It may have been naive of me to think that I wouldn’t get swept up in the social gratification of a daily project.
But, if I’m being honest (and I always am), this morning I woke up and my first instinct was to reach for my phone and head straight to Instagram. Any comments to respond to? People to connect with? More likes than yesterday’s piece? Less?
WHOA. I’m grossed out even writing it, but it’s true.
Even with notifications turned off, even with the VERY little time I’ve whittled it down to that I spend on social sites, even on my most mindful days — I can still feel my brain urging me to answer the call of validation screaming from this handheld device. I truly believe it is the epidemic of our time.
As creators, the danger is that it teaches us to measure the worth of our creations in the rise and fall of an arbitrary number. And, what’s worse, as humans, it teaches us to measure our SELF-WORTH in the rise and fall of an empty number.
But it's difficult to examine because these dopamine-injecting platforms do bring so much substantive value to us. I love this community and I love sharing my work in a way that might serve as a positive influence for others. I also can’t deny that it fuels my business.
But, just as we must learn how to handle any addictive substance with care, I believe we have to learn how to treat social media with the same care. We have to remind ourselves (on a daily basis if need be) that we were whole before we started sharing our lives and work on the internet and we are still whole regardless of our likes, followers, emails and texts.
Today I’m reminding myself that I create for the process and not for the response. I create for the magic that happens in the making, not for what comes after.
I SO appreciate those of you who take the time to like and to comment here, truly, but today I’m reminding myself that my worth is not dependent upon it. And neither is yours.