Blog / 2023 / Regrets About Quitting Social Media?

September 26, 2023

[video transcript]

Everything’s Fine is the series that I’m turning into a coloring book and high school level curriculum. If you’d like to buy this robot drawing or pre-order a copy of the book, please contribute to the Kickstarter!


a surrealist line drawing of a slot machine robot with a heart for an activation button, reels that show angry face emojis, and coins that are sad face emojis spilling out
Gwenn Seemel
Lottery of Likes
ink on paper
12 x 9 inches

For those of you in the Princeton area, Everything’s Fine is currently on display at the library, and I’m doing an art class for teens on Saturday!

Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon
Princeton, NJ 08542

Open: now through October 15th
Hours: every day, visit PPL site for times

Hands-on art workshop for teens
Saturday September 30th from 3p to 4:30p
Register here!

coloring book page showing a slot machine robot with a heart for an activation button, reels that show angry face emojis, and coins that are sad face emojis spilling out
coloring book version of Lottery of Likes

It’s been three years since I deleted Facebook and Instagram, the two platforms on which I got the most engagement when I was on social media. And in all that time I’ve been more or less waiting for the moment when I would regret that decision, and today I’m here to tell you that I think I’m as close as I’m ever going to get to regretting it.

That’s because I’m currently running a Kickstarter for a project about mental health, with a special focus on teen mental health. I’m making a coloring book to promote communication about feelings, like with this portrait of social media as a slot machine for our emotions. And I’m also making a curriculum—or a lesson plan for high school art teachers to help students make work like this.

And what I’m learning at the moment—the thing that’s getting me close to regret—is that I might not make it to my goal and get my funding because I’m not on social media anymore.

In today’s world, there’s nothing quite like Instagram to remind an art-loving public on a daily basis about your latest artistic endeavor. Regular email updates like the biweekly or triweekly ones I’ve been doing since I launched my campaign aren’t the same, because our relationship with our inboxes is different than the one we have with IG. It’s different and it’s usually heavier, because more serious things tend to come via email than on Insta. And many people don’t even open all their emails anymore. I mean I mostly do, but I’m not at 100% open rate, and I don’t have the excuse of social media distracting me.

I still have a little over two weeks left of my Kickstarter campaign, so I’m not giving up, but I admit that this has been a humbling experience. In terms of how much I underestimated the impact of socials on my ability to run a crowdfunding campaign, and in terms of questioning if I truly understand the value ofmy art realistically when the response isn’t coming with the numbers I’d been hoping for. My goals were at least 100 supporters and $9000.

Still—and this is the part that I think is worth emphasizing—even with a potential failure haunting me, I’m glad I quit social media. Because I wouldn’t have been able to make this project at all if I was still on socials. My brain was too all over the place, too unhealthy, when I was on Facebook and Instagram.

And I’d rather have made this work and be fumbling the Kickstarter than never have made this work at all. Both for me and for all the people I know this work has helped.


October 7, 2023

Thanks to lots of lovely people, the Kickstarter is fully funded! You can still contribute before the 15th if you want your own glitter kitter or any of the other rewards.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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