Age: 23

Hometown: Davis, CA

Generation: 4th - Yonsei

Biography: Travis Zane is a New York-based artist from California, sharing ideas and stories around the human experience through writing, photography, and video. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in psychology and neuroscience, loves to travel around the U.S. and abroad (probably too often), is a pro at forcing his friends and family to spend "quality time" together, and often studies up on mindfulness and Buddhism. Zane works for a variety of brands directing digital content and social strategy. He is planning to launch a bi-annual magazine in 2019, hopes to learn about architecture design and how to properly cook, and aspires to be the world's first grandpa D.J. when he's 80 years old.

Name of Piece: Social Media

The topic of mental health naturally concerns the various ways in which our world is progressing. Social media has completely transformed the ways we communicate with one another, conceptualize ourselves as individuals, and share who we are (or who we present ourselves to be) with those around us. While I do not believe that social media is inherently destructive, I believe it can be for individuals struggling with depression or anxiety.

I'll often openly admit that I experience life in extreme highs and lows (balance is something I'm constantly working to cultivate). I wrote this poem during a period of depression in which I felt completely alone. I found myself incessantly turning to my phone, subconsciously hoping to feel better by sharing something or seeing something that might shout "You're not alone." But usually, that isn't the case. This poem follows the realizations that human connection is not the same thing as digital connection, that a number of likes does not equate love, and most importantly, that time away from our screens may be extremely beneficial when we're struggling with mental health.

On a macroscopic level, it seems that the digital age has left many people feeling deprived of the thing we value most: Connection. Hence the hundreds of companies sprouting up focused on experiential community (co-working, co-living, co-exercising). With change, we learn to adapt, since pointing out that change and its consequences only takes us so far. This poem, along with others, will be shared on my Instagram account (@travis_zane). Sharing intimate content is important to me, showing both highs and lows for a full spectrum of the human experience, because I think (and hope) it can shout to others "You're not alone." Just one way to adapt.