Social Media…We Need to Break Up (It’s You. Not Me) :: Minneapolis Photography

Probably every generation will say this about the decade of their own childhood–BUT, the 1980’s really were the best time to be a little kid.  It was such a contradictory time though–for the first time ever, Saturday morning cartoon commercials spoke completely to us, the kids.  They sparkled, and flashed loudly, screaming to us kids about toys, and junk food and they made us think we needed ALL of it.  (After all, no childhood was complete without Nerds Cereal.)  At the same time, the emphasis on fitness was bigger than ever.  Jobs were moving from the labor market to the cubicle, and Richard Simmons and Denise Austin were household names along with their work out videos.  Pee-Wee Herman talked about exercising his body, Jem talked about it and even a line in Ghostbusters 2 exclaimed, “Stay Fit.  Keep Sharp.  Make good decisions.”

Fast forward to today.  Here I am.  I’m not fit, I’m not sharp and I make questionable decisions.  Exercise is a chore and checking Facebook is so much simpler than working on a crossword.   Besides, when I’m feeling burnt out–why the hell would I choose to do anything that feels difficult?  Through all of this…I’m literally letting my body AND my mind turn into lumps.  And, I’m doing it willingly.  I’m doing it all while staring into a light–my screens.  And, when I think about it–I’ve been sliding downhill like this for the past few years, without realizing that this is not how I should be living–but, it’s just so normal in this day-and-age.  It’s what we do.  We stare at our Newsfeed, we don’t have time, or energy, to exercise and we forget that both of those those things equal really bad decisions.  Honestly, it was actually Dr. Who’s Christmas episode made me realize it’s time to wake up.  Like, now.  Before I get sucked in more, and more.  And, before it kills me.  Because, let’s be honest…no generation, as a whole, has ever been this lazy with their mind and body.  Obesity is going up and Alzheimer’s is hitting younger–and we’re looking for answers as to why–even though we’re staring at it, quite literally.

SO…after the Dr. Who epiphany–I woke up.

I bitch about not being able to find the inspiration I need, while scrolling, mindlessly, through social media.

On the professional side, I get annoyed with (though am, deeply, truly happy for) folks on social media, as they’re talking about all they’re accomplishing.  I compare myself, and I get mad, and competitive, and I keep reaching for more, and more, and never finishing anything.  I’m just trying to keep up. But, with no sense of completion, I then, feel like a failure.

On the personal side, I get cranky that so many people post pics of the temps on their dashboard, of their kids covered in their diaper contents and of ‘brave’ no-makeup selfies.  I’m tired of people giving me play-by-play on stupid sports games and political garbage.  I can’t stand people who are always spilling WAY too much information about things like their finances, divorce, sex life, relationships and poor choices.  And, I swear…if I see another re-share of a beaten animal, hunting conquest, Disney animal asking for ‘hugs’, pleas for ‘likes’, or anything else that involves the word ‘re-share’, I will vomit.  (No, I won’t.  I’ll just make a really, crabby looking, face and then banish you to my ‘acquaintance’ list.)

Yet…I keep looking though…because I might find inspiration.  Or, because I might see something useful.

And, I keep posting because of my ‘brand’, or because I need to stay ‘relevant’, or because I think I have something witty to say, or to brag about something, or complain, or boast.  Here’s the thing though…none of the above is doing ANYTHING positive for me.  Not, one, thing.  Mostly, I just feel passively annoyed–and, being passively annoyed doesn’t help creativity, or well-being.  Ever.  So…I kept finding myself going around in this circle that was getting me nowhere but emptier, and crankier, and older, and fatter, and dumber.  And for what?  To find inspiration?  To stay relevant?  To boast?  Ugh.  That is SO STUPID.

ANYWAY…a couple months ago I started pulling back from social media.  I figured I just needed a break because of all the stuff with my dad, big struggles on the home front, and just, general, busy-ness.  No, one, real, reason actually.  I just didn’t have anything to say–and, I wasn’t accomplishing anything boast-worthy.  Turned out, I discovered…I had stuff I wanted to do, off line.  I didn’t want to go back–so, I picked up a physical book.  And, then, I decided that I was kinda bored staring at a screen, all the time, but I missed my mindless games–so I picked back up my crosswords (because, obviously, there is no book for Plants vs Zombies).  And, it turned out–that I ended up with almost an extra hour each day, which has given me plenty of time to start my day off with a quick, 30 minute, workout.  The workout makes me make WAY better choices with my food and gives me lasting energy, all day.  More energy and better food choices make me sharper.  Being sharper makes me crave learning.  Learning, is what inspires me–and, what has always inspired me.  I can focus again.  THIS is the circle that makes me feel whole again.  And, happy.

I am, literally, feeling the fog lift.  Just like when you wake up. 

Okay….SO, WHAT does this have to do with my photography?  Well…this entire blog was a super long way to say that this is going to be my largest means of communication with you from here on out.  When I have a new blog up, or a new project I’m working on, it’ll be updated here.

I hooked up my Twitter to my FB accounts–so, a quick Tweet will inform you of a new blog/project post.  I may not get back to comments on FB though–comments here are a MUCH better option for you if you are looking for a prompt response.

Also, subscribing to this blog will make it so you get notifications from me whenever there is new content here.  (Scroll down this page–you’ll see the button to do so on the right hand side.)

I put out a seasonal newsletter, as well.  Please go to my Contact Information Page, and sign up, if you would like to be a part of that mailing list.

