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With the recent purchase of the Light Phone, it was an inevitable decision to get off of Instagram under the simple reason that the platform is a phone based platform. Because of this I just went ahead and bit the bullet and got rid of it now rather than later. My new phone will be here before you know it anyway.

So, why delay the inevitable? I shut it down.

It’s sad to see the account go considering I have less than 100 posts, more than 1,000 followers, and am following no one. At first glance a lot of people will look at something like that and think highly of my music. Surely, someone that isn’t following anyone that has that many followers must have something good going on? And with that, surely this account has generated a lot of traction for my website in the past.

But the truth is, it’s all a sham. All of social media is when it comes to hype like that, to be honest.

I didn’t have that many Instagram followers because I have stimulating content. No, not even close. I had that many followers because of my years of experience using social media as a marketing platform as a full time touring artist. With the right skill you can make things appear in your favor even though they aren’t.

For example; when I was touring full time the main platform was Myspace. My player on that site by the end of my career had more than 1,000,000 plays. And trust me, it wasn’t because my music was all that and a bag of chips. It was because I knew how to hack the system. And people are still doing that today and we all know it. The reason why I started this Instagram and boosted the followers was simple. I had one record label recently tell me that they were looking for artists that had a decent number of social media followers. So, in less than a week I started up the account and had 1,000+ followers at the snap of a finger (and no, it did not pay for them, which is something you can do).

Don’t ask me how to do it, because I won’t bother telling you.

The point is this… social media is fake. It presents a construct of what we want others to see and not what true is.

The sad thing is that we all know it. And yet, are still addicted to this stuff.

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Don’t get me wrong… I have a passion to create art through music. And I want it to be heard. But at what cost?

If the cost of getting my art heard is an addiction to self-promotion through countless daily hours with the practice of false narrative in an attempt to get noticed via social media platforms, then what’s the point? I have better things to do with those hours, like experiencing life with family and friends. Or creating more music that should have the capacity to speak for itself.

As artists on the indie level, we spend way too much time trying to develop an online presence. And not enough time just simply being human.

Let your art speak for itself.

Good music is good. And if it deserves to get heard… it will.

Don’t waste all your time building up things like Instagram and twitter just so that you “look” like you have a following. That junk is fake.

And we all know it.

So… I’m quitting social media platforms like instagram and twitter (this time for good never to return).

And just maybe, the record labels I pitch to in the future will be able to look past my lack of online presence with a willingness to listen to what my music has to offer regardless.

I love art. And I want to pursue it. But, not at the cost of losing my soul to the negative sides of social media that we all know exist, but refuse to admit (addiction, addiction to self).

Create art. Not an endless cycle of self promotion.

Well, I have been working toward getting rid of my smart phone for a long while now. I am not one to get taken up with online addiction easily, considering the fact that I have gone more than a year without social media prior to starting A Martyr’s Oath as a music project.

The internet is great. I love watching lectures by people I respect. Or even documentaries on things I didn’t know. Beyond this and the GPS functionality of the smart phone, the phone doesn’t really take up much of my time. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive.

Hard to put down.

That is why I am finally making the switch to a WIFI free cellphone.

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This just seemed like the right time for the Light Phone, in my opinion. We have a new year just days away. Why not kick of 2020 right by setting myself up to have less digital distractions and more time in the real world.

I won’t be getting my phone until March. Regardless, the purchase has been made and I am on my way to living life with a lot less distraction. So, what is the Light Phone?

Well, here you go…

Because of this decision, I will be losing some stuff. For example, my AMO Instagram will be getting shut down at some point. Which is sad, because that is where the majority of my fan-base is settled with more than 1,250 followers. Even still… it will be worth it if I lose a few fans in the process.

I think the main thing I will miss just thinking on it right now would be photos getting sent via text between family members. That is probably going to be the hardest one to get used to.

I recommend everyone consider this phone.

This video is so true to today’s world view. When I was taking second break at work today, I sat at a table surrounded by about 10 other co-workers. I was the only one in the group that didn’t pull my phone out and stare at it for the full break. I just sat back, watched everyone, and wondered… how have we come to this as a society?

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I am an all or nothing kind of guy when it comes to enjoying the things that inspire me to action. In many ways this is awesome, because, once I get going on an idea there are very few times when I find it hard to not attain at least a little bit of success in my pursuits. Just to give a few minor examples would be to point out some of the things that I have goofed off with in the last few, more recent years.

I operated an Etsy store designing and selling embroidery and screen print patches. I chased this venture for nearly two years, I think. Within that short time the store exploded with sales exceeding an average of 10 to 12 sales per day. I don’t remember exactly, but when I decided to step away from it, deleting the store, I think it had something like 10,000+ five star reviews. That’s pretty good for just being a hobby.

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Before that, obviously… if you have read my bio, there was my music career in the mid-2000’s which went full time for 6 years nationally. It got to that level not because of skill or talent, but because of the “all or nothing” mentality that seems to burn within me.

Then there was the very short stent were I decided to start a podcast about the growing Cosmology Debates on social media and, especially Youtube. I didn’t expect it to grow very quickly, but… by marketing it to the right crowd it somehow managed to gain 100+ subscribers and over 150 listeners per episode before I deleted the podcast. This number may not seem like a lot, but the podcast was only live for a few months and I think I only did something like 5 or 6 episodes.

There was also the time I became an author, publishing a dozen or so books, some full length novels and other short novellas with various publishing companies. That pursuit grew very fast and was likely one of the ventures I spent the most time and effort on outside of touring. I managed to lock a contract with my favorite publisher at the time and even had my all-time favorite author of the time review one of my books. But, alas, I trashed that venture also, giving all of my published titles to a close friend who did most of the post editing for my work prior to publication.

