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Social Media and Creative Energy

For many artists, social media is a mixed blessing. Easily addictive yet highly connective, it works best for us as an addition to our art rather than as a substitute for it. The danger of social media is that in our hunger for connection, we pour out our creative energies into a barrage of emails, Facebook posts and tweets, instead of onto the easel or page or piano or stage. The advantage of social media as a whole is that it cuts through feelings of intense isolation, connecting us to like-minded souls even when we are geographically far-flung. The disadvantage is that it is possible to become too consumed by the lives and responses of others, looking outside instead of in, and compromising our own creative growth and well-being.

Make no mistake: Art itself can take us to distant places, to caves buried deep within the psyche, or to the wide expanses of distant space. Art is powerful, and artists require careful grounding. It is a matter of balance. It is best to not binge on creativity, but to keep it carefully embedded in the flow of life. It is best to not binge on social media, but keep connection to others also carefully embedded in the flow of life.

An artist must be immersed in life without being submerged in it. An artist must have enough solitude and enough connection. It takes practice, and the conscious building of daily ritual, but it is possible-- quite possible-- to find the precise balance of "inflow" and "outflow" we require to thrive.