place. (My idea of digital minimalism, haha) In the last months I never used facebook much but a lot of times in the past I had accounts, deleted them after a few months and then signed back up to them. Sometimes staying logged in for years. I think the longest was 7 years. So I was sitting at home completely drained and full of self doubt and just feeling a little sad because a few days before I had some sad news which i didn't plan on happening so my mental clarity was completely fogged at this point. So I kept checking my phone and I had no new messages. I then found myself refreshing the message log over and over and over again, frantically and then it hit me like a slap in the face. I was dependant on social media and that it was distracting me from feeling my situation and my issues in that moment. I was scrolling for 5 minutes and then refreshing the chat because I didn't want to sit with the emotion and feel it and observe it. So I would disappear down a rabbit hole, clicking this clicking that and the next thing I know 2 hours have gone by and it felt like 15 mins! After I "woke" from this social media spell i felt like one of them zombies you see on the tubes on the london underground. i realized right then and there this thing was stealing my time. Something needed to change...I was distracting myself away from the things that really needed my attention.