“My gift to the world right now, Get off all socials. Make more music. More art. Be positive and more social in real life!”
Gareth Emery is currently taking a break from social media. As his North American tour continues, he caught up with Magnetic Magazine to talk about 100 Reasons to Live - and among other things, social media is not one of them.
His recent post on Facebook was mentioned in a previous conversation I had with him a few weeks ago. Emery has been open about his disdain for ghost producers. With his release, CVNT5, which is a spoof song and accompanying mimicry music video, he makes fun of a controversial topic in the EDM world: ghost production.
“It's time for me to start using a ghost producer… for my social media," He said. "I'm giving up my iPhone for a few months, quitting all social media, and going full 1990s by returning to a basic Blackberry that only makes calls. Why? Because I chose this life for two reasons: to make music and to play music.”
I was not surprised at his announcement since he was outspoken about this subject a few weeks past. We spoke about his recent lifestyle changes that highlighted social media usage as a distraction, making more music, having more positivity and yes, being less of a "CVNT."
His change surrounds the business philosophy “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” Emery refuses to do 18-hour days in the studio and doesn’t need to. He gets three times more done in a day in music production then he used to. He is proud to say he is finished with work by 5:00 PM and has the rest of the day to spend with his family and to be a father.
So how does he do it? While the answer isn’t rocket science, it is one that undeniably haunts and robs people’s time and productivity. Two words: Social Media. Gareth stands by another expression, “Social media is a fantastic servant, but a horrible master. Far too many people are slaves to it, rather than using it for their own gain."
Here his three fundamental tips to work smarter:
1. Each night before bed, make a list of all the things that you’re going to do the next day. It doesn’t have to be big, but make sure it’s things that will move your life forward.
2. Put your phone on airplane mode before you go to bed. When you wake up, do not take your phone off of airplane mode until you get your stuff done before you go on social media. (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat)
3. Log out of all social media apps and make a very long, complex, password for Facebook. This will make you more aware of how much you subconsciously log into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media apps daily. Manually logging in and posting then logging out, is better than automatically logging in.
His genuine bend on improving his lifestyle and outlook was what the story of his latest album. “I had to develop some new strategies and put them in place. Life is a lot easier when you do that! Putting a smile on my face and focusing on the positives makes better time for it.” He apologized if it sounded "New Age" or "self-help." I assured him he was not the first artist that spoke about self-realization.
Emery reveals that it’s a great test to see how often you use social media in a day. He further suggests, "Avoid flooding your brain with social media procrastination based stuff and therefore, you will not get your critical tasks done."
When he realized how his muscle memory was an automatic process for his everyday social media activity. He admitted he was scared, saying: “When you don't even realize that it's programmed in your brain receptors, that means you're addicted to it. So go work out if you're doing it subconsciously and if you do, stop doing it. Honestly, subconscious social media will kill three hours or more of your day. So you've got to remember these apps are not made to serve us; they're made to keep us coming back more for longer periods of time to make people money so they can show us ads.” "Just be smart,” he adds, “and don’t get hopelessly addicted, take control of your usage, get your priorities in order and gain your competitive advantage.”
One of the singles that came from this period of focus and made it into our conversation several times was "Sansa," also an eponym of his 16 month-old daughter.
“The most personal track is 'Sansa,' named after my daughter, and it is the last track. I didn't write [it] to name after her, it just happened. There's a track on my previous album named "Long Way Home" which is one of the best tracks that I've ever made. I wish I had made that track after I became a dad because it would've been a good track, and I don't know if I'll ever make one as good as that.”
In the "TMI" frame of mind, I ask his predictions of social media usage within his daughter’s generation.
Emery predicts that the “era of oversharing every little in our lives, it is not going to last forever.” He gives it five years, by the time Sansa is of age, and for people to realize that multi-tasking is a myth and that single-tasking is the better way to make art and enjoy life.
At the conclusion of his recent Facebook quote, Emery states, "I have no idea how quitting social media will change my life or career, and there's a good chance I'll miss it and will be back before long." Until then, we will be waiting to see what his social media hiatus will create.