My Two Week Social Media Cleanse #4

Day 9

I’m beginning to miss my friends overseas. Instagram, in particular, made them all appear so much closer. Now I’m aware of the distance. The beauty in this, of course, is the reminder of how wonderful it is to have people to miss.

Because I am currently unable to plug my friends and their brilliant work on my usual platforms right now, I shall be adding links to their work on this blog. You’re welcome!

A few days ago, friends of mine released an EP. They are a Nashville based band called Steel Union. Myself and Ariel Lask were driving in London, blasting the EP with the windows down. I desperately wanted to share the moment on internet world and felt genuinely frustrated that I couldn’t. What would I have done in this situation before SM existed? Would I have simply been satisfied with a car full of music and a heart full of pride? I’d like to think so. I’d have wanted to congratulate them of course, so I would have called them. How terribly old fashioned that now seems!

So what is this desire to share our lives on SM really about? This is no new question I realise. Aziz Ansari and Ed Sheeran have both publicly spoken about removing SM from their daily lives. I doubt SM is going away anytime soon, but people are definitely beginning to look at their own attachments to it.

For me, the reason behind wanting to post something varies depending on the subject matter. I’ve realised, through this cleanse process, that I have a specific person or people in mind when I post a photo or Tweet a statement. More often than not, these people are my close friends and family. For example, when I post a photo of an outfit I’m particularly proud of having put together, I immediately imagine Lucie Silvas’ reaction. I get excited anticipating her inevitable enthusiastic reply and celebratory emoji! When I post a black and white artsy shot with great lighting, I eagerly await the virtual thumbs up from Sonya Jasinski. When I write something I consider to be deep and profound on Facebook, and I’ll think of my “spiritual” friends and imagine their yogic nods of agreement and prayer hand emojis. I’m amazed that my desire to photograph, filter and post the perfect cappuccino has not diminished at all over these past nine days. What the hell is that about? Seriously, who gives a shit about my coffee?! Am I just wanting to show off? I’m a Leo and an artist so showing off comes extremely naturally to me. I do really enjoy it! Yet surely there is more to SM than just showing off?

It seems I have assigned people to be sources of approval for specific areas of my personality and lifestyle. Whomever I consider to be the authority on a specific subject, it’s their “like” I get excited about. It’s their “like” that gives me a little hit of dopamine which lifts me and sends me gliding through my day until my the next post. This all comes down to validation. We all crave it and we all look for it. I think this is human nature. Or is it the modern day human condition?

Surprisingly, I’ve not missed the small hits of dopamine sprinkled throughout my day. I’m not really missing social media in fact. However, I am missing the joy of sharing certain moments with specific friends. So perhaps underneath the constant outsourcing for validation, is a more authentic desire for Connection. 


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