Mental illness appears to be rather rampant lately. Is it? Or are people just talking about it more?
Suicides are up, high profile suicides occur too often. No one knew that the person was hurting so much. But, did they ask?
I recently took a 30 day break from social media. To "realign my life and my photography." It is mentally draining to maintain a couple IG and a couple FB accounts, as I was, when I was Senior Editor of Exclusiv Magazine. I became frustrated with the lack of growth (followers, likes, etc) and lack of recognition. So, after I left Exclusiv Magazine, I deleted 90% of my images on Instagram and converted my "business" account to a personal account. I posted a goodbye, and deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone. Honestly, it was rather easy.
Before I left Facebook, I posted a casting in a Photog/Model group. With approximately 25 responses in a 24 hour period, I had plenty of people to work with. I spent 30 days shooting for people, with ZERO concern what others were gonna think about my work. As long as the person I shot for was happy, SO WAS I. Wow, how liberating that was!!!
I felt I was going to continue for more than 30 days with no social media....but I attended a local studio's "Meet and Greet." It is VERY difficult to network when you do not have social media. I exchanged email address, and followed up the next day with a short, "nice to meet you" email. Zero responses. :( I edited some images, and sent them to the few I had their emails, hardly a thank you. :( I was kinda forced back onto social media.
30 days. So quickly passed. Although every person I shot with, was given my Instagram, and was asked to please tag me, approximately half did not. :( I assumed that they figured, why? He's not going to care. But, I did.
This made me feel, very alone. It made me feel, as though I was fighting a battle, alone. But, the 30 days taught me something....its OKAY to be alone, and to feel alone. Its OKAY to do something FOR YOURSELF.
I think every single person has bouts of depression throughout their lives. I'm no different. I'm very close to avoiding social media again. I have, what I feel, a great portfolio on my website. I have been published 18 times in a short period of time (first was August 2017, and number 18 will be happening soon). I believe in myself, and I do not need XXXX number of followers and XXXX number of likes to warrant my existence.
"Don't let someone else's opinion of you, become your reality" - Les Brown