Did you feel the earth tremble? Notice any comets pummeling toward our little home in space? How about any alien invasions a la Avengers? No?
Then why did it feel like the world was ending when Instagram and Facebook went offline for a day?
Maybe the world wasn't exactly ending, nor did I start to understand the plight of the dinosaurs, but something as small as social media disappearing sure did freak me out. As an artist who is building her business and her livelihood on these platforms, watching them crash felt a little like my epic LEGO® tower being taken out by the first grade bully. On the one hand, there went all my hard work and I was devastated. But should I really have been putting all I had into something so fragile and temporary? (Admittedly, this is where my analogy breaks down because the answer is yes, always spend more time with LEGO®s given the option.)
Like my LEGO® tower, my world didn't end for all the panic I felt in the moment. I rebuilt my tower even that same day, and it could just be my 7 year-old memory, but I'm pretty sure it was even MORE epic–and reinforced.
As dramatic as it sounds to say, "I will rebuild" regarding social media, that is a little of what I'm doing now. I'm reinforcing my online presence, learning more about SEO (apparently NOT a Sushi Eating Opportunity), actually writing blogs instead of leaving them in my notes app, and sending out email newsletters (?!). I'm a full-blown colorful tower of business know-how. Or, rather, I'm getting there.
It was terrifying to watch my main/only way of communicating with people about my art vanish, but the real horror was the realization of the extent that Instagram (my social media vice of choice) ruled my life, and all in the name of building a business and sharing love and light into the world.
Let me let you in on the moments I realized how far Instagram had wormed its way into my life--none of these even have anything to do with my putting my artwork out there.
• I spent 2 hours trying to upload one single story about ...? What? I don't even remember anymore, but it wasn't important.
• When I closed apps like Mail and Messages, my right thumb automatically reached for the Instagram icon like a robot had taken control of my hand and I was just watching it.
• I thought of funny gifs to attach to my steaming cup of coffee and set up the shot for so long my coffee was lukewarm when I finally drank it.
• When faced with the beauty of a 75* sunny day, I immediately took a picture with the sole intent of publishing it to the 'gram.
• I thought about my hairstyle in respect to how it would look on an Instagram story.
Freaked out yet? Because I AM.
There are plenty of wonderful things to be found in social media, maybe I'll write a blog post about the benefits another time, but I don't want to skip over the ugly truth in an effort to ice a mud pie and call it birthday cake.
The gist is this: I don't want us to part ways because of the death of a social media platform. My dependency on social media to keep my friends and followers involved in my life is indicative of a problem and I intend to remedy it.