Social media is great, except when it isn't. While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like have helped countless artists build a loyal, dedicated fan base by allowing for an unprecedented and unrivaled level of direct access, there is also a tremendous downside to that access.
Thanks in part to a tremendously supportive and active social media following, the buzzmaking emcee Joyner Lucas has risen from local Worcester, Massachusetts emcee to Atlantic Records signee in four years, but the experience hasn't been all roses.
On Tuesday, Lucas shared a note on Twitter, describing the gift and curse of social media and openly wondering whether or not he'll continue to use the platform in the future.
Lucas is far from the first artist to either talk about stepping away from social media or actually taking a break.
Last September, while recording his latest album, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, Pro Era emcee Joey Badass threatened to quit social media altogether in order to "focus on the music," and, earlier this year, Kanye West completely deleted all of his accounts.
And here's the thing: You don't need to be a professional recording artist to feel the mental strain of social media—you just need to be human. Social media usage has been linked to depression in various studies, the result of cyber-bullying, FOMO and the need to feel accepted (oddly, mostly by perfect strangers).
Even for us, the struggle to attract readers in 2017 without negativity is a daunting task, and while we're certainly up to the challenge, it's impossible to share content on social media without a willingness to embrace the hatred and vitriol that will surely follow. Frustratingly, in today's publishing landscape, it's impossible to exist as a content creator without being available and active on social media.
Most artists, for better or worse, understand the need to embrace this necessary evil, but eventually, the upside of fan accumulation and interaction might not be able to outweigh the detriment it continues to cause to mental health and overall well-being.