Is putting a lot of time and effort into social media good for visual artists?

We all know social media is a bottomless pit and a black hole for your time. You check your Instagram for just a moment and when you close the app half an hour has gone by without you having noticed. Your Facebook feed basically does the same thing..

We know this, and still we fall for it every time. We don't actually WANT to think about it. Me too. I follow a lot of creative and inspiring people on Instagram, my time gets lost in scrolling through their wonderful posts, that is, the ones that are on my feed at that moment.

What does it actually do to and for me?

Illustrator Holly Exley posted a video about this a couple of days ago "I don't think Instagram is Good for Artists"

"Wow, this feels so true to me" was the first thing that went through my mind when I watched that video, and some of the other videos Holly refers to.

It is true. First off, Instagram and Facebook posts you make dissappear into the great big ocean of posts, yes they are still there, but they dissappear into the algorithm of the apps, which means, they are searchable the moment you post them, but that's only a couple of minutes at most, and then it already gets washed over by hundreds of other posts.

Second, and this is a biggie, as a visual artist, you put a lot of time and effort into creating amazing content for these platforms...for free! So you're spending a lot of time creating for these platforms, thinking you're doing it for yourself, but given how quickly your post dissappears, is that really the case? And is it really the way you want to spend your creative time?

To me the answer is no. I don't want this much of my time going to my social media channels. I don't care about the algorithms. And in fact if I'm honest, I even feel like these apps are sort of killing my creativity in a way. Like you get stuck in them, following their rules. No, I want to do my own thing again!

So, now what are you going to do? What are platforms that you do want to express yourself on? And in what way? Well, basically I was thinking YouTube, but not the over edited video kind of YouTube, my website, and this place, my blog, OK and maybe Twitter, because it's fun to me.

Will you not use Facebook and Instagram anymore at all? I think I will use my Facebook page to share what I do in the other places. The energy I put into it will be different though, "log in, drop info, log out" don't spend more then 5 minutes on there. Instagram pretty much the same, post a candid picture every now and then of what I'm doing, but that's it. I'm not going to work so hard for it all anymore. I've got better things to do with my energy.

And the thought alone feels great! Not having that feeling of pressure of "I have to create for..." is amazing. I can focus on what started all this in the first place, my art. And in the end that's what matters.