And now, I have started up a home studio to record and publish music as a studio artist. And within the first 6 months of owning the studio gear I managed to release a three song EP with a record label out of Iowa.

So, here’s the thing… if I don’t have to try so hard to move forward successfully on something, why have I quit time and time again to do all of these things if they were being successful? And, if I am likely to quit something after it becomes bigger than my goals intended for them to be, why start something new to begin with?

Honestly, I feel like stepping away from each past pursuit is justified in its own right due to personal reasons (tour, being an author, the patches, the podcast, etc…).

But, this blog post isn’t about me justifying via excuse my reasons for quitting while being so called “ahead” of my goal expectations for each project.

This rant is more about being the type of person with the “all or nothing” mindset trying to cope with downtime in life. We all have seasons where things are busy and we are moving forward with goals. For some it might be building a career or creating a family. For others it might be launching and maintaining a podcast, youtube channel, or writing a book.

Right now, I find myself in this so called downtime phase in life where things are moving at a specific pace outside of my control. I am in my mid-30’s, leaning toward 40 and somehow, in some way, life has managed to make an adult out of me without my being aware. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just looking back, somehow it feels like it happened out of nowhere. I’m at a transition stage in life where I am not committed to any one creativity based project which frees me up to do anything. The possibilities are endless. While at the same time, the life transition of moving and starting a new job is keeping me from committing to anything as well.

So, if it’s all or nothing… right now, my mindset is leaving me in the nothing phase. I have literally had the last week and a half off from work, and yet I haven’t seized the opportunity by utilizing that time for creativity. I’ve just been stooping.

That is the conundrum of an all or nothing mindset. When you have set yourself to doing something, you get it done. But, when life forces you to slow down, a person with the “all or nothing” view, tends to just sit stagnant under those circumstances (now, I could be wrong. Which is why I am just speaking for myself here).

And thus, here I am feeling stagnant.

This isn’t to suggest that I am unhappy. That is far from true. I have just been doing a lot of internalizing lately and I have concluded two facts. One, I love the pursuit of pursuit itself. And two, I am entirely burnt out on the internet and the mass consumption of entertainment provided by mainstream society. It is corrupting our humanity to the core and creating distance, not only between varying cultures in local communities, but also within individual households as well.

This creates a problem… because, every venture that I have been successful with has been due to the fact that I am good at “online social networking”. I wouldn’t have become a full time touring singer-song writer without Myspace. I wouldn’t have become a successful author without Facebook. I wouldn’t have had a successful Etsy store without Instagram. The podcast wouldn’t have been successful had it not piggybacked off of my previous successes along with Youtube. And even now, my latest EP Ignorance is Woe got picked up by a record label because I operate a website, which in its own right is an online social media platform.

I am absolutely tired of the internet, but it is the internet that has allowed me the luxury of being semi-successful at my creative pursuits.

Couple this together with the stagnant position I am currently in due to a life transition taking place… and with being someone that is the “all or nothing” type in regard to pursuit, a slow season can tend to make you a little twitchy (for lack of a better term).

Obviously, once my family is moved and done with the relocation process, I will still continue to write and produce music in my home studio. But, I don’t know that the music venture will be my primary platform of creativity driven focus. Since I am in this stagnation stage, my prayer is that God will speak to me and show me what I should be doing rather than the usual… me just listening to my gut and doing what I want to be doing.

God has a purpose for my life. And right now, outside of providing for my family, I don’t know what that purpose is.

This is the issue of an “all or nothing” mindset.

We tend to not like the question; what next? And besides, as a Christian I know the primary focus with creativity should be to spread the gospel. But, as I look at the world, too many Christians have switched to strictly “online evangelism” (I can witness to you so long as I don’t have to interact with you). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great tool and a great platform that I myself have benefited from as the listener.

However, this isn’t good. And I want to do something for Christ. But, how can I do that without settling into the internet as my outlet like so many other Christians have begun to do? There has got to be more to life than this.

And yet, that still leaves me with this… what next?

Well, in the view of what my current goal is with the EP I’m working on, I did something drastically in the wrong direction promotionally speaking. And, to be honest… I don’t care. I’m better off for it anyhow. My goal for the EP might not be better off for it, but I am. And that’s what matters.

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To those of you that have kept up with me through my other various endeavors will know that I am not much on social media. After I quit touring full time, the novelty of social media for me lost its flair. And with that, I have started and stopped different accounts a few times. So, this is nothing new. If you look around on the site, you will see that the one social media account that I do still have is Youtube. Right now there isn’t anything on it (accept a few old songs). But, in the near future I have some ideas that will cause that platform to come in handy.

As for things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like… I realize that those platforms are good for getting the word out about my current projects.

But… at what cost?

Don’t get me wrong. I am having a great time putting together this EP and would love to see it have success by reaching people that would enjoy it. But, at the end of the day the only reason why I find myself on these social platforms is self-serving. And that’s not what Christ was about. Most people will assume that Satanism is the worship of Satan. But this is far from the truth. It is actually the agnostic worship of self. I must decrease that Christ might increase in me. It is pride that comes before the fall. This has always been true, therefore it will always be true.

When I get on these accounts, all I see are people boasting self. And upon reflection, how am I any different?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no more a sinner or saint for choosing to step away from or keep social media active in my daily life. I just personally can’t do it. I’ve got better things to do with my free time than work out my thumb while eyeing the benumbed social habits of our fallen society one finger swipe at a time.