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Is Social Media Hurting Your Creativity?

Posted on July 30, 2023 in Creativity

In our age of digital interconnectivity, social media platforms have become an integral and near-inescapable part of our lives. While these services allow us to connect, share, and create with the global community, concerns have also been raised about the impact of social media on creativity. While no global consensus has been reached on the influence of social media on inspiration and creative endeavors, today we seek to examine the pros and cons of social media use for creative individuals, in an attempt to present a balanced perspective on the topic and allow you to make informed decisions about your own social media presence.

Read More: The Science of Inspiration

The Pros: The Potentially Positive Effects of Social Media on Creativity


Social media platforms overflow with a diverse and ever-growing collection of content from a wide variety of genres and mediums, allowing artists to discover new ideas, styles, and techniques that they may have otherwise been sheltered from. The exposure to diverse perspectives can inspire and broaden artistic horizons, fostering creativity and pushing boundaries. The Kirby Foundation’s social media accounts exist with this philosophy in mind, in keeping with Paul Kirby’s goal to open the minds of others to the inspiring possibilities when art & science meet. 

Seeking your own inspiration? Discover How to Find What Inspires You

Collaboration & Feedback

Geographical boundaries, and even language barriers, cease to be impediments in the digital realm as people connect and share on social media platforms. Artists can connect with peers, join communities, and engage in meaningful collaborations and shared creative endeavors regardless of where they live. This interconnectedness facilitates an invaluable exchange of ideas, feedback, and constructive criticism from a global community, fostering personal growth and nurturing artistic refinement.

Related: 5 Ways Computers Have Made Making Art Easier

Promotion & Visibility

A paradigm shift has occurred in the realm of self-promotion for artists, with social media platforms providing potent promotional tools for creators to showcase their work and gain much-needed visibility. Juggernaut platforms and smaller, more specialized services alike provide opportunities for artists to reach a broader audience, attract potential clients or collaborators, and unlock a world of networking opportunities.

The Cons: The Potentially Negative Effects of Social Media on Creativity

Distraction & Comparison

The allure of social media is not without its perils. One of the main drawbacks of social media is the potential for distractions. The ceaseless influx of notifications and the relentless scrolling through an endless stream of content means there’s never time for the mind to experience boredom or wander – and some people say that’s when their best creative ideas strike.

In addition to the deluge of content, when we look at social media, we’re typically seeing the carefully curated “best” that others have to offer, which often leads to unfavorable comparisons of our own lives and output. Comparing oneself to others can be disheartening while also hindering focus and creativity. Today, it’s crucial for artists to escape the labyrinth of distractions and unfavorable comparisons by setting social media boundaries, reclaiming focus, and dedicating quality time to their craft. 

Need a push? Learn How to Intrinsically Motivate Yourself

Superficial Engagement

Amidst the frenzy of likes and comments, one can’t help but question the depth of connection on social media. Surface-level interactions often prevail, and this lack of deep engagement may discourage in-depth discussions and meaningful feedback. Worse still, knowledge presented as fact on social media might not be true and can lead well-meaning individuals down the wrong paths. Artists should seek out dedicated communities or platforms that foster genuine connections and constructive dialogue to nourish their intellectual and creative spirits.

Mental Health Impact

Excessive social media use has been linked to a myriad of negative effects on mental health, such as increased anxiety, depression, and feelings of inadequacy. These factors can indirectly hinder creativity by affecting motivation, self-confidence, and overall well-being. Individuals are encouraged to prioritize self-care and diligently maintain a healthy balance between their social media presence and offline activities.

All Things In Moderation

So, does social media hurt or help our ability to get creative? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t cut-and-dry, as both golden threads of promise and shadowy pitfalls await in our still-developing frontier of online social interaction. While social media offers incredible avenues for inspiration, connection, and promotion, the various mental health challenges the platforms present should give pause. 

Artists and other creative thinkers are encouraged to navigate the landscape of social media with intention and care. To make the most of social media for creativity, individuals should be mindful of their usage, establish healthy boundaries, seek genuine connections, and focus on personal growth over comparisons. By striking a balance and leveraging the benefits while mitigating the drawbacks, creators can harness social media as a tool to propel their artistry in powerful and purposeful ways. 

Ready to start a meaningful discussion on social media? Join the conversation with The Kirby Foundation Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest pages, and don’t forget to follow our newsletter for updates! 

Seeking some much-needed inspiration? Why not watch the short documentary film, Brushstroke?

Are you interested in hearing the complete story of Paul and Dulcinea? Watch the video (nominated for Best Short Film at the 2021 Vail and Portland Film Festivals) for more info.

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