The problem is me
I tend to get drawn into social media, aimlessly scrolling, it’s not healthy and I have become to numb with content overload. The more people tell me it is what I must be doing – an online social presence is essential – the more I want to not be involved.
Part of the issue is the way they are made. Fundamentally they are designed for the users and their posts to be the commodity. We give to these platforms in return of likes, shares, community and most importantly for a photographer/artist, exposure, sharing and discussion.
But ultimately what I need as an artist are for people to leave these bubbles and engage with my work on an individual level, through my website, visiting exhibitions or supporting my work through buying prints, zines etc.
And this is where the platforms fail in my opinion.
This change has been crossing my mind for a long time and after hearing the wonderful Jack Lowe discuss his thoughts on the matter during a recent LFPP. Even Jack, with his huge following on FB + IG, and a creator of incredible art, committing so much to his current project, was not seeing any benefits with these platforms.
I have decided it is time to make a similar leap.
The big stinger for me is that these platforms make huge amounts of money from our content and data without the return. As an artist who is trying to make a living from what I create it makes no sense for me to be part of system that generates money from my work without a return. And don’t even get me started on my views regards their moral behaviour and policies.
We are all being USED by them.
I know I’m living in the past and the world has changed. Images flow freely as 0s and 1s at the speed of light but with every copy, and every paste a little bit of the soul of the image is lost. The light reflecting off the scene and through the lens. The fingers of the hand, of the person who pressed the shutter. All gone, detached and turned into RGB values.