Can An Artist Be Successful Without A Social Media Presence? Why I Am Taking A Break From it...

in Q-Inspired2 months ago (edited)

IMG_20221120_171820 (1).jpg

It's nothing revolutionary...

Others have tried before and probably wrote about it in a much better way...

But lately, I've been really thinking about what social media has taken away from us, which is probably even more than what we can imagine.

Right now, one might argue that I am still speaking to you through a different form of social media, though probably a little bit less virulent and damaging than the algorithmic torture we currently go through in our daily routine, scrolling through feeds, a never-ending conveyor belt of emotions and feelings that paralyzes us.

I've come to realize that I am was subjecting myself to a huge amount of mind-numbing activities, which are supposed to make my musical career advance but feel nothing more than becoming the hamster on the wheel, staring at the infinite boredom of existence through a tiny peephole.

IMG_20221117_155514.jpg

So, a little bit like a survival instinct kicking in, feeling the absurdity of my programming and its redundancy, a feeling crept on me, day by day, for the last few months.

What if I just delete everything?

What would happen if, tomorrow, I just delete my Instagram, Facebook, Youtube account, which I've been investing a lot of time in for the past few years?

IMG_20221121_214343.jpg

I've already had a similar experience in 2018, it was a time when I was posting daily on Hive (its predecessor), and felt that my philosophical alignment was completely in contradiction with the traditional social media that we were fed, decided to completely severe the ties with all my accounts, and only focus on working on the blockchain.

It was interesting for what it was, though I actually shot myself in the foot for a little while, because I only focused on blockchain projects, and forgot about the "real world", who still lives on social media, and buy on social media.

I eventually had to go back to my old habits, to attract new customers willing to listen to my music 😁

But a few days ago, on the 17th of November to be exact, I woke up feeling that it was time to let go of those media, that I was finally ready to experiment, for a little while at least.

Recently, I've been learning more about how dopamine gets released in our brain, its effect, and how to attain dopamine homeostasis.

IMG_20221116_160851 (1).jpg

If you don't know what it means, don't worry, I didn't either, it's "the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes."

See, dopamine in your brain gets released every time you get a like, every time you hear your phone vibrates, and every interaction (or lack thereof).
For those not familiar with dopamine, it's a neurotransmitter made in your brain, that "rewards" you when completing certain actions.

As you can imagine, certain drugs make you release more dopamine than others, here is a chart that will give you an idea:

image.png
src

Of course like any drug, your brain starts to get accustomed to it, and eventually without even realizing it, you're hooked.

The only way to "press the reset button" on your dependency to any substance, is to abstain yourself long enough for the dependence to wear off, it takes apparently 2 weeks on average for the dopamine levels to balance out, and a month for the brain to go back to a normal state. Homeostasis.

I am not making all of this up, and Anna Lembke sums it all up in her book "Dopamine Nation" if you're interested.

IMG_20221120_164804.jpg

Anyway, as you can read in the title, this raised a question that I've been asking myself for a long time:

Is it even possible to survive as an artist without social media?

This is why I decided to give a time frame to my "experiment", because I already know this answer.
Yes it's possible to become successful without a social media presence, just by focusing on advertising your website for example, but it makes life way more complicated as everyone is on Social Media, and this is the main tool of communication for our species in 2022. If you need to be verified on most websites, and even on Hive, social media is expected as a tool to verify your identity, we all know where it will lead us to in a near future, an online persona for all your life needs, a social credit score, etc...

1669063314830.jpg

That's why I cannot resolve myself to "delete everything", because I know that to ensure my own survival, there will come a time when this very survival will depend on my online presence.

Well...Now what?

If I want to reset my brain dopamine levels, I also have to stop ensure to keep to a bare minimum level any other "pleasurable activities" if you catch my drift, either it's drugs or sex, because dopamine fasting is the fastest way to reset your own brain chemistry.

When you abstain of doing something, the obvious response is to replace one addiction by another one is called "cross addiction", and tends to slow the process of letting go; that's why it's important to lower the number of rewards that you're giving to yourself.

In other words, life is about to get very boring for a month. 😄

Why am I doing this, you may ask?

