As a Social Media freelancer, blogger, stylist and all around annoyingly
A.D.D. creative person; I find myself having a hard time toting the line between social and ‘Social’.
Sometimes, I just want to grab a flaffel gyro from a food truck on the grimy snow covered streets of NYC and enjoy it as the ‘unplugged acoustic-cover version’, sans photos or status updates. Sometimes, I want to put my phone down for an entire day, gasp, and listen to my grandma tell stories of her childhood without breaking eye contact to look at a tech screen. Sometimes I want to read a hardbound book with authentic musty paper pages and listen to music on vinyl while my homemade chili simmers on the stove, all without sharing this dreamy scene on any social media outlets. Sometimes I want to go a whole week without ‘sharing, ‘liking’, ‘tweeting’, ‘swiping’, ‘snapping’ or ‘double tapping’. Sometimes, I want to be present in the present. I want to feel fully engaged without a screen to engage me. I want to enjoy moments of social engagement, rather than feeling the need to be ‘Socially’ engaged.
Does this make me ‘Socially’ inept? Should I even be in this business at all? Should I just unplug from the world and live in a tiny house in the backwoods of some north-western state, living off of the fruits of my organic compost pile and seasonally harvested garden!? Should I just give it all up, or should I just give in?
What if Facebook, Instagram and Twitter did away with the ability to ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘follow? Would we keep posting the same snapshots, articles, selfies, food porn, tweets, status updates and general ‘Social’ updates to our accounts; even though there was no way to gage the popularity of our posts? If the answer is “yes”, our content is most likely 100% genuine. If the answer is “no”, then why the heck are we posting it in the first place?
What is the inspiration behind our ‘Social’ engagement? When Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Monet picked up a paintbrush, sketch book or chisel; what if their inspirations had been based on social media trends alone? We would be left with a surplus of ceilings decked out in designer hand bags and high end label heels. Portraits of inanimate objects and soul-less smiles.
True artistry portrays sincerity. Sharing political thought, religious intent, and personal experience by immortalizing moments in time; capturing the soul of a subject and the following the pursuit of beauty for beauties’ sake. These noble intentions are at the heart of the world’s most redeemed works of art. So what has art become in the modern world?
When Andy Warhol first dabbled in the world of popular culture, did he have any idea what affect his work would have on the modern art society? Would he be proud to know that now everyone, even stuffy art critics, are creating masterpieces out of their campbell’s dinner vignettes? Would he love what we have become, or would he shy away from the world of pop art all together?
I find myself wavering in and out of love with the demand of the ‘Social’ game. You see, I am a very genuine person. What you see is 100% (or at least 99.5%) what you get, so I find myself continually disheartened and discouraged by this alternate realm of the universe that social media has created. It’s like a black hole in to which so many have ventured, a place where labels reign supreme and the Queen of Hearts (much like in Alice’s adventures) holds court where a true heart has no place. I feel, often times, alone in this thought; especially in a professional field where numbers talk and the quantity of ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘followers’ is a direct reflection on your personal success.
But then, the world of social media is full wonders. A constant stream of creative inspiration. A feast for the eyes and a good belly laugh when you need one most. Some of my greatest inspirations have come from perusing the social web.
The creative prowess of Bri Emery and Design Love Fest, a one woman creative power house who makes me want to flip off everyone who has ever told me that I want to do too many things with my life or that I have “too much going on”.
Emily Henderson, a fellow (although far supreme) style goddess blogger whom shares my vintage brass hoarding tendencies and is the ultimate ex-HGTV-pat turned lifestyle guru turned mother turned one day first female President of The United States of America (I mean look at what that gal could do to the Oval Office, brass it UP baby!).
I find that I am most happy when I am ‘Socially’ connected, but not ‘Socially’ attached. I do not need social media. I do not need to be told what shoes to wear, what to eat, what color of lipstick to apply or what brand of coffee to drink. I do not need likes, shares, re-tweets, tags or social media followers. I do not need to be told what to do, but sometimes I want to be told what to do (not a 50 shades reference). I do not need ‘Social’ engagement, however I do need to be socially engaged. I do not need affirmation, but I do need a creative outlet. I do not need to ‘Share’ my every thought, opinion and feeling; but I do need to share a genuine connection with the world around me. And sometimes, that may just mean that I need to take a selfie, in my car, in the parking lot of the hair salon (post bad a$$ blowout).