LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) — As the world dealt with the pandemic for almost two years, there was another pandemic of sorts plaguing those who take part in the social media world.  

“I was sent home, so I had a lot more free time and I discovered Tik Tok, like I feel like a lot of people did. I started making music covers, and looping videos, and grew a pretty big following, pretty fast,” said Noah Deist, song writer. 

Like many aspiring musicians, online success can happen almost overnight. For Dordt University alum Noah Deist, the instant attention meant a new sort of habit. 

“And over the course of five or six months, I was creating three, four, five videos a day and uploading to various platforms. It was like this really long haul of always watching the numbers, I was checking my follower account every day, I was looking at the analytics, and I was kind of wrapped up in this numbers game and comparing myself to other artists and looking at their engagement rates,” said Deist. “And like ‘how can I do what they’re doing better? They’re doing so much better than me. What am I doing wrong?’” 

Self-reflection and the nagging feeling of burn-out led him to an epiphany: his generation and a good portion of the world was addicted to likes and shares. 

“It really drained the life out of what I was doing, and it made creating music feel like an obligation. And it felt like a chore, I didn’t want to record more videos, write more songs,” said Deist. 

That feeling became the inspiration for Pandemic, a song that reminds us instantly of COVID-19, but also a metaphor for the issue Deist said was plaguing him.  

The process itself took extensive planning and while it became Deist’s senior project at Dordt, he got multiple classmates involved.  

Deist is now a full-time videographer in the marketing department for Nebraska Wesleyan University, but in his free time, music is his focus.  

Both pandemics have taught him an important lesson. 

“Learning to be patient and enjoying the process. I think what causes a lot of burnouts. You know, creating for followers versus adding value to people’s lives. That’s kind of what I’ve been working on,” said Deist.