The Business of Art : Social Media Sins

I’ve decided to be bad at social media. Let me explain.


Since starting a blog in January of 2012 I’ve been learning how to best “do” social media. What platform and what type of media. Video versus photos. Should I post at morning or in the evening? Blogs, SEO, Twitter, Facebook regular, Facebook groups, Facebook events, newsletters, instagram, YouTube, podcasts. I took online classes and went to conferences literally across the nation. All while asking : What’s the best way connect with people? Will this increase my following? How do I best let people know about my creative activities?

At the risk of sounding overconfident, I was good at it. So much so that I eventually got a job running the social media of a large local nonprofit.

Then I had Sam. This didn’t effect my knowledge base as much as it curtailed my proximity to the source. I wasn’t around it as much so I didn’t have to keep up with all the new. And the felt good. I could learn about things on my own timeline but I didn’t have to do all the things.

Except, in a way, I was still doing all the things. I still had the rules and procedures  that I had been absorbing for three years running through my head. And it created a pressure that I didn’t know was there until I took a month long break from Instagram.

Finally starting to hear my own thoughts after being inundated with those of others. And my biggest takeaway is that I need to simplify and give myself parameters.

I will:

post all my things on either this blog or my newsletter and occasionally Instagram and then push it out to the other places.

{This is social media sin number one. One is supposed to have “unique content” on every platform. But if I were making something different for every platform I would have no time to actually make art.}

I won’t answer on mediums that I’m “not looking at” and I will tell people “if you need to contact me do it here or here.”

{This is social media sin number two: having a billboard instead of a two way radio. But once again, time.}

I’m going to stop talking to strangers.

I have built a small but incredibly supportive community. In the past, my posts were, in part, attracting the attention of others who didn’t know about me. Now I realize I enjoy social media most when I I’m taking directly to my people. And I’ll keep making it public in the hopes that someone else will see what’s happening and want to join in on the goodness. {Not having “growth” as a top priority is social media sin number three.}

I’m giving myself the same rules I would give to myself as a teenager. You can post and check your notifications right before you finish up your work day. My addiction {our society’s addiction} to social media has a biological basis. We get a shot of dopamine every time we see a notification come up on our phone. “You are seen. Your existence is validated.” is the message our brains unknowingly send to us when our devices buzz. Knowing that, and seeing the negative effect the constant scroll has on both my mental state and productivity, I choose to treat my social media craving self as a teenager: with respect and parameters meant to be insure health.

{not being constantly available is social media sin number four.}

My goal with implementing these “sins” is to focus on making more. Because that was the whole point when I started creating a blog six and a half years ago and it’s the reason I continue to post now.