Because I want social media to be a tool here to help me with my career, and I never wanted to feel controlled by it, the same goes with any substance abuse.
Lately, I've just really hated having to be on social media every day, we're being told that the most efficient way to gain followers is to post daily, but I've got enough proof that it's not really the case.

IMG_20221121_214406.jpg

I have many other reasons to see the benefits of stopping social media, I would actually have liked to stop indefinitely, but realistically in a month or so I am releasing a single, I also have a Ai Art account where I promote my artwork that I sell on Etsy, so it will become a necessity soon to go back to it. I can already feel the pain 😂

Interestingly, pleasure and pain seem to come from the same area of the brain, they are intertwined and governed by a similar set of rules.

Rules of My experiment

  • Delete all social media apps
  • Don't communicate with anyone on social media (unless it's a necessity)
  • Don't use any social media if you can obtain your info without it
    e.g: Specific song I a work on, I'll go the Spotify route instead of Youtube
  • If something that I am working on is only on Youtube, use the browser and not the app.
  • Not allowed to reinstall the app
  • The experiment last a month
  • Limit other dopamine production through "cross addiction"
    e.g: Gambling, drugs, coffee, sex, chocolate, video games, etc...
  • document progression and assess after a month.

The purpose of course, is really to discover something internally, I really feel the need to hear my own thoughts again, I need the silence.
After only a few days, I already painfully realize how much time I've gained, reclaiming some productivity.

In all honesty, I already got rid of TikTok half a year ago because of the poison for the soul that it is, there is no argument that it's a tool created by China to numb, make docile and sexualize Western society while educating the Chinese youth, two extremes results using the same algorithmic tool with different parameters.

If you don't know what I mean, click the hyperlink above and go watch the video about how Tiktok got created.

I realized that I never used Facebook much so quitting is not an issue, I do have an artist page linked to my Instagram, which double posts on each platform, and of course, I was posting on Youtube weekly.

So the hardest part of the challenge will probably be Instagram and Youtube, as this is my medium for promo, but I really want to try to stay consistent in my abstinence and learn how to let it go.

The other rule that I wanted to add, is that I am still allowed to post on Hive once a week 😁

PANO_20221120_171132.jpg

Sort:  

Some attention is necessary but social media is an attention thief. Keep doing a website or youtube and hive, ofc

Oh yeah, it's so pernicious because even if you stay only a few minutes at a time on it, at the end of the day it adds up. A lot!!!

Even Youtube is soul-sucking in a lot of ways...I am thinking of hiring someone on fiverr that will post for me on all these platforms.

Look forward to seeing your weekly posts. I stopped updating my instagram and facebook business accounts. My next photography shoot is only going on my website and HIVE. :)

Hey man!!! I went on your blog and only realized now that you didn't include your new posts in your blog, I thought you didn't post at all, I will check your new works out!!!

My next photography shoot is only going on my website and HIVE. :)

It's a tough call to make, because there's a lot of eyes on these platforms...I guess it's all about SEO

Creation is for the creator, don't care about SEO. :)

Hahaha Vincent Van Gogh didn't know about SEO and died penniless!

Sunflowers, Ears, Omens?

Good luck with the task you spell out here.
Life may become boring with all that you plan on putting on the back burner, but at my age, I've found that feeling bored is really just a state of mind.
If you've got the time to become bored, become relaxed instead.

Very interesting, the entire dopamine thing.
When you're in the middle of so much, family, careers, and so many other responsibilities, you've got to meet those responsibilities. Some help from the chemical factory, that is our body, comes in handy sometimes

I can see how an addiction to it could happen so easily. With the media and technology that kids are exposed to every minute of every waking hour, it's no wonder things are where they're at.

Shit just gets crazier every day.

I don't even want to get started on the possibility of existing with a number stamped on my forehead, SOCIAL SCORE.

TikTok ... that's something Trump had right.

Hope all is well!

Hey Sweed, long time, how is life on your side, and how most importantly how cold is it right now 😁

If you've got the time to become bored, become relaxed instead.

That's an interesting saying. I don't always lead by example, but from time to time we're trying to remind the kids that it's good to be bored, that's when the great ideas come.

I also have to admit that sometimes we put the kids in front of their games or devices so we can catch up on something for an hour.

