The Social Media Conundrum

We will never get back the hours of time we lose every day on social media.

I don’t need to tell anyone what social media is. About half the people in the world have at least one account on some platform (in Canada that figure at close to 70%); many have accounts on all platforms.

I get it. It’s an easy way to stay connected with friends and family all over the world; it’s instant gratification.

For business and creative folk social media provides an opportunity to reach a world market each, and every, day. It makes sense that people invest time growing their roster of social media followers.

Therein also lies the problem. How much time do you spend on social media each day? How much time do you lose on social media each day? Sure, the disciplined person can get on and off with ease, but how many of us have the necessary discipline?

Our egos are stroked every time someone “likes” our posts. If you’re an artist or a musician, it validates your work. The quick validation can become an addiction…

…Not to mention all the eye candy ­­ available to sample; ­a whole world of candy free to devour all in one location. And then there is the content of posts you cannot help but register your disagreement with. Instead of clicking off the platform and getting back to work, you read more disagreeable posts like a driver unable to turn away from the scene of an accident they pass on the highway.

I am not a social media expert, nor have I been one who has felt the need to share my life on any of the platforms. However, as I move more into the public eye and introduce people to my work, I am now caught in its web.

Social Media is a valuable tool, but we creative folk must resist the temptation to let it get the best of us. It is our work that is important. Our fan base can only develop if we give them quality work to enjoy. We must consider that many of the great artists whose works are hanging in museums died in their thirties and forties. Life was short and precious. They didn’t waste it, and neither should we. Creative work – the nuts-and-bolts of our output that is our way of putting food on the table – takes focus and concentration. Fans are wonderful and they are patient. Our respective audiences will be there when we need them, so let’s get to work.

Kaja Blackley is the author of Maggie MacCormack and the Witches’ Wheel now on sale: