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The Social Dilemma

As some of you might remember, I used to write about technology (primarily Apple) during the early 2010s. A lot has changed since then, including the technology landscape. There have been huge strides in technology that have improved our lives in unimaginable ways. That being said, technology (specifically social media) has also had a negative impact on our lives. 

It is tempting to take a polarised stance on this - to be either for or against technology and social media as well as the role they play in our lives. As a creative, I can see both sides and hold a slightly nuanced stance on the role of social media. 

On one hand, I have indeed struggled with social media. As what might come as a surprise to most of you - I am a fairly private-natured person. If I could get away with it, I would prefer to simply be creative and not have to deal with the social media stuff. However, to completely give it up would be extreme because it has been the source of inspiration, connection, support, and encouragement over the years. 

So what can one do? What has made sense is to approach my time on social media with greater consideration and mindfulness (both as a consumer and a creator). I have been doing this mainly using 3 ways: 

  1. Being intentional about why and what I consume and share on social media

  2. Taking routine breaks from social media

  3. Being mindful of overall time spent on social media

Intent plays a big role in how I live my life and so naturally it impacts my time on social media. Although it is easy to forget, I try to remind myself of the intent behind my use of social media. How it helps me discover meaningful and inspirational stuff. How it helps me stay connected with those I know and connect with new ones. How it helps my work reach different corners of the world.

It has also been helpful to take routine breaks from social media to reflect on what works for me versus what doesn’t. For instance, such breaks made me realize I wanted to reduce my time on social media (both consuming and posting). Based on this, I now spend less time here and more on Patreon and the website. While consuming, it is easy to get carried away. I have mainly used Apple’s Screen Time feature to be mindful of this by letting me set and adhere to limits with my time on social media. 

As I’ve taken breaks from social media and approached it more mindfully, I have been able to redefine my relationship with it. My time on it feels less compulsive. It feels lighter. I’m once again finding myself inspired and connected after each pick-up. 

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