I don't even want to get started on the possibility of existing with a number stamped on my forehead, SOCIAL SCORE.

Yep it's coming sooner than later, it's amazing how quickly society is being shaped and nobody seems to realize what is at stake, probably the biggest change in human history since the invention of tools for agriculture in Mesopotamia (a long time ago).

And also maybe our own demise, not that I want to sound all doom and gloom here hahaah.

In other words, life is about to get very boring for a month. 😄

🤣🤣

Haha, no, it will not be boring. But can't you just continue to do normal life stuff and quit social media? I don't use them. (Hive exception, but it is not the same as any other s.m. thingy ;) ) Well, my example doesn't count as I am not famous as you lol, but still, I can say that I have more than enough work to live from music at this moment. Don't know about the future though. I have never had Instagram or TikTok, and used Youtube for a few videos. Oh, I had Facebook :D. I was about to start to use it again, even updated the profile photo for my comeback a month or two ago... and never went back 😂 But I would maybe use again the piano teachers' groups there, but then again, it's so much time-consuming. Will see. Don't think it would give me any dopamine overdose 😆

Continue doing music, and enjoy your family and chocolate and all, and this landscape from the photos as much as you can :)) Then, when a month passes you will see was it beneficial or not.

But can't you just continue to do normal life stuff and quit social media?

I post on social media about my music mainly, and also my AI art to promote my online shop.

Well, my example doesn't count as I am not famous as you lol,

Lol nonsense, you're way more famous than me on hive. 😄

Oh, I had Facebook :D. I was about to start to use it again, even updated the profile photo for my comeback a month or two ago... and never went back 😂

You did the right thing!!!

enjoy your family and chocolate and all

C H O C O L A T E!!!!! Yes sure the family too, no problem 😁

You can do it and you have so much to keep you busy xxx
I only use Hive, but I post most days. I would like to have a huge break from the online world, really. Thinking to do another trek next year with the kids. We do get to decide how we wish to live.
Sending you all lots of love and maybe I´ll see you down this way xxxxx

Thinking to do another trek next year with the kids. We do get to decide how we wish to live.

Yeah I am on the same wavelength as you, just cutting it off for a little while, just to remember how it feels to be unplugged from the matrix.

PS: Did you get any strong winds on your side? We had a storm yesterday, branches fell off!!!

oh man the compost toilet blew down, I woke to all the wood blown off the tail of the truck. Might you didn´t sleep much as the truck never stopped rocking, was full on. Also my table got smashed, some of the wood is still missing was crazy and scary xxxx

Damnit girl!

I am sure it was scary are the girls ok?

In other words, life is about to get very boring for a month.

Lmao.

You may as well cut sugar and alcohol out of your diet for the month as well. Purify the body while you're at it.

Interesting experiment. Good luck with it.

You may as well cut sugar and alcohol out of your diet for the month as well

I am actually not a sugar fan, so it's ok for me. You would ask me to cut salt, I would tell you to get out. 👉

For the alcohol, well funny enough, we were already doing this. I mean, not exactly, for the last 6 months, we only "drink" on Friday and Saturday night. 😄

The reason was not to put on weight (as I am a gym freak), but now we can use that to just skip the weekend drink, that was really the only thing we were looking forward to hahah.

Speaking of which, do you even drink in Canada now? Cause no good wine unless you spend 30 bucks.

You would ask me to cut salt, I would tell you to get out

The alcohol only on weekends is a good idea in general.

We haven't been drinking much in Canada. We have greatly cut back. So far we have mostly just drank when getting together with friends. We have managed to find a few decent wines in the $15-17 price range. I've been trying Argentinian wines here lol. I bought a $10 red wine just for cooking the other day and it tasted like vinegar. I miss being able to buy $2.25 bottles for cooking in France and them still being at least drinkable. I have also been looking at what French wines they sell here in Canada and most are the super cheap ones that we saw in the grocery store. A 5€ bottle in France sells for like $22 here 😂. Our wines stores have a "vintage" section as well and I'm always surprised at what French wines we see in there. Half the time I'm pretty sure that they are standard grocery store wines. Lol. It's like, "just because it hasn't sold in 4 years doesn't mean it's a vintage... apparently after a certain amount of time you can just take it off one shelf and put it on another and jack up the price...

Half the time I'm pretty sure that they are standard grocery store wines. Lol. It's like, "just because it hasn't sold in 4 years doesn't mean it's a vintage...

Still up to that day I make that mistake. I did it a few times when we arrived in 2019, there were a few bottles of white wines from a few years ago in the cellar of the house we moved in, and well...It's obvious that not all wines are equal in terms of aging well.

Yeah. Definitely true. Some don't age at all and I think you have to rotate them every few months so they don't go bad but tbh I don't even know what that means lol. I'm also skeptical about these super old wines that are over 20 years old that cost a fortune. My guess is that they taste like shit because they've gone bad. That's the weird part when things like wine become investments. It's most likely a spoiled product that's worth hundreds of thousands that no one wants to drink, they just want to keep it and sell it for more. It's weird. It makes one wonder what they are actually buying. At least an old comic book could be read and enjoyed. But a lot of things are like that really.

You can do it, and you might be surprised to see the results. I was hooked on IG for a few years and I spent several hour scrolling and would post here and there. I felt nothing but emptiness, and thank heavens that I got introduced to Hive in 2020. I haven't looked back. I only use Hive and share my Hive posts on Twitter.

Good luck with your experiment:)

. I was hooked on IG for a few years and I spent several hour scrolling and would post here and there

Congrats!

The only reason I got back to it, was really work-related and pushing my music. I was even following a strict schedule, and see it as a "job". But eventually, because we are wired the same way for thousands of years, the brain rewards pleasurable activities and makes you feel pain when uncomfortable, which was practical when we were chasing our food and running away from predators, but quite useless in our modern society. 😄

The pandemic showed the worst of people on social media, the censorship, the bullying on Twitter, the division.

It's the best tool for our government they can keep us bickering 😁

Good luck with your experiment:)

Thanks!!! It isn't hard at all as I was looking forward to it.

This is great! I feel you in every way and I literally have daily internal fights to deal with this new situation in social media.
I think I will have to start writing the forbidden thoughts that I have, so that I don’t say those horrible things to myself. As well, as you say, use social media as a tool and don’t let it take over my life and mental health. Also, I’m gonna use other ways of self promotion.
I’m gonna keep closely how you feel after this month, plus explore about your music :)

This is great! I feel you in every way and I literally have daily internal fights to deal with this new situation in social media.

Thanks. What you describe about the internal battle is exactly how I felt right before taking that break, it's so emotionally consuming, I am sure it's done on purpose...

I think I will have to start writing the forbidden thoughts that I have, so that I don’t say those horrible things to myself

It's a good idea, I know all my "forbidden thoughts" should be worded out loud or on paper, actually sometimes negating them with positive thoughts is the only to go on I get into a spiral of negativity.

Also, I’m gonna use other ways of self promotion.

Well don't hesitate to share with me if you learn about any other new ways!

Yes! I think so too, writing those ‘forbidden words’ a great way to not go into the spiral of self judgment…
About promoting, I’m gonna print some flyers, create some art events and things related on my craft in order to really connect more with people. As a musician, playing at the street or at bars, markets, events… this is a good way too. Again, to connect with people in a real way.

I understand you brother, I have felt the same as you many times with respect to what it takes away from being all the time in interaction through social networks, there are many human virtues at the level of daily dynamics that are consumed and diminished by always being on a phone or computer, maybe that's why many people do not want to be office workers hahaha.

How interesting about dopamine! I am currently trying to generate nourishing dynamics for the mind and thus release more neurotransmitters that help me to happiness.

How nice that you post on Hive at least once a week, you know I love your music and your interesting perspectives on many occasions.

Good luck on your path brother, if you are always looking to be happy, then you are doing well.

Awesome comment as usual brother!

Yeah man, I look forward to see more of your songs! Hope you are doing good and staying healthy!

Your journey is important ... you will find that you will not miss the other outlets after a while ... I would put as much going into nature as is possible in your area into the spot as well for this time of year ... real interaction with real things and people is very healing...

That's some very deep and wise words!

