Sometime in January I decided to limit my screen time (apart from my drawing & editing screen time) & here are some of my thoughts about my digital minimalism journey. I am no longer using a large junk of my day (counting together all those minutes I was scrolling between two activities) to scroll through others online-lives. Those carefully crafted, shiny videos and images that would show me how dull and boring my life really is (well at the moment more so than ever, but that’s no reason to spend that time only looking at the great things that others are doing in quarantine right now).
And I know that you could call it kind of sarcastic that I am also a person who is depending on a shiny and carefully crafted online presence. That I’m also only showing you the sides of myself that I think are presentable, not the ones where I feel like everything I draw is too cute or too shallow & that I will never earn enough money to support myself… And yes, sometimes I think about what would happen if I delete all my social media accounts, maybe the world would stand still … but probably not. And why is it the every modern artist is required to have thousands of accounts that need daily care (I’m talking about the hours we spend, commenting on other posts and liking other artist so that we can grow our follower count)?
I limited my use of social media to posting-only for Instagram (and Sunday afternoons for watching some YT videos). That means I’m logging in from my computer once a week – posting a new illustration – replying to comments – logging off again. I remember not being able to sit through an episode without picking up my phone and scrolling through my feed that was full of so many inspiring things that I could make & draw. I was taking photos of everything I was doing, so I could add that to my IG Stories & was feeling upset if I saw something cool on a walk and forgot my phone so I couldn’t take a picture.
It’s just sad how much we depend on those little screens (that yes, make our lives so much easier – but at what cost really). This all may sound fairly radical to you but I just know, if I don’t take a step back now – it will become harder and harder in the future & I will have spent years of my live liking photos of strangers and following people that I will never meet in real life.
You might ask what exactly have I done with all the time that I gained? And now you’re sitting there & are waiting for me to give you a long list of all the projects that I started and finished and all the things I’ve done… But no, now that I think of it – I can’t really remember big projects or adventures I experienced. I watched the plants we planted grow over the last weeks & sat in the sun and read a lot (and by a lot I mean more than I normally do) and I finally started to feel like there’s a reason for illustrating again (because at the start of the year I wasn’t really sure why I was doing what I was doing). I mean that’s good, isn’t it?
So these were just some thoughts that were going around my head for a while now. No answers really. I just wanted to let you know that you can keep your phone switched off once in a while, you don’t owe your phone anything.