As always, email me directly if you want to connect.  I’m here.



10 Comments Add yours

  1. Terry says:

    I think you hit on a wonderful and simple new way to live your life. Well expressed and a brave escape into a new world. I know I feel out of the loop without a daily dose of social media but if I do miss a day I really don’t know what I missed and then it really doesn’t matter. I noticed this during the holidays while social media took a spot on the back burner and family and friends IRL came front and center.


    1. That out-of-the loop thing, yes! The more I’m away, on the personal side, the less I’m finding I care though. My grandma’s the most in-the-loop person I know and she has nothing to do with social media 🙂


  2. Tom Gort says:

    This is so wonderful, and I am thrilled to read about how much better you’re feeling after working out. Running has been such a refuge for me, and has become an indispensable part of my life. I’ve been at it for about 10 years now. With photography, it really does help keep me balanced.

    I’ve been so close to ditching social media several times. I’ve even deactivated my Facebook account more than once. In addition to the stuff you wrote about, I’ve really gotten tired of the cryptic status updates that are obviously seeking sympathy (“Ugh. What an awful day.” “I can’t believe that just happened.” “Worst day ever.” stuff like that).

    I love the fact that I’ve connected with some really amazing people through social media, and there are friendships I’ve made that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But it is a massive time suck. It’s mindless, and, for the most part, pointless. It’s super efficient for some things, no doubt. But there’s a cost.

    You can get some pretty decent coffee beans for $10-15 per pound. But you have to grind it, brew it, and clean up afterward. Keurig cups are so much easier, but you might end up paying $30-50 per pound. Maybe the convenience is worth the cost. Maybe not. Or maybe you get by with the costly convenience during the week, while taking your time to savor the less efficient process over the weekend. The main thing is that you understand the cost, and make your choices accordingly.

    I admire your talents, and your strengths. I know my own pretty well, and I know that you’re in a different league when it comes to understanding the kinds of connections you discussed in this blog post. Having people in my life who excel in areas where I’m clueless makes me better, makes me stronger, inspires me to explore aspects of myself that would otherwise have gone undiscovered.

    If you get to the point in your workouts where you want to go running, let me know. I would love to go with you sometime–maybe even run a race. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of crossing the finish line.

    Anyway, keep going. Keep growing. Even if you disappear from social media, I don’t want to lose you.

    Take care.

    (By the way, I really dig Dr. Who, too).


    1. It doesn’t surprise me you dig the Doctor 🙂 Dr. Who is a funny thing–I never thought I cared much for the show until it kind of ‘modernized’ and Matt Smith came on. It was when the Tardis was going crazy, and he grabbed on, and yelled, ‘Do what I do! Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!’, that I was hooked. That line cracked me up and connected me, immediately 🙂 Have you watched this season yet? What do you think of Peter Capaldi? (For the record–I think he’s the BEST thing ever.)

      I used to run, a lot–even if it was just a mile a day; It was my vent. My release. My reset switch and mind clearer. And then…somewhere along the road–it started to feel like work. And, I started to feel too busy to run. I am busy. Absolutely. But, not THAT busy. And, when I would run–sometimes, I’d find myself thinking of things exactly LIKE the statuses you mentioned. I’d find myself annoyed that someone posted something like that, and I’d find myself wondering what they meant, or I’d find myself (in several cases) wondering if it was about me and crafting a response in my mind to post later. Running USED to be time to clear out my mind, or ‘meditate’ on something that I needed answers to. I think when it stopped being that, it became work. I would love to run with you someday–I can’t wait to get back to liking to run again.

      I do love the connections, and friends, I’ve made on Social Media. You guys have came into my life and made it feel so much more well-rounded and complete. I also love the reach that I’ve developed. I’m definitely staying around–not going anywhere–just going to hang out in an area that feels like a little art/coffee house, instead of a Sam’s Club. I am putting together a 52 week project and sharing it on Social Media will have to happen. I will be working with others and they deserve a larger voice than just my blog can give them. I really love the thought of the coffee beans vs the Keurig. I keep going back to it and thinking about it…

      Anyway…I am still really hoping to get to the Falls this winter. (Though not right now. It’s WAY too cold out there!) Maybe after some new snow comes in. I’ll be in touch!


  3. Brilliant!!! Hooray for you! It’s amazing what we can step away from, start on, and make happen when we put our minds to it and filter out the ‘stuff’ we don’t really need (after we get honest with ourselves!) Happy to hear you’ve taken this fork in your road and excited to see where it takes you!!


    1. Thank you! I’m excited too! It’s amazing–giving my mind some extra time to just ‘breath’ lately is amazing. I have so many ideas 🙂 Social Media will still be used for work–and for a new project that will need some sharing–but I really, REALLY, love this step back!


  4. Jess Gibson says:

    Nice post mel! I’m kinda with you. My reasons probably aren’t as good as yours but I haven’t posted on FB or G+ in months. I use Instagram now and then which shares to Twitter and FB. I’m just kind of burnt on it lately. Funny thing is, I’ve got several new followers on FB & Twitter by posting nothing than I was getting while paying for ads lol.


    1. Thanks, Jess! Isn’t that weird how that works? I always wonder HOW people find me when they do. And then I wonder WHY they want to follow me when I don’t even post.

      I hear ya on the burnout thing, too. That’s what started all of this. It was when I realized that I don’t NEED to go back to it all that I got a little excited 🙂 (Before that, I always felt like it was a chore I had to get done and it just sat in my stomach, like a knot.)


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