It's not me, it's your app

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Smashing all the computers and phones in our house, then running screaming into a forest. I find myself daydreaming about these sorts of actions a lot lately. Clearly I need a vacation from modern life.

I am taking a break from social media for a while. I spent all of July heavily involved with Instagram as I posted my daily World Watercolor Month paintings. Since I was posting daily, I felt compelled to check in multiple times a day to see how many likes my most recent post had gotten, or respond to any comments. Then it was a simple, single tap to stay on the site, scrolling mindlessly and bitterly through my feed, where I can't help but compare myself to the other artists and small biz owners. And I almost always come up short.

I can clearly trace my mini breakdown and bout of despair a couple of weekends ago to spending too much time on social media. A friend is having success in their new business...but I'm not. I was jealous and discouraged. I wanted to be happy for her, but I couldn't. All I could do was compare myself to her post, even though I knew that was probably just a tiny snippet of the story! I still extrapolated that obviously she was a small business guru and success, while I was destined for nothing but spinning my wheels in abject failure.

When I get some distance from these apps, I realize the problem isn't me. The real problem comes from the way these apps are designed. They're intentionally designed to make us dissatisfied--with ourselves, our possessions, our entire lives, our future. Modern life isn't designed to make our lives easier--it's designed to sell us shit. It's designed to make us unhappy and waste our time in the name of advertising & sales, and making some dudebro in a sweatshirt a bajillionaire.

I'm mad with myself for trading away my precious time, brain space, and emotional energy on this crap. As I've said before, time is the single most valuable currency we have. It is literally the only thing we can never buy or make more of. I can never get more time than what I will be allotted in this life, and I'm tired of wasting it in this self-defeating loop.

I have everything I need inside me. I don't need ideas to copy from other artists. I don't need external validation from counting those likes and followers. I need to take time to focus on my art my way, with a clear head and heart.


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