In the digital era, social media has become an everyday part of life. It is a trusted source of communication and connection for people near and far. We use it to share details about our lives and keep up with global developments.
As someone who creates things—a writer, an artist, or someone who brings something new into existence—I feel the weight of pressure this online world places on my projects. Sure, I can showcase my creations on these platforms and engage with others, but there’s a trepidation that these virtual networks might derail my focus from the imaginative process at the heart of creation.
The quintessential nature of creativity lies in the freedom to explore, to be curious, and to venture into the unknown. It thrives on the capacity to dream and the ability to transform those dreams into tangible forms. However, the dynamic of social media can sometimes stifle this creative spirit. It can foster a need for constant validation, an unhealthy obsession with tracking the attention and approval our work garners. Subsequently, this focus on external recognition may begin to overshadow the essence of the work itself, resulting in a decline in creativity.
Artists or authors might find themselves caught in a pressure cooker, feeling compelled to create content that is expected to be well-received by their followers, rather than focusing on their original creative vision. This shift in focus from the process of creation to the end product’s reception can potentially rob the work of its authenticity and originality.
Moreover, the widespread usage of social media platforms has significantly influenced the type of artwork deemed as ‘popular’. Many creators feel an unspoken obligation to generate works that have the potential to become a sensation on platforms such as Instagram. This race to ‘go viral’ can offer an exhilarating sense of achievement for some. However, for others, it can be a daunting task to harness the power of these online networks, leading to undue stress and anxiety.
The influence of social media on art and creativity is a multifaceted issue and may vary greatly depending on individual perspectives. Regardless of these varying viewpoints, one common thread that binds creators is the need for balance—striking the right equilibrium between using social media to promote work and disconnecting from it to focus on the creative process.
Living in a world that is perpetually in motion, finding the time and headspace to focus on creativity can be a formidable challenge. But it’s crucial to remember why we embarked on this creative journey in the first place. The true essence of creativity isn’t in the applause it receives but in the joy of creation itself. To rekindle this joy, it might be necessary to occasionally disconnect from the persistent hum of the digital world and step into the tangible, tactile reality.
Taking a break from the screens that consume so much of our attention and going out into the world, engaging with nature, people, and physical spaces can spark new perspectives and inspiration. Reaching beyond social media, where so much of our creative work is seen, to remember why we create—for the sheer pleasure of making something unique—is essential. Don’t let the noise of the digital world drown out your creative passions and visions. Remember that it’s not how many followers or likes you have that matters in the end, but what passion and imagination you bring to your work.
Finding a balance between utilizing social media platforms for the sake of work promotion and taking time away from them in order to focus on your creative process can prove difficult, yet is necessary to cultivate creativity and emotional health. Here are some tips that may help:
Designate Specific Hours for Social Media:
Set aside certain times during the day where you’ll use social media. This could be an hour in the morning to catch up on news and updates, as well as another later in the evening to post material and interact with followers. Make it a point to stay off all social media outside of these allotted hours so that you can concentrate on your work.
Delegate Social Media Management:
If the challenges of balancing your social media engagement with your creative process become overwhelming, consider delegating the task of managing your social media presence. For instance, hiring an assistant—like my invaluable assistant, Natasha—can be a game-changing step. An assistant can handle the routine aspects of social media management, such as posting scheduled content, monitoring engagement, and interacting with followers, leaving you more time to focus on your creative work. Entrusting these tasks to someone reliable not only frees up your mental space but also ensures that your social media presence remains consistent and professionally managed.
Leverage Productivity Apps:
There are so many apps and tools that can be used to help manage social media usage. These include website blockers that prevent you from accessing certain sites during working hours, as well as tracking apps that record your online activity and inform you of how much time you spend on social media.
Put Together a Content Plan:
Preparing your social media content ahead of time can be incredibly helpful in saving time. A content calendar lets you create and plan posts beforehand, leaving more room for focusing on creative projects.
Focus on Quality Rather than Quantity:
It’s easy to feel like you have to keep up with the flow of new posts in order to stay visible on social media. But concentrating on creating content that is meaningful and engaging will have more benefit in the long run than just posting aimlessly.
Establish Objectives and Limitations:
Define the purpose of your online presence. Are you looking to increase your reach, interact with existing followers, or showcase your work? Having objectives can help keep you on track and prevent any unnecessary time spent on social media. Set limits too for when and how you’re going to engage with your audience.
Engage in Digital Detoxing:
When the demands of social media begin to take a toll on your mental health, it is time to get away from it all and give your mind and spirit some well-deserved rest. This means powering down my iPhone for hours or even a few days at a stretch. During this time, I like to do things that bring back my enthusiasm and peace of mind—go for a hike, take walks that provide ample opportunity for reflection, or curl up with a good book.
You can choose how often and how long these breaks should be—a day a week, a weekend each month or a complete week every year—according to what works best for you. As you start taking these digital vacations, you will find yourself gaining balance mentally and creatively and eventually develop an emotionally healthy relationship with social media.