Welcome to every creatives worst nightmare
However harmless a scroll through your Instagram feed might seem, the reality is that you are actually being manipulated into reprogramming your brain. Social media apps like Instagram are designed to be addictive with the sole purpose of turning a profit by using the exchange of empty tokens in the form of likes and content views.
Not only can this block your artistic efforts but constantly seeing the highlight reel of hundreds of accounts every day can effectively harm your self-esteem. You might feel like you can't keep up with these people but it's important to remember that there is most likely a team of highly trained professionals behind the majority of these photoshoots. Drowning yourself in heavily edited, well planned out "glimpses" can totally increase your risk of depression, anxiety and a handful of other health problems. This is not a peek into peoples lives that we are admiring, these photos are made from hours of planning, practice and years of perfecting the skill of photography. They're not just pictures, they are creative works of art. And isn't that what we love so much about Instagram in the first place?
Getting back to what it's all about
Everyone, including influencers, complain about the algorithm. But the math is there for an important reason. To benefit the top of the pyramid starting with the owners of Instagram. This equation was engineered specifically so that your behavior can be auctioned off and turned into a highly desirable data bundle. Ad agencies pay out millions of dollars for this data and the vicious cycle repeats as long as you continue to use the service. It sounds like a conspiracy theory but it really is happening every single time you double tap, scroll or swipe.
You're probably saying to yourself "Wow Camille - way to be a downer" but I'm telling you this because I believe there is a solution. There is a sweet spot for finding success and happiness on Instagram and it all starts with getting back to what Instagram is all about in the first place - content creation.
Three steps to the social media sweet spot
- What kind of user are you?
Establishing what kind of user you are is the most important thing you can do when managing a creative Instagram account. There are two kinds of people on social media. There are creators and consumers. Consumers are the ones who are buying products and services, scrolling relentlessly and willingly selling their behavior to corporations. Creators are the ones inspiring others to create through intense commitment and a talented eye for design. Succeeding at using Instagram is no simple task. It takes a lot of hard work, discipline, style, and consistency. Decide what kind of user you are and stick with it.
I highly recommend deleting Instagram from your phone for at least a week no matter where you are in your business. It sounds terrifying but you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. This time spent away from the app will allow you to regenerate your creative mind. You will see the world differently and in turn, you will be able to see your brand in a new light. I promise, no one will even notice you went silent, and if they do then they will appreciate you that much more when you come back online.
3. Focus on creation, not consumption
An 80:20 ratio is a pretty realistic balance for creation vs consumption. If you can consciously integrate this balance into your life, you will see significant freedom in your creative avenues. Use your detox to stock content, schedule your posts using Planoly or UNUM, and start writing your story. Try to add scrolling to the majority of people in the consumption category. If you can focus on posting instead of scrolling 80% of the time you will be preventing so much of that creative block that we all fear.
The things I learned from going silent on social media.
"Do it for the gram" is just about the most destructive thing we can do for ourselves as artists. After nearly 7 years of being on Instagram almost every single day I decided it was time to take a break. For one week I went silent on the radio. I did things that completely changed my life that I never thought I would ever do or experience and the best part was that I was able to fully feel what it was like to do these things.
I went to a skate contest in Waikiki where I got to watch some of my favorite skateboarders rip around a gnarly old school ramp. I went skydiving with my friends without feeling the need to document the whole thing just for the sake of a social media post. I hiked mountains without my phone and allowed myself to be conscious in nature. I wasn't stuck on my phone the whole time and even though I was filming parts of my life and taking photos while detoxing I was able to take my time and stock appropriately. The less spontaneity, the more time I had to carefully curate my future posts. I was able to feel a deeper connection with those close to me and I wasn't constantly scrolling at the dinner table or reaching for my phone the second the room felt uncomfortable. I was able to actually listen to people, engage, and react with a clear mind.
What else can I do to prevent blocks in my creativity and business?
I want to help you gain complete control over your creative endeavors and harness your true power on social media. Since stepping back from Instagram in such a raw way to enjoy my life, I've discovered many things that I would love to share with you.
I've built an online course for those who consider themselves "The Creators". This workshop is for anyone who wants a deeper look into how to organize and manage your online business as a creative entrepreneur. In this course, I will be showing you how to take a step back, create content in a conscious way, maintain consistency and manage a healthy balance of creation vs. consumption to avoid a creative block. Most importantly, I show you how to shape your brand in the most simple and concise way to impress your current followers and gain new potential clients by building your community.
This course is regularly $295 but I'm offering it at a discount for preorders only. This course will be for sale at $250 until May 1, 2018. Click the button below to sign up. "The Creators Workshop" will be available for download on May 2nd, 2018. As for more news, blog posts and updates make sure you sign up for the newsletter in the announcement bar.