Clouds & Cups’ debut collection Don’t Feed the Screens (SS/18) was inspired by something that’s been on my mind a lot recently. Overconsumption of social media is frightening because it creeps up insidiously on many aspects of our lives without us realising. This collection isn’t necessarily anti-social media. It’s more about our attitudes towards it and how we can find a healthy balance. Social media provides us with incredible benefits that make our lives immeasurably more convenient. It’s an incredible way to transmit and receive information, not only on an individual level, but also on a societal, and even global level. The important issue at hand is identifying the point where social media begins to chew into areas of your life that deserve more time and attention. It’s the point where you find yourself scrolling mindlessly, consuming useless content, and suddenly realising two hours have vanished. Two hours in which you weren’t really that entertained, nor satisfied. It’s the point where you spend so much time looking at other people’s lives that you forget to live your own. Because you’re doing less, you feel more upset when you see others doing more. And thus the vicious cycle continues.
I started noticing the subtle effects of social media when I sat down and thought about why I didn’t have enough time each day to do all the things I wanted. I’ve spent a lot of time at my computer the past fifteen years. Growing up, much of my studies were done on the computer. I wrote and produced music for a few years on my computer. I played video games all throughout high school. A lot of my reading is done online. Most of the time, I’d be doing all these things with some form of social media lurking in the background. Because almost everything is done on a screen these days, productivity slips away extremely easily since you’re only a single click away from your socials.
The problem extends beyond your computer because you’ve got another smaller one in your pocket which practically never leaves your side. This device is really hard to put down. The power a single notification wields over the human brain is absolutely phenomenal. I’ve experienced considerable strain in resisting the temptation to look at my socials. To consciously not check your phone for longer than an hour is truly an exercise in willpower. We’ve all experienced the feeling of being separated from your device. You shift and fidget uncomfortably in your seat. You feel naked and vulnerable without it. You catch yourself reaching into your pocket, having a split-second heart attack, but finally remembering your phone’s on the charger. To me, all this is an indication of a problem.
There really are a lot of hours in a day to accomplish many things, so when I realised that endless scrolling was holding me back from going to bed satisfied, I felt the need to do something about it. With all this in mind, I sat down, put my phone in my desk drawer, and began work on the Don’t Feed the Screens (SS/18) collection. Each garment deals with the overconsumption of social media from a slightly different angle. If you think you’re scrolling a bit more than you ought to, put your phone away, close the Facebook tabs, and get to work. It’s a beautiful day to be productive.