Should I stay or should I Go - Between Artists

 In our ongoing series Between Artists: A conversation with Bridgette Guerzon Mills she asks:

We both have been online with our art for a loooong time. Would you ever consider quitting social media? Or have you ever taken an extended break? What are your thoughts in general on social media and the creative soul? Good, bad, neutral?

As a bit of ancient history, I was online long before I started making art (again). I made websites before there was any such thing as WYSIWIG or Apps. Raw HTML. Literally taking out individual pixels on images so they would be small enough to actually load. Before jpgs existed. Or photographs could be used without breaking your connection. They were heady days.  So many possibilities. This new technology was going to Change The World. And it did.

Fast forward...almost THIRTY YEARS!!...and those "possibilities" have largely become just another way to sell you shit. Okay. Maybe that's a little harsh. Still true but there are benefits to being online. It allows those of us living in remote regions to connect with like-minded people, learn new skills, discover new and wondrous worlds. A Marvel.

But also a Curse.

Because Social Media has also become a minefield of SEO whosits and Number of Followers to Monetize Your Feed and Marketing Strategies and 10 Best Days To Post - I saw one  "artist influencer" *barf* who suggested posting to Instagram 3x a day at EXACTLY 8am, 11:30am and between 4 and 5pm. They didn't happen to suggest when you were actually supposed to y'know MAKE ART. But I digress. It has become less about connection and more about, well, selling shit.

Not that I have anything against selling, shit or otherwise. Trust me, I buy just about everything online. I am thrilled that I have access to goods I can't find locally and have them delivered to my door. My Introverted Self revels in this Miracle of the Modern Age. And maybe if I could just let that be my only interaction online, I could be a very happy camper. I know some artists who use Instagram and/or Facebook as a digital journal/diary...to keep track of what they are working on, maybe links to resources, or simply a place to record their thoughts. They don't pay attention to number of followers or likes or even comments. All push. (hmmm. TOO meta? push=no interaction. all OUT and no IN) And y'know? If it works for them? I say "GIVE'ER!"

Somehow, I can't seem to find that line. I tend toward Black and White, All or Nothing. No half full or half empty. It's either Win or Lose. And while I'm trying to allow for more grays in my life, when I feel over-stimulated and burnt out? I have been known to wipe myself digitally clean...delete website(s), dump group memberships, social media accounts, domain names. And it IS cathartic. The freedom is intoxicating. For awhile.

But I always come back.

Because I start to miss "My Peeps". There are people out here I can't reach any other way. I don't do the phone and letters take too darned long to feed my Need To Know NOW brain. So here I remain. For now.


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