Oh, There They Are!

Going uptown, the F train was packed. With my back to the doors, I stood, studying people’s footwear. A baby wailed. Some teenage girls chittered like squirrels. A garlicky dude was barking into his cell phone.

Across the way, an older man faced outward, his nose pressed to the glass, grocery bags swaying at his sides. As we hurtled through the dark tunnel, he cried out:

“Oh, there they are”—everyone else on the train got quiet—“those teenage mutant ninja turtles. Workin’ on the tracks.”

I smiled as we rode on in silence.

I’m a Social Media Junkie

As a creative person, I think I have a problem with certain types of social media. I don’t have a healthy relationship with things like Instagram and Facebook. I admit that now. It’s good to get it out.

Cyclops monster obsesses over his smart phone

I get into these phases in which I begin posting quite often, maybe giving updates on a certain project, and I become addicted to the likes, to the attention. I check obsessively to see if there are any new followers. I’m a genius right? Shouldn’t I have thousands of adoring fans? Like so-and-so over there?

I begin comparing myself to those others who don’t seem to offer the same quality work that I provide. Or I begin questioning why seventeen thousand people would follow such an account. What do they know? Are they even real people?

I begin thinking up strategies on how to draw these followers to my side. I begin churning out junk that I think could be popular with certain crowds. It usually ends up being sub par and rushed.

I ignore the one person’s opinion that really matters in the end, my own.

It’s like Kurt Vonnegut says: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

Alien man with many eyes takes a selfie with smart phone

So, what do I intend to do about it?

I need to step back and have some quiet time, some “me” time, to reflect on the art and story ideas that really excite me.

That’s what I did this past week. I’ve chewed on the subject of this post for days. I also sat down with my sketchbook and thought about social media, these accompanying doodles are the result.

I should not invest so much time and energy in social media apps. I will try to connect with real people on the internet, only when I have a free moment here or there. I’ve joined the community at AbsoluteWrite and I hope to make some new friends, have some good conversations, and learn some things too.

Man likes his own smart phone selfie

I need to remind myself that Instagram is a tool that I can utilize periodically, like a hammer or a toothbrush. I don’t need to obsessively use it every day.