I think sometimes we need a break.
I get lost in the chatter and sometimes don’t realize how much I’m affected by it all. I change my voice, speech patterns, my bias, all based on who I surround myself with but even more so based on what I’m consuming.
I’ve been thinking about cutting media out for awhile, (social and otherwise), but then I worry about how much I’ll “miss out” on. Though, is missing that funny Tweet really going to be that detrimental? Will endlessly scrolling through TikToks and Instagram memes better my life if I keep them as a priority like I have for years? I don’t think so.
“Everything in moderation”, that’s what people like to say, and I don’t disagree, but it’s difficult to kick something that feels like it’s constantly rewarding you. I rack up likes on Twitter because of something funny I said, people like the picture I posted on Instagram because the caption was silly or the picture was cute.
I want to be funny. I want to be liked, and above all I want to be valued. Why put effort into something that takes actual time out of my day like writing a short story, a poem, an article, when a self deprecating Tweet about my depression will do just as well to satisfy that itch? Dopamine is a convincing drug.
And people have short attention spans when it comes to content on their screens, I get that. It’s easier to hit “like” on something than to click through to a link and read actual paragraphs of something you may not end up having any interest in at all. On the creator’s end that’s difficult to accept. It’s disappointing. It’s easier to give in and just scroll for hours instead of sitting down and cranking out that first draft, that sketchbook doodle, that chord progression, whatever.
And then in order to be seen in a significant way you need to have a following. But how do you get a following? How do you self promote without burning people out? Is it all really just sheer luck? I have no clue, but it has to be better to put yourself out there rather than not.
So go do it! Write an outline for that short story, sketch your DnD character, pick up an instrument, take a picture of the sun! Whatever! Or don’t, I’m not your mom.
But I think you should.