Be the Tree

As of 5a.m. I can’t sleep. Questions floating around in my brain. Not having enough information to go on to make anything but worry come out of it all, so naturally I reactivated my Twitter account.

At the beginning of the year the word “simplicity” captivated me. That’s when I dumped my twitter account in an effort to cut down on everything that wasn’t necessary. It was how I found out about my news though. Isn’t that kind of cool and sad at the same time? I can’t remember the last time I bought a newspaper (unless it was for my parents- sorry newspaper peoples). Watching the networks sensationalize everything on television news programs only makes me feel bad. So I let twitter tell me what was up for at least a good year. After I dumped it, I was blissfully ignorant. Eventually I started reading the news online, so there’s that.

Not tweeting hasn’t been a big deal. And not being on Facebook hasn’t either. BUT as times keep changing, we are all forced to act like trees in the wind (watch out- if you’re in the South and a storm comes, you might just break in half like our trees here and nearly kill people. Scary.) I’ve recognized the benefits of the social online networking I’ve fought for years. I simply couldn’t manage my time around it. I’ve admitted that before. I also got wayyyy too wrapped up in it on a personal level and it created something altogether not helpful. So, I got real simple and dumped everything except my website, blog and journal.

Fast forward a few months… invite some art drama, missed connections, being passed overs and in general a feeling of being caught in a conundrum. I started hearing how other artists really were connecting and enjoying all of our social networks. How do they do it? Well, how do some of them do it? Apparently they manage their time and they stay focused about it being about their work/business of art. Huh. They keep the really personal stuff OUT. Hmm… I hadn’t really thought of that, had I? I tried to resist further and went on a whole journal rant about too much social networking avenues. I’m seeing the benefits and would also like to have those benefits. Slowly, but surely I’m caving.

When I was in Italy this spring I felt extremely cut off from the world. Not having anything more than random internet access made it hard to stay connected to anyone. When I returned home to the States, I was scolded by a nice handful of friends who had been somewhat worried about me since I hadn’t kept in touch. I guess they wanted more than one or two photos saying I made it! so they could live vicariously through me during that month. I completely let them down. Sure, I had some amazing stories afterwards, but that only impressed a select few. I’m pretty sure they stopped looking for updates on my journal after that point.

A few weeks later I let my friend set up a Facebook Fan Page for me. I was really reluctant. Kinda nervous too. A fan page?? Isn’t that a bit… well, jeez… you know what I’m saying. The idea made sense since just about everyone and their grandmother are on Facebook now and that seems to be the ONLY way some of those people interact with anyone anymore. So I said “OK… I just hope I have more than like, two fans!” Thankfully I have over 200 now and I can tell you it really makes me feel good that I have fans “liking” my artwork. As artists, we really put ourselves out there for judgement and it makes me feel grateful every time I get a new “like” on my page. Fascinating!

I have new ideas and plans that I hope will take me around the world. I have some opportunities that have presented themselves that have made me change the way I’m thinking about and living my life. And so… being in a better place of understanding and management with my time and personal life, I will soon have a personal Facebook profile again to get connected with peeps internationally again. It’s been well over a year. I know I said I didn’t ever want to do it again… but times are a changing. I want to embrace technology if it will help my art business and make my life easier.  I will be the tree that moves and sways with whatever comes my way. The only reason it was a big deal or issue is because I made it one.  It’s a different kind of simplicity I think if it’s managed well.  We shall see how it goes.

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2 Responses to Be the Tree

  1. Jennifer,
    Just read your journal. I applaud your comments and your analysis of your opinions over the
    last year as pertaining to technical communications. I’m too old to really care about how younger
    folks interact via facebook, youtube, twitter, or anything else – except for e-mail. I almost under-
    stand that even though I’ve been using it now for years.
    You are the next generation. It is your world now, and you have to embrace it while I can merely look on and smile at all the changes that assault my senses of what I don’t comprehend……. and,
    at my age, reject as unnecessary in my life. The old fashioned newspaper is my speed, and I daily, gratefully, read what I want to, reject those articles that offend my beliefs – although I fully acknowledge the right of other’s opinions to be expressed………. especially yours, my daughter.
    All my love, Tiger,
    Your Papa

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