I took a break from Instagram and my productivity spiked.

January was a very productive month for me, creatively. I published four posts to this blog – double what I normally write. I invested in learning about aspects of my gear that I never knew, despite shooting with it for many years. (If you’re a Fuji shooter, I highly recommend Chris Lee’s YouTube channel, Pal2Tech).

I took pictures for me. They may not be anything to write home about but I focused more on taking a picture associated with how I’m feeling rather than just what looks good compositionally. Sometimes, how I’m feeling looks messy, cluttered, and chaotic.

Instead of pouring over the work of others via Instagram, I made more photos of my own. In fact, I enjoyed this aspect so much that when I opened up Instagram yesterday for the first time in three weeks, I paired down who I follow to ensure that the accounts I’m following inspire me to create rather than induce me to compare.

It’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love to have a platform to stay connected, share my photographs and enjoy the creativity of others (VSCO is my favorite for iPhoneography) but I have always hated how pervasive social media is. I need these periodic breaks from it in order to reset my usage and my goals regarding managing my time on it.

Overall, I’ve come away from these three weeks with a more clear understanding of how social media should fit into my life without overrunning it. I plan to use the Stories feature to share the latest happenings here on the blog so I can direct those who are really interested in following along to my little corner of the web where “likes” and “follows” aren’t the Holy Grail.

Because if I’m honest, it’s hard not to look for affirmation on a platform that is literally designed for it. But the search for such validation usually only succeeds in limiting my own creative vision.

Frankly, I’m too old for that nonsense.

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