Fluctuating, acrylic canvas by Michelle Lindblom

Navigating the Chaos

A Reflection on Artistic Identity, Information Overload, and Social Media

Michelle Lindblom
5 min readFeb 12, 2024

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My monkey brain continues to play games with me. Both in my waking hours as well as when unconscious (my dreams have been just plain bizarre).

I am a news and information junky. Does that mean I am in a constant state of FOMO, a glutton for punishment, or feel as if I have to know everything? Doubt it. But, my appetite has grown especially in the past five years when things have spiraled out of control all at once. Much of which has to do with social media and the American mass media machine spewing the worst sides of it all.

I admit to craving the details about the latest debacle or political fight or what is being done about migration or houselessness or racist acts of violence, and on and on and on. Within my entire being, I want desperately to turn it all off. Alas, I fear it’s an addiction and just too damn hard to quit.

I’ve always had a desire to know what’s going on in the world, which does not necessarily translate into wanting to be involved in ALL the chaos. But I, at the least, want to have a basic knowledge so I sound somewhat informed when in a discussion. Ego-based, I know.

Observing the situation from different angles is my hope.

I played the observer role for much of my life because of my innate restraint and inability to express myself in public. Even as I wanted desperately (in some instances) to let people know what was really on my mind. Fear of backlash superseded my need to use my voice. And sadly, part of being shy is the sensitivity factor. Handling criticism well was not my forte.

I did find that standing on the sidelines enabled me to hone my observation skills for when I felt ready to reveal myself. Which did not often happen in the public arena.

So I created art and kept a journal (not consistently and only when there was drama). Eventually, I got into teaching because with enough education, acquired skills, and confidence, facing students in a college art studio seemed plausible.

Not being a natural orator or too full of myself, I did not blather on about all my accomplishments or what I thought students should learn. My classroom was…

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