I like to stay on top of the news. In a previous life I was a broadcast journalist, a newsreader, and the host of a current affairs program. Following the news became second nature, and since we don’t have cable, I will often turn to YouTube to watch the latest.
And once you’re down that rabbit hole…
I also use social media as a classroom. I love to learn, and when I buy a new piece of gear like a camera or a microphone, I know that there will always be reviews that can help me decide what to get. And once I’ve made my decision, there are plenty of tutorials to watch so I know how to use the darn thing I couldn’t stop myself from buying.
I also use social media as a source of inspiration. You know me, I produce new content every day, and I want to stay connected to what’s happening in the world of voice overs, music, politics… lots of things. I want to know what people think, what they worry about, and what challenges they have. In a way, my audience is my client, and if you don’t know what your client needs, you can’t give it to them.
I get inspired by watching people who are very different from me, and who do things I would never do. I observe the way they talk, I listen to their accent, and I use these sounds to create characters as a voice over. A few months ago I started using a VPN and so the content that’s presented to me may differ depending on the country I choose. That way I’m not always in an echo chamber giving me the same-old, same-old stuff.
Being on social media is also a way for me to stay connected to friends and family. As you know, most of my family members are in the Netherlands, and I want to know how they are doing, and show them what I am up to. That way we’re not strangers the next time we meet in person.
And finally, using social media is an outlet for my creativity. I love to write and take pictures, and I even learned to enjoy shooting videos. Being creative keeps my brain busy making new connections. It’s very therapeutic.
So, yes, I spend a lot of time staring at screens and devices but it’s part of my window to the world.
The other day I used the VPN to pretend I was located in Denmark, and surprisingly, I was offered an English commercial I just had to watch to the very end. That’s something that never happens.
On the screen was a girl who looked like an actress preparing for a role. Then the voice over said:
“Another day, another audition.
It’s not about how many doors you open.
It’s about opening the right one.”
I have no idea what kind of product they were advertising, but I still remember the script.
I know social media can be addictive and sometimes dangerous, but if you use it wisely and in moderation, it’s still more of a blessing than a curse.