Olivia Parker
Jun 17, 2019

Rankin: Quitting harmful social media made me more creative

CANNES IN SHORTS: The world-renowned photographer tells Campaign about the moment he realised the social platforms he was using were affecting his mental health, and why he's happier embracing what he calls 'JOMO' — the 'joy of missing out'.

The British photographer John Rankin, most commonly known by his surname, has shot some of the world's most famous people including models, musicians and Queen Elizabeth II in the course of a long and hugely successful career. 

He spoke at Cannes Lions 2019 on a panel exploring the relationship between visual imagery and mental health, revealing that before he quit platforms like Instagram, he'd started to find it an "endless, scrolling black hole" that he'd become "obsessive" about. 

In this video he describes to Campaign Asia the "needless energy" he realised he was expending on social media. He started learning more about how the tech is designed to be deliberately addictive, gave up his accounts and rediscovered "boredom" — and creativity alongside it.  


Campaign Asia editors will be reporting on news from Cannes Lions all week. Follow our feed here and keep up with all the latest awards news here

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