I love Atlanta, Donald Glover's new FX series. A TV show hasn't brought me this much joy since, I can't even remember. You can accomplish a lot when you stop using social media.
Glover is a true artist of the internet age. He is a talented writer, music artist (under the name Childish Gambino), comedian actor and a pretty solid dancer. He built his following using both traditional media (Tina Fey gave him his first TV writing job on the NBC show 30 Rock) and new media (his Derrick Comedy sketches, dating back to 2006, have over 200 million views on YouTube total).
In early 2013, many people noticed that Glover’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were wiped clean. Later on in 2013, he posted a now-deleted message on Instagram in which he expressed many of his creative and personal fears. Since leaving social media and the NBC comedy Community, Glover has put out two albums (Because The Internet and Kauai), produced a three day concert in Joshua Tree, CA with a companion mobile app, starred in films like Magic Mike XXL and The Martian, did the voice of Marshall Lee on the animated series Adventure Time, and if all of that wasn’t enough, he created the show Atlanta, my new reason for living.
My friend, poet Bassey Ikpi and I were gushing over the show via text, and she asked me how my own break from social media was going. On August 30th I decided to take a break from social media, for reasons I explained in this post. I felt like I was using social media, especially Twitter, when I should have been writing and developing my thoughts and projects in more detail.
Bassey shared that she wanted to take a break from social media for similar reasons. Even if you use social media to promote your work as a creative, she said,
“If we are not creating, what are we promoting?”
No matter how much we love social media, our work as creatives happens off social media. Even if you’re a blogger, web copywriter, video producer and your primary methods of marketing and distribution are via social media platforms, don’t confuse that with the work itself. Ideation, production, collaboration and every other step of the process may be facilitated by social media, but social media itself is not the work we must complete. Creating and honing our craft is the work.
Work, Then Post,