“Social media is the toilet of the internet, yet because of the way of the world, it’s somewhere I have to be. It’s like a horrible brother. I can’t just hang up the boots and simply leave.”
Reuben Styles, award-winning musician with Peking Duk and founder of Y.O.G.A. shares his journey:
The music industry can be an insecure place and the pressure all-consuming.
After Peking Duk’s hit “High” was such a big success, there was an underlying constant need to follow up with another smash. I started feeling worried every time I entered the studio, wondering if we could create another great song.
It got really stressful and my anxiety went through the roof. I even started fearing the studio! I realise now that I was too focussed on the goal and less focussed on the process.
I’ve learnt to cope by stepping away for a while and doing things outside of music, like writing a kids’ book and opening a bar in Melbourne! I also found putting in the effort to spend 20 minutes a day doing some exercise really helps and stepping away from social media for a while is a must. You can’t post or comment when you’re riding a bike or running!
I’m really proud of my latest solo project, You’re Only Great Always (Y.O.G.A.), which is a space where people can come together to talk about mental health and support one another. That helped me to fall in love with music again and listen for enjoyment after a long time of not being able to do that.
As Joyride (The Meeting Tree) once wisely said – life is long, slow down.
How would you describe your relationship with social media?
Social media is the toilet of the internet, yet because of the way of the world, it’s somewhere I have to be. It’s like a horrible brother. I can’t just hang up the boots and simply leave.
What has been an experience on social media that’s really affected you?
The fact it has almost ruined humanity. Friends and even family members have suffered incredible heights of depression and anxiety due to social media.
Has the pressure to be visible online impacted the way you or the people you work with create?
I try my best to create content and upload lots, but it’s certainly not natural to me. The pressure often gets to me. Then there’s the anxiety that follows a post, seeing the analytics etc.
What’s been one of the best experiences of being on social media?
This is important to address. Social media is a genuinely great tool for promoting music and gigs. It’s also a place to discover great art and good comedy. It’s hard to avoid the rubbish though.
How do you strike a balance between spending time online and time offline?
I try to keep online time between 9 and 5. Trying to avoid my phone outside of these hours is sooooo so hard, but it always pays off.
Find out more about managing the beast that is social media here.