Last month I decided to leave instagram. I didn’t deactivate my account or anything, and I’ll still be posting periodically. But my entire relationship with the app needs (and has needed for quite some time) to drastically change. Perhaps many of you feel similarly, and for this reason I want to share my reasons for cutting the cord.
TRAUMA. Instagram has been traumatic for me ever since Oct 7. I am unable to escape the horror, the grief, the hate, the accusations, the obligations. I cannot live, let alone create art, when I am traumatized every time I open my phone.
ECHO CHAMBERS. My perception of the world is flattened by the algorithm. I am told that everyone hates me, that I should hate them too. I am shown one side of an issue, while the other is hidden from me. I will no longer allow it control over my knowledge and my thoughts.
THE MICROPHONE. “Instagram is a tool for activism, and spreading information!” Yes, to a degree. But I am not an activist. I am an artist. My voice is in my art, and art takes time. When I’m posting shallow activism art, it robs me of the time and energy required to create work with depth of meaning. The microphone means nothing if I have nothing good to say.
TIME. So much time spent on my phone. And when I put it down, I’m spending time thinking about my phone. Then I spend time trying not to think about my phone. And by that time, I feel the need to check my phone again. Bad.
LIVING ON SOCIAL MEDIA DETRACTS FROM MY REAL LIFE. And yes, we need some digital media to stay connected with the world. But are we looking at our phones more than we look at the sky? Are we commenting in controversial threads more than talking to real people? Are we exhausting ourselves with digital experiences rather than experiencing the world? The answer for me these past few months has been yes. I want that to change.
MY IMPACT WILL BE BIGGER IF I CAN FUNCTION. When I am constantly thinking of when I’ll post, what I’ll post, if I post, If I don’t post, what she posted, why he didn’t post anything, why no one is posting this…..I can’t function. I can’t focus, I can’t work. And if I can’t work, then I will have no impact in the world whatsoever. To help the people I love and make a difference, I need to start with myself. I need to be functional.
I CAN ONLY BE HALF OF ME. Am I Jewish or am I an illustrator? Do I stand for what I believe in or promote my craft? Do I hide one part of me in order for the other part to succeed? How do I be my whole self without betraying someone? I need to work this out.
Being on the internet and having an audience, it feels like eyes are on me all the time. It feels like there’s a spotlight on me, like there’s a microphone held in front of me. By pulling myself off of this platform, I have pulled a curtain over myself and my practice. I’m finally alone, finally free to think and create without the feeling of being watched.
When you close one door, others doors will open. I am already experiencing profound benefits from this decision and, while there are doubts about how this will affect my business, I have no doubt that the rewards will be worth the risk.
Thanks for reading~