I'm not a fan of social media, which probably strikes you as strange, because you most likely first came across my music on.... social media. As an independent artist in this era, social media is key to my success, and yet - ironically - much of my work is strongly anti-social media.
For me, social media feels like a sponge. It absorbs too much time and sucks the energy out of me from otherwise being productive and creating. That said, every once in awhile, it does lead me to a pleasant little discovery. The other day, I had such a discovery when I came across this meme:
I grew up in a household where the television was on from the moment the first person woke up until the last person went to bed... it often stayed on all night and someone would have to get up to turn it off after the national anthem and station sign-off went to white noise. Sometimes the television was on 24/7, and when broadcasting was over, VHS tapes ran to fill the void. Mass media's reality was my entire world, and it wasn't a particularly happy world.
When I moved out on my own, I didn't have television for the first time in my life... and the effects of the intravenous drip started to wear off. That empty space, where once a television glow and endless advertising chatter demanded my incessant attention, became filled with books and a penchant for constant analysis... of myself, of other people, of the world and of the relationship between them all.
The more I read, the more I questioned, which led to more research... little by little, I started to chisel away at what I thought for certain I knew as fact. Virtually everything in my repertoire of knowledge turned out to be based on lies and misinformation. Why did it take me so long to see it? I didn't just pick up a book for the first time when I found myself without a television... I had always liked reading.
The mass media drip had me addicted to the medicine of frivolity. I was always examining my life in comparison to everything I saw on television... these fabulous lives and lifestyles. I saw nothing but failures in myself... a failure to have enough money, to be pretty enough, to be thin enough, to have friends, to drive a nice car, to have a nice house. It didn't matter that I was a kid and most of these things were completely out of my hands to remedy, I obsessed over them night and day. I wasted so much energy stressing about whether my nail polish perfectly matched what I was going to wear the next day... not because I was a girly-girl and enjoyed nail polish and clothes, but because mass media led me to believe that this is what is important in life, and I was desperate to fit in, to be liked and to be happy.
I know what you are thinking... this is a typical teenage story; we all go through this. True! Or rather, partially true. We all go through it, but only a tiny handful ever manage to make it over the other side... where we finally see past the distractions and learn not only who we are, but what the world is truly about.
Several years later, I wrote a song about that mire that most of western humanity is still living in. Despite living in the information age, we are now more than ever susceptible to spending our lives drowning in distractions and missing out on real life experiences. Inspired by this meme, I wanted to share that song with you today:
If you enjoy "Distractions," click hear to listen to the whole album of "Between 10 and 2."