Unsocial Me

For a while now, I’ve been promising myself to once again quit, or, at least take another prolonged break from the confines and shackles of social media. Studying Qigong below the hills of Chiang Mai seemed like an optimal opportunity to initiate this decision.

My main argument is and has always been that these channels, apps or whatever the fuck you want to call them, prove time and time again to have a degenerative influence on my creativity and emotional balance.

When I arrived here in Asia a few days ago, I deleted Instagram, the only social media app installed on my phone. It took a few hours getting used to not unlocking the phone’s screen several times a day and flipping through what my online and offline friends and family have been up to. And unsurprisingly, I do not miss the infinite cavalcade of mundane escapades, jam-packed group selfies, life quotes or the “kum ba yah” gospel some try so hard to channel. Not even a little bit.

I’m not totally consitent – once in a while I’ll use my laptop to post a photo or a video on this page. But that habit is also falling on the wayside.

About a year ago, a press photographer and a journalist I’d met tried to convince me of how important social media actually was. How being active had provided them with assignments and valuable connections. They seemed to think I was foolish to not see the glowing benefits and all the low-hanging fruit of opportunities waiting to be picked in the fields in between posts, comments and likes.

I know there are edge cases, circumstances and situations that help argue social medias existence. But like most folks, both of those dudes were way too intoxicated from their addiction to be able to think straight and dispassionately about social medias overshadowing influence on their lives or the amount of wasted awake time they spent on a bloated myth that online interconnectivity really augments the quality of life.

Over the years, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to make use of social media. Either as a source for artistic inspiration or by using it as a means to share my love of photography and art. To inspire others, you know? While I’ve failed miserably at the former, I know from feedback that some of those that follow my work in Västra Hamnen and in Santa Monica are inspired by my creativity. And I am sincerely happy if I have added even just a little shine to their lives.

That said, I have still always felt a deep, disproportionate relationship with social media. It simply takes way more than it adds to my life. It’s a conundrum how so many respectable, well-educated souls seem to genuinely feel their lives have improved significantly ever since we all gained the ability to share it online in realtime. It really boggles the mind.

I don’t know exactly when I’ll wave a final goodbye to all my social media endeavors. But as I’m currently on a galvanizing journey with the ambitious goal of releasing a lot more of my creative energy by using Qigong to re-connect or rewire my body, mind, and soul, this could happen anytime. If my only outlet for sharing thoughts, ideas and creative efforts is here on this site, so be it. I’ve been posting somewhat regularly here for more than 13 years and will gladly continue. In the grand scheme of worldly things, I honestly don’t think “unsocial me” should worry about the fear of missing out.