Consumed by Creativity: Mental Health in Web3
“Web3 is life at this point.”
The NFT and web3 space is not for the faint-hearted. Things move fast here, and if the fall of FTX has shown us anything, it's how chaotic of a place this can be. Whilst this decentralized world has many positive attributes — creativity, ownership, community — it is certainly a challenging, exhausting, and demanding realm.
Furthermore, with the increase in web3 adoption, the digital revolution is coming, and so it is now more important than ever to prioritize our mental health. Excessive screen time, social media use, and the ever-present pressure to be active only serve to push us further into a negative headspace. Moreover, it has been documented that people who spend six hours a day online are more likely to experience depression than those who don’t, which is bad news for builders, creators, and traders.
Thankfully more founders are opening up and speaking out about their own experiences with mental health and web3. One such creator is CONNiE DiGiTAL. Connie is an artist, marketer, and writer, who has been actively working in this space for almost ten years now. Throughout our meeting, Connie shared the effect that web3 has had on his mental health, and the actions he takes to stay healthy. Read the TLDR below or scroll further down to take in the whole article.
Web3 is tiring, therefore it is important to take breaks: As creators and consumers, we can find ourselves spending excessive amounts of time online. Work is demanding, and it is important to take breaks.
There are positives and negatives, hold on to the positives: Price fluctuations of social tokens and NFTs can impact your mental health. Find value in the other opportunities you gain from holding or creating tokens.
Burnout is real, so stay focused and touch grass: The consistent pressure to be active on Twitter and in Discord, web3 can become overbearing. Prioritize your mental health over social media. When you are online, commit to being productive, and when you are offline, spend time in nature.
Web3 is life: the demanding nature of NFTs
Connie is an NFT veteran, so we wanted to know more about his day. Unfortunately for Connie, like many other NFT creatives, downtime is a myth. Many of us can resonate with this, as the fast-paced space, multiple time zones, and pressure to always be active can take over.
Speaking on his lack of downtime, the founder laughed as he explained that "web3 is life at this point," describing the demanding nature of his work. However, he did say that he tries to take breaks, with short hiatuses here and there.
"Sometimes, this space can be a lot. There is so much going on, and it's so fast. Things get pretty interesting when you start playing with money on the internet. Not only that, but the community can be stressful, too, as sometimes there's infighting. It consumes me."
Connie spoke about his experiences with such ease and vulnerability; we do not often experience such candid conversations in web3. It is easy to hide behind a screen, putting on a mask, so speaking with Connie was both refreshing and inspiring.
Creating a social token: benefits and drawbacks
We wanted to dig deeper and understand his experiences more fully, specifically concerning the work he has produced.
As a creator, Connie created his own social token $HUE, in 2019. Therefore, we asked Connie to share the benefits and drawbacks of creating a social token.
“For me, the benefit of social tokens has been the marketing, if I'm completely honest. At the time, in 2019, being one of the first to launch a social token, I had the luxury of creating a marketing buzz. Then as more people got involved, others were inspired to launch their own tokens on Roll. Now we are all experimenting together. The marketing as a result of the token put me in new conversations, introduced me to new people, and helped me to grow, teach, and learn.”
Connie went on to say that another benefit of social tokens is experimentation and how invigorating it has been to see other people get excited about the technology. However, beneath this silver lining sits a dark cloud. Creating a social token is no easy feat, and unfortunately, it is our mental health that suffers.
“One of the drawbacks for me has been my mental health. The price fluctuations of a social token can have a huge impact on a person.”
HUE was the first social token on the Uniswap DEX. But for the first three months, HUE was distributed amongst the community as a free token. Similar to a loyalty point, holders used HUE to earn rewards. However, after this initial period, the Roll team decided to create a pool on Uniswap and effectively put a price on the token. With a price set, HUE was now open to market fluctuations.
"When the price goes up, you feel good! But when the price comes down, you might feel less good, and you don't know why people are selling your token. All you know is that the price is going down and down and down."
Connie's experience is not unusual. Regarding social tokens and NFTs, price changes can have an intense effect on the founder and the community. As a creator, seeing something you have put so much time and energy into failing can cause stress, anxiety, and a lack of self-worth.
Despite this, Connie still finds that the joy, excitement, and innovation that can be found here make it all worthwhile. From artists having ownership over their work to connecting and creating with a community, there is happiness among the many trials web3 presents.
Mitigating burnout: stay focused and take breaks
As a web3 veteran, Connie has seen it all, and he is still here. So many people fall away from NFTs, crypto, and web3 in general as they succumb to the stressors of this space. So we asked Connie to share his tips for staying mentally healthy as a web3 creator.
"I take breaks. I am not on social media any more than I need to be. Twitter and Discord are the only forms of social media I use. I understand many people have a Discord server for their community, but that is not for me. Having your own Discord server is very demanding and time-consuming and opens you up to hearing the viewpoints and opinions of many different people. I was not willing to compromise my mental health for that."
Connie explains that he did have a Discord server at first but closed it after two weeks. Although, he does interact with other community Discord servers. He is committed to proactively taking care of his mental health and not falling into burnout, like so many other creators.
“I like to step away. So I go out in nature, take walks, and generally unplug. When I am online, I am focused on my tasks and accomplishing what I need.”
It is clear from our conversation that Connie prioritizes his mental health over everything else. Undoubtedly, this has been a driving force behind his success and longevity in web3. We hope this conversation has shed some light on how to thrive in web3 without sacrificing your mental health.
If you feel that mental health has been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, please reach out to the 24/7 free global crisis hotline here and get in touch with your local care provider.
Find Connie here: