No sleep till Hoxton

So, recently I've been finding it harder and harder to get things done. Not enough hours in the day is something we all have experience of but never have I been so stymied as of late on finishing projects and keeping up with people and things I have committed to. I suspected the amount of time I spent on social media was partly to blame along with my continually losing focus. I'd fallen again into the circular paradigm of 'mind traps'. Concentrating too much on the minutia of interaction with people that have perplexed and vexed me. Eating away at your attention in the back of your mind, killing all creativity.

Enter  

+Haydn Mowbray

 .  Shooter, Strobist, quaffer of red wine, amusing raconteur and all around nice guy. He was taking a break from social media and having a whale of a time by his own admission. And more importantly, was getting things done. I found the idea of being away from social media (namely G +) a weirdly abstract concept. It was something I didn't feel I needed to do full stop. Then I received a bit of news that required me to be pro active and attend to it without my being distracted by laughing along with my on-line friends at cat memes,  random pictures of penises I have posted to me (I kid you not) and the general malarkey I experience with my social media friends I knew I had to leave for a bit while I set a few things in motion.

With a heavy heart I logged out of my accounts and said my goodbyes to social media for a few weeks. I concocted and started to implement the plan I had devised to try and alleviate the nasty (now) non-surprise in the near future and to give myself a good run at some charity photography work I had agreed to do as well as the Converse hacking event myself,  

+Haydn Mowbray

+Richard Pike

 and 

+Margot M

  were going to be shooting in Hoxton starting on November the 20th through to the 25th.

One of the funky exhibits at the #ChuckHack at the Hoxton Gallery I shot

The first few days of social media withdrawal I found a bit odd.  This wasn't like Botswana where I just had no phone/data connection at all and my smart phone became an expensive alarm clock so I was involuntarily forced offsocial mmedia, no, I had a connection that would enable me to access social media but I had chosen not to use it. Frankly, it just felt weird and I kept wanting to login to check what my friends were up to. After a few days it settled down and by the end of the week I didn't have the compulsion to login.

The negatives of social media became obvious straight away and paranoia crept in to keep them company.

  • Will people uncircle/unfriend me because I'm not active for a bit?
  • I'll be out of the loop on all the things that 'The Blue Oyster Bar' have posted
  • I can't ping my on-line friends for advice
  • I miss having a laugh with my on-line friends
  • I can't share the amusing things I find on 'Film Drunk' on a whim
  • I will be the only person in the world not to see that funny cat meme
  • I wake up in the middle of the night as insomnia visits again with a lot of new ideas
  • When you say 'Hodor' in the real world people think you have Norwegian Tourettes  
  • I can't just drop into a conversation on-line with people I know 

The positives of not being on social media

  • I did two shoots for a company I work with and have nearly 40 post processed portraits
  • I now don't burn food while I am cooking because I am not on my phone checking G plus 
  • I no longer feel like a social media crack addict who must check their phone to see if they have an alert
  • I am categorically more productive off of social media
  • I am not distracted nearly as much
  • I use my phone as an actual phone

So what have I learnt from this experience? 

  • I possibly spend a bit too much time on social media (but I'm willing to ignore that if you are ;) )
  • I really, really enjoy spending time on social media
  • I really miss my online friends
  • Food does taste better when it isn't burnt
  • I need to learn moderation
  • Keep your head space tidy and recognise a mind trap for the distraction it is
  • Mind traps are far worse than my love of social media 
  • No one realised I was gone from Facebook
  • My cat Huck occasionally stands up on two legs when he thinks you aren't watching
Andrew Clifton-Brown