Social media is pretty rad. But sometimes it's not.
If I were to venture a guess as to how many hours I spend on social media daily, it would probably be well over 9 hours on average. If you are wondering why that number sounds exorbitantly high, it’s because it is. But let me backtrack, because social media IS quite literally my life.
As an artist and a creator, it is quite literally my job and in my best interest to be connected to some kind of device – be it a laptop or smart phone – with an internet connection for the majority of the hours that make up a day.
My online time is spent between creating and uploading content, sending out and answering emails, coordinating with contributors and pushing content to all of LFB Blogazine social media channels. And when I am not doing work for LFB Blogazine, I am running @lovefromberlin, which takes hours of time as well.
Needless to say, as social media work is never truly done and as there is never some magic number you need to reach before you can sit back, relax, and feel good about the success of your company, it is really hard to define when to quit the internetz for the day.
I mean you are legit talking to a woman who wakes up at 5:30 am for a wee and then proceeds to instagram for a good 20 minutes because, well hey, I am awake anyway and you can never do enough outreach!
And those hours where I am not constantly checking my phone or email out of guilt/habit/who-the-fuck-knows? Well when I’m not actively choosing NOT to be on the internetz, I’m creating content.
And here is the thing about creating content when it is your job. You literally have no work-life separation. When I am at a cafe with my boyfriend or visiting Mauer Park with a friend, I am either feeling guilty about the fact that I failed to bring my camera to take photos for both LFB Blogazine and @lovefromberlin or I am feeling equally as guilty (with the added bonus of stress!) for asking my friends or boyfriend to take photos of me (which I actually shouldn’t, as long as I don’t over ask, but that is another topic entirely).
Events and holiday are the literal worst. At events, especially those I am attending for work, my brain is 80% focused on having to make sure I take enough photos and Instagram stories to fulfil the assignment and 10% focused on building the story for the assignment in my head, and 10% focused on enjoying the here and now and being present in whatever conversation I might be having with whomever I am with. And when on holiday there is perpetual need to document everything because what makes for the best content out there than the stuff that vacations are made of?
There is also the added weight (literally) of carrying around a million devices, your best dSLR camera, and everything in between in order to actually create. And when you live in a city and your own two feet are your general mode of transportation, your body is your packhorse. So until I am rich and obnoxious enough to hire a personal butler to carry around all of my shit, I have the lovely added constant reminder of my work literally weighing my back or shoulder down. (Consequently, I have taken to pre-social media ways to “lighten” the load and have recently been shooting a lot of film, which brings a whole new and interesting dynamic into the social media conversation, but let’s save that for another time.)
This is the reality of being a content creator. It is a constant struggle between just living your damned life and churning out brilliant imagery on a consistent basis. There are a lot of people who think that those of us who work in the social media field are constantly living it up at the best events and receiving package after package of free stuff while raking in the money passively. Spoiler alert: it’s not really like that for most of us. Oh, and we also get the added bonus of having people think we are superficial and self-obsessed even though it is quite literally our job to post endless photos of ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong. I fucking love creating content. I love having a platform where I and other women can share their opinions, art, and ideas. Creating content has opened so many doors and lead to so many amazing opportunities. While some assignments are just that, assignments, I have also done incredible things, been part of amazing events, and have been able to hit that sweet spot once or twice where I can combine a really chill day of hanging out with my favorite people while creating content at the same time (like this recent campaign I ddi for Foodora but more on that soon.)
I also love all of the people I have met through LFB Blogazine and through @lovefromberlin and the community that we have built up. I also have incredible friends IRL and a wonderful boyfriend who are willing to help me with my work and I make conscious efforts to leave my camera home (even if I regret it later) or put aside my phone to be able to focus my time on the ones I care about most and to give myself, my eye, and my fingers, a break from digital life.
But I would be straight up lying to your face if I told you it can also be extremely stressful and make it harder to exist in a moment for the moment in that moment. And while it is a blessing that a digital career allows me to quite literally take my job with me anywhere, the downfall is that, well, I can quite literally take my job with me anywhere.
As I mentioned above, the best of times are when I am simultaneously able to find that sweet spot between creating amazing content and enjoying the moment I find myself in. It doesn’t happen often, but I am working towards having more moments like these. It’s also about knowing when to not combine the two and knowing how to set aside specific time for just work and just play. Becuase let’s face it, there are certain assignments and work tasks that can be combined beautifully (and relatively seamlessly) with a day out with friends or the mister and there are times when this would be an utter and complete disaster.
I think especially, when working on specific campaigns, it all comes down to stressing out less, being confident in the content you create, and knowing when to put down the camera and enjoy the moment even in those situations where social life and work life collide – which basically is all the time.
Photography: Annette Zer