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How I reclaimed my life by giving up social media

Feb. 22, 2018
Avatar claire jantzen.jpg8c408260 dd39 47c3 b235 18cc5197f159

Social media stole my creativity… then I took it back.

I spent so much time looking at other artists’ work that I lost sight of my own voice. Instead of finding inspiration through my own experiences and establishing a unique style for myself, the internet became my source. I emulated what I saw, assuming that as long as I kept up my following, my success would live on. It became a business rather than a passion. While I ultimately still enjoyed what I was doing and the images I was creating were indeed “nice-looking,” I knew it wasn’t me. It wasn’t propelling me in a direction in which I wanted to be going. My work wasn’t saying anything, and my images weren’t telling stories. They were pretty, but not different.

This happened within the last few years. When I was younger, I didn’t care about how people responded to my work—it wasn’t even a question, ever. I simply took photographs to take photographs. There wasn’t any place to share them or scream out publicly for the world to hear. My photos were indicators of how I saw the world (whatever my world at the time was)—all for me.

When I realized this, everything changed. I took a break from posting. I actually distanced myself from shooting in general. Giving myself some time to reset was a great decision. I was able to reevaluate and remember, once again, what is most important within my art.

As the saying goes, we are the worst critics of ourselves. That definitely hits home for me. I’m always criticizing myself for not being good enough, creative enough, etc. I’ve come to realize that this is actually quite normal. Now, I recognize the fact that my “creative” voice is constantly changing. It’s nothing to be angry or frustrated about—this simply means I am growing. My daily experiences are actually affecting my perspective, and I am shifting as my life moves forward. Documenting this constant change is the best “art” of all. 

Now, it’s time to pick up the camera and keep it going.