Something that wears on me more than it used to (or I’m allowing myself to notice it) is the effects of running a social media campaign. I limit how much I run these things now, just because I need the mindspace to focus and produce my work.
I used to run social media campaigns very frequently with @fashionfightingfamine. It’s how, years ago and as a nonprofit, I was able to grow our audience organically to 10K, and how I created and sustained movements like #eidstyle (celebrating Muslim fashion on Eid around the world) which in its first year had 10K submissions internationally (over a period of just a few days). No advertising dollars. Just pure vision + passion + collaboration + hard work.
And that’s the thing with these campaigns and with social media work in general. It takes hard work. The sheer amount of hours. Social media engagement is exactly that… being engaged i.e. attuned, present, thankful, responsive, on, on your feet, keeping/maintaining the pulse and pivoting as needed, seizing of the moment. It’s a hustle. Behind the glamour is a grind. It has its rewards/measurable success/value.
It also has its effects. One of the ones I experience is the adrenal addiction of just being on and responsive. I have to step away and turn it off, detox, literally remove myself from the campaign/movement I created from my constant presence, energy, and work. (That’s literally what it is… one’s energy, emitted into the world, then maneuvered to multiple with the energy of others, while constantly applying ones own energy to grow it. A snowball effect of energy manifested in likes and reposts.) I literally see its impact in my jittery movements and obsessive checking/interacting with likes/notifications/comments/retweets.
It’s antithetical to a sense of peace and privacy I usually strive for. Yet so useful for my work, and sets me apart / makes what I do more possible. It helps me share ideas + excitement + the actual work that’s being done. It requires me to push past the people who are busy or don’t care to reach the ones who do. It reminds me that people are out there, listening.
And now, I disengage and go back to (other, isolated, quieter) work.