Do you ever feel down about your work?
Or maybe you constantly compare yourself to others and feel incompetent.
Or perhaps you sometimes feel like you're just not cut out for photography and you've been fooling yourself ever since you got into it.
If any of those thoughts have ever crossed your mind, congratulations -- you're human.
Now imagine a reality where all of those things cease to exist. Where it's just you and your camera and the subject you want to shoot; that's it.
No insecurities. No self-doubt. No overthinking things.
Last week, I discovered that reality.
For a while I had been feeling the pressure of being an active player on social media. My daily routine was predictable: Post a picture, choose the right hashtags, obsessively check how many likes my photo received and allow that to dictate what I thought of my own work.
But I started to realize that this routine was wearing me down. It didn't feel good to constantly seek validation. I was thinking too much about the reception of my art and not the art itself.
So I deleted my Instagram.
By "delete" I don't mean I got rid of my account, I just deleted the app from my phone. Same for Facebook.
For the past week, I haven't spent any time on either platform. No posting pictures. No scrolling through my feed. No answering DMs.
And I feel great because of it.
One of the things I wanted to focus on this year was creating art with intentionality. I wanted to have a purpose for what I was creating. One of my worst fears is blending in with everyone else. I want to dare to be different and do things others aren't doing.
"What are people going to remember you for after you die?"
I ask myself this question from time to time. It's the guiding principle that drives me to achieve. At any given moment, if I'm doing something that isn't contributing to my legacy, I might have to reevaluate how I'm spending my time.
I don't plan on staying off social media forever. In fact, I'll probably return sooner than later since much of my income relies on my social media presence. But this hiatus has been critical in helping me re-evaluate my priorities as an artist and businessman. It's also been a great mental break.
If you can relate to this post, I'd love to hear about how you handle the pressures of social media. Do you ever feel like you need a break? How do you regroup? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.