Is Social Media Affecting Your Creativity?

Credit: Shutterstock

There is a feature on my iPhone called Screen Time. Essentially, Screen Time tracks my daily social media usage, how many times I pick up my phone and what app I tend to look at first, and the number of notifications I receive through out the day. Now, at first glance, the data seems harmless and in most cases, pretty darn useful. However, I have discovered that the data is telling something about my social media behavior:

I SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME ONLINE!

Okay, honestly…I don’t need Apple Screen Time to tell me something I already know. I have become addicted to my devices. I pick up my iPhone first thing in the morning and it is typically the last thing I touch at night (hello YouTube videos). I use my device to text, talk to friends, read ebooks, listen to music, watch videos (and record videos), and conduct business. It is a fabulous tool that makes some of my everyday tasks a bit more efficient.

Until it doesn’t.

According to Screen Time, I spend an average 6 hours and 40 minutes per day on my phone. That’s 46 hours and 47 minutes per week! Of that, I spend 24 hours and 7 minutes on social media sites and apps, 11 hours and 17 minutes on entertainment (YouTube), and 4 hours and 23 minutes on creativity (not sure what that means).

Y’all…46 freakin’ hours per week!!!!! That’s the equivalent of a full time job! Can you imagine what could get accomplished in 46 hours!

Good LORD!

So, this all begs the question? Is my creativity affected by my social media usage? The answer for me is…YES!

Image Source: Grand Cayman Magazine

Making things is what inspires me. A robust creative session gives me energy and new ideas. However, I often find myself thinking, “I should probably work on a project, make a scrapbooking kit, or design a sketch.” The interest is there, but sadly, I remain parked on my couch, scrolling Facebook or Instagram.

And when I finally settle into a creative session, my mind is a big ball of mush, and my creative ideas seem elusive. It takes me longer to get started and I get frustrated when I can’t seem to find my groove.

Back to Facebook I go. (Rinse and repeat)

I feel guilty thinking about all of the creative projects waiting for me in my studio. Or the unread books on my reading cart. Or the ingredients that I purchased to make a new recipe…sitting on my kitchen counter, a constant reminder that I chose watching lifestyle videos on YouTube over making a delicious new dish.

Oh the things that could be accomplished and enjoyed if I was only willing to spend less time online and more time tuned into my life.

My creative space (well, former space). It’s heaven!

Don’t get me wrong, vegging out and surfing social media isn’t a bad thing. But, if surfing social media is keeping you from creating or otherwise spending your time doing interesting an/or more productive tasks, maybe its time to reevaluate the situation.

So where do we begin to reclaim our creative time? We begin to track how long we are consuming content on social media. We make a plan to change our behaviors so that we are devoting time to our creative pursuits. We put our devices to sleep for an hour, two hours, 24-hours, and we give ourselves permission to set boundaries and to focus on other things.

Sometimes, we need to give social media a break.

Over the past few months, I started decreasing the number of hours I spend on social media. I am spending more time in my craft studio, working on several projects, teaching myself new techniques, and enjoying every minute!

Do I still scroll Instagram and Facebook? Yes. But, I am learning to find a realistic balance…and that’s okay.

How about you? In the comments section, tell me if social media has affected your creativity. Do you need to change your screen time behavior?

Thanks for stopping by!