For better or worse, social media has become an integral part of society. Even if you're "off the grid", social media still significantly impacts your day-to-day life.
Everything from your favorite songs on the radio to the hot new restaurants in town, or even, the writers whose work you admire, all three of these and more, depend on social media to stay in business.
The point of this article isn't to say how social media is evil. Social media has created endless opportunities for creators, entrepreneurs, performers and more, that were not possible before its invention. Social media has allowed talented unsigned artists who work on tunes in their bedroom get signed to major deals and tour the world doing what they love. However, social media often becomes a major component of the immense stress artists take on when they enter the spotlight.
We reached out to some of our favorite artists and asked them how they handle the stress and pressure that comes from social media.
“With all honesty, I think at a certain point in my life I made the decision to fully commit to and work on my career as an artist and i always knew this comes along with being a sort of a public figure. For me personally, I’m lucky enough to be able to say that i really enjoy sharing my life and experiences on my socials and interacting with fans, getting feedback and so on. Of course, there is private stuff i don't want to share so i don't do so. In the end, it’s up to everyone how “public“ you want to be online (or not) and how much importance you designate to potential “online-negativity" in your mind. That being said, it’s clear in today’s scene that those pressures can have a negative effect on an artist and wear you down a bit, but think that's the case on all levels and not just for artists. So no matter if you are an artist being “public" or just a young kid being at school in their own smaller social environment, it can get you down.”
"Now more than ever we need to be conscious of what affects our mental health and state of happiness. Maintaining a healthy diet helps to generate the chemicals your brain needs to function properly. When on tour we actually limit the booze, vodka waters if you want a little buzz and cut out shots. I’m happier and clearer the next day and don’t waste a day in bed or airport floors. Natural supplements like Fish Oil and Flax Seed Oil help brain function, 5HTP can help with serotonin levels (mood regulator) and GABA can help to calm the brain when its overactive. Keeping aware of what’s real and what’s fake on social media is SUPER important at a time of digital plastic surgery apps, fake social media stats and carefully cultivated feeds that don’t show what really goes on. Be true, be transparent and keep it real, you’ll feel better in yourself and won’t create a false reality for yourself."
"Social Media, it obviously affects each individual differently. I couldn’t even imagine how hard cyberbullying must be for kids at school these days. Those that have a high following are more susceptible to hate and cyberbullying, but they themselves also have to take on the burden and try deal with it whatever way they can. I taught myself how to deal with it by shutting it out, and almost desensitising myself from the stupidity. I realised all haters want is a reaction, and that is embarrassing on their end more than anything. Since then, all my anxiety and fear to post online has vanished. If you’re getting personal attacks, DO NOT RESPOND. Delete the comments, block the person if you think that will help. Always aim to be the bigger person and don’t buy into their negativity."
Thank you to all of the artists who shared their experiences with us.
Stress affects all of us and there's no shame in asking for help. Everyone should head over to the Mental Health Foundation's website for more information on Mental Health Awareness Week and what you can do to help deal with some of the stress in your life.