I get it, we are all addicted to all of it. The last 3 years has been this increase in the use of social media and who is on it. It’s everywhere now. It’s always been there but for some reason it picked up tremendously since 2016. Instagram has been the one to come out on top.
Back in 2012, I created an Instagram and Twitter account. It wasn’t that big of a deal. I’d hop on to post photos of me and friends at the skatepark or tweet about how I just wanted to leave high school and chase filmmaking and skate…. I was an angsty kid with a twitter account lol.
I would safely say almost everyone else on the platform at that time didn’t live on it. It wasn’t used by people in the mainstream media and it didn’t have the addiction is has now. Once these platforms started growing, so did the addiction. In the last 3-4 years I’ve seen a massive spike in the draw of instagram and twitter. It became so flooded with peoples lives and day to day updates that whenever I met up with friends I didn’t have to ask any questions. I already knew what they’d be up too, even sometimes what they ate for breakfast. It become overwhelming
As I grew with filmmaking I used IG mainly to network with other filmmakers and connect them with my work. it was a rad way to get in front of people and it shortly became a standard in the indie filmmaking world on how to make connections. I didn’t see this as a problem until these last few months
With the growing platform and very niche IG filmmaking community, it became that I didn’t know people by their personality, work ethic or even how they look. It was just off the work they put out. It took the personal side out of getting to know people and creating with them out of the equation.
Yes, I’ve met a LOT of people because of social media and have been honored to work with even more talented people, but this may only be 2-3% of the people I found on the app. With the importance I put on IG, I started to only use it as a tool to put myself out there. I spent time thinking about captions, aesthetic of my page, and just how I “appeared” online. I started to care and put more time into this then my actual career.
Who I am vs. Who I appear to be
Through all of this I started to have an identity crisis. Am I putting out a front that I’m this super successful filmmaker who is always making cool work and staying busy 24/7? That’s all it was, a highlight reel. If I had a slow month I would just post old BTS photos because I saw being inactive on the app as not acceptable. You want people to perceive you as this person you are not.
It became only about how I looked and not what I was putting out, which is the only important thing. The content on social media took a higher ranking than the video content I was releasing, it became something that wasn’t right. At the end of the day we are doing it to look cool and get likes. It’s totally based around wanting to be noticed. We have this incredible platform to connect with others and make new friends, why don’t we all use it for that? Instead we create this fake reality. It’s just not who I am.
The Call To Action
This past month I unfollowed everyone and just use these apps to post some of my work and that’s it. I’m not scrolling through hours of photos and seeing what everyone is doing. This change has been refreshing. Catching up with friends now has been incredible. I genuinely am curious how they’ve been and what they’ve been up too. I also can focus on myself and my work, instead of how I am choosing to be perceived online. It’s ironically freeing to not be so connected.
This is in no way a post to bash people who use social media to pass time. That’s totally in your control. I’m sharing this to challenge you to maybe take a day or week or month off of it. You’ll realize you aren’t missing anything. Instead of meeting people online, try going to networking mixers and events. Personal connection will never be beat by messaging people.