I am currently surrounded by trees, birds and the mountain, with a big sun shining above!

Thanks for the comment^^

Good luck, I'm looking forward to your weekly posts here on Hive 🙂

It's fascinating how dopamine works and I think this experiment will have a positive effect for sure. Thanks for sharing so openly.

I'm not on social media so much myself but I know I 'have to' when it comes to promoting my coaching business (which I don't do at the moment). I guess I'm just waiting for the right moment to dive back in, haha.

Btw, I love your pictures.

I'm not on social media so much myself but I know I 'have to' when it comes to promoting my coaching business (which I don't do at the moment). I guess I'm just waiting for the right moment to dive back in, haha.

Yeah that's the hardest part to get back in. Right now I've let go since the 17th and I am having so much more time for myself, and also a bit happier I have to admit.

Empaths tend to absorb a lot of things without even realizing it. But as you say, for work it's important to stay consistent and available for the customers!

Speaking of which I have to post on Youtube soon, and avoid reinstalling the app or even scrolling. Just uploading, and that's it!

What a great experiment you embarked on!

Am afraid you are correct, for an artist to survive the length of time, these days social media is a must. I see this in the electronic music industry as well. Newcomers are propelled to stardome* because they know and play the TikTok and Snapchat game. Older generation stars, loose their stardome* because they are not playing the social media game, or let other handle their own feeds (how good such companies are handling the artists social media channels, it still feels its not the artist him/herself and I think this has less positive effects to when the artist is managing his/her own feeds).

That said, I do know myself it is not easy to not get triggered when an SMS, or WhatsApp, or whatever is received. Or when a notification is presented on a new vote, or a new incoming comment. I must say, I believe am healed. Didnt go cold turkey as you going now, but took me years to keep my dopamine production and release under control. Maybe it took me a full decade. But by now, well, by the last decade or so, I have no issue hearing ring and bleebs. I dont react. I dont feel any urge to take out my phone, or go and seek for that device when not on my body to see what tried to get my attention. When uyou ask my friends, and even colleagues: They dont like my behaviour though. They always say: You are so hard to reach. Thats the side effect of all of this :)

ps Good luck with your month of reducing your dopamine levels to sub-zero levels. Though am wondering how your wife is handling this?! ;)

*With 'stardome' I dont mean star dome in the literall sense, but more popularity.

Not that you'll see this or anything....


Whaddup! That red landscape image is dope. That, and no weed on the dopamine chart is bullshit.

In my uh.. we'll just call it class, I learned it takes 'about 1 year' for your brain to fire normally after indulging heavily in pharmaceuticals for an extended period of time.

To this day, this is the extent of my social media experience as you know. When I look around, it's obvious who's stuck to their virtual world and who isn't. They can't stand in a check out line or pump gas or wait at a red light or anything. Can't even enjoy their own children's sporting competitions without scrolling.

It's comfortable on this side of the fence.

Good luck with your experiment.

Not that you'll see this or anything....

I've seen it but it took me a while to find the right approach haha.

That, and no weed on the dopamine chart is bullshit.

I didn't want to add it to the scale, it would probably be at the same level as sex.

Can't even enjoy their own children's sporting competitions without scrolling.

Have you ever watched a children's sporting competition? It's super boring. Can't blem them.

When I look around, it's obvious who's stuck to their virtual world and who isn't.

I think that's the sentence that made me think the most, I even had to ponder on it for a few days.
The virtual world is already there, maybe you can't really perceive it, but even when searching something on google or duckduckgo, you're feeding the algorithm. Even when actively not on social media, there is a million ways to bring that virtual world to you.
It's all about how slow you're ready to get cooked in the pot, like the frog.

Remember before smart phones? Now we won't be able to cope without one. Tomorrow it's AI, that will fill the new technological gap, and soon, people won't be able to cope without it. (check the new chatbot called GPT released yesterday by openai, it will literally change the world and make all knowledge-based jobs completely obsolete)
We haven't set clear ethical ground rules on how far we can go, this is why it's inevitable, that the virtual world will take over the real world.

Every step of the way is leading us to that, even those steps that you don't feel are building toward that world, are meant to lead us to a transhumanist revolution.

Shit bro I am talking...