I recently went off facebook. This sounds like I just went off drugs or something. Even though everyone's been blabbering about privacy issues lately, this was not my reason for deactivating. For me, it was more a quality of life issue. Just like spending too much time watching tv, being online, or engaging with any other media form can be deadening, too much fb time can also leave you feeling numb. Certainly not refreshed and energized, like a walk outside, or coffee with a friend, or a good phone conversation. I guess I could say my soul feels better when I'm not on fb. Not to get too deep or anything, but it's true. Now, lest you think this is a post about facebook or its evils, it's not. There are lots of fun things about it and it certainly doesn't affect everyone the same way. This post is more about the soul and realizing you have one. This is especially, especially important for artists.
Why do so few people care for their soul? Or even pay attention to it? I wonder this sometimes. It seems to be such an untapped entity for so many people. Is it because the world is really that alluring? There are so many external things to keep us from ever examining what's going on inside...things like money, fame, status, busyness, being productive, feeling important, etc. Plenty of addictions to numb out reality if life ever gets too uncomfortable. I mean, frankly, I wish more artists would pay attention to their souls, at least once in a while. There's a direct connection between what's going on in your soul and what artistic expression pours out of you.
I'm sure we have all heard certain songs or viewed certain art that made us think, "Wow, what was going on when they wrote/composed/created THAT?" There are plenty of musicians and artists out there who spew up all kinds of feelings in their lyrics or onto the canvas. And yes, this can be therapeutic for whatever torment they may be going through at the time. But, really, I'm not interested in digesting what they just spewed up. It's like, thanks, glad you worked through that, but it's not so appealing to absorb all of it. There's a difference between music and art that speak to the realities of life - heartache and hurt included - and those that just vomit up ugliness. I'm in favor of the first one, not so much the second.
I guess I'm thinking about this because I care about paying attention to the state of my own soul. I want to produce things that are pleasing and life-giving somehow. I'm not saying that everything has to be beautiful all the time, or have a certain look or style. It's about the substance of the very creation itself. Is it exuding a positive energy into the world or a negative one? There is far too much negative art out there. I guess I'd like to be more of a positive force, if possible.
So anyway, not to necessarily try to tie all of this back to facebook, but I'm looking forward to creating a little more space in my head. Space for other things that are more energizing. One day I may reactivate. But for now, this seems right. And just like when we moved to our current condo and lived without tv for a year and a half (and didn't miss it much at all), after my initial fb withdrawal subsides, I suspect I'll be just fine.