So I've pretty much decommissioned my personal page, it's more of a "service account" at this point. And, as I've been reorganizing content lately, and pulling away from most things that aren't directly in my area of focus both socially and creatively, I've been pondering something..
At a certain point in the social media driven world, when sharing art on social media, is there really a point.. do we get anything out of it, do we grow at all? And, I'll elaborate there, if you think back to a time (and I suppose this is one of those.. if your old enough things.. ) to when creatively you did just as much work but there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no whatever the hip kids use etc. and your circle of immediate exposure was likely just those close to you, friends, family, fellow artists who you knew personally and quite likely absorbed something from and passed something on to just by general influence via osmosis, essentially "YOUR Community". I think back to those times, and I can say.. yes I truly got something out of that, we all did I think sharing work in that manner, typically meaning in each others homes/studio's or at the local coffee shop etc. being there .. physically talking to one another and looking over a physical work of art, and having a dialogue about it, maybe even spinning off observations and idea's that grew into the next piece.. it was tangible and real. And, then I think of today.. how many of us are guilty of - create new piece, digitize it - upload it - share it - move on to new piece, maybe only showing a physical work in a show where lets face it, is not a real great setting for getting into deep conversation about a single work, its broad its social and if it's your work hanging you're doing your best to make sure to say hello to everyone there and thank them for their support, or watch for possible interested parties for sales etc. etc.. your mind is elsewhere and not "back in the studio". And, when uploading that now digital content online, the typical lay of the land is - get likes - get some comments - until it runs its course in the page feed or the IG algorithms and then rinse repeat, with comments like "love this" "fantastic work" or "#mood" - don't get me wrong.. I've done it.. we've all done it, it's because the platform isn't one that yields itself to authentic discussion about a work, there's no room to ponder over something theres not a selected audience of people that one expects to garner constructive criticism from because they themselves look to you for your return opinion on their own work making it a give take of high value thought. The platform is such that its set up to be a "praise machine" which Im sure there are prob studies that link that to brain chemicals spiking feel good juice keeping us all addicted, but too much sugar makes you sick.. as does too much of allot of things that make us feel good.
Now.. full disclosure I'm super anti-social and a bit of a nihilist (those that know me personally are certainly keen on that Im sure) so maybe I just have an bleak outlook on it, but I'm generally speaking, pretty darn good at observing patterns, and this is just all coming from my own personal experiences of pre-post social media in relation to sharing art, so take it with a grain of salt, but as objective as I can be, I don't think it's just my own nature at work here. And, yes the argument could be made of "why not have both" to which I don't think it's so much a why not just go do that other thing then.. naturally social media doesn't halt that, so much as I think it's formed a trap that allot of people fall into, because if theres one thing human nature has taught us is.. we are more likely to opt for the easy solution even if it's not as good as the harder one, that has more substance to it.. just look at the diet of the American people for that one..
So .. as another year rolls around if your actually seeing this and you actually read this far (bravo to you) think about it.. in this social media world is there really any creative sustenance in it, or are we all just mindlessly consuming massive quantities of cotton candy and telling ourselves that it's so great because we can have any flavor of cotton candy from anywhere in the world at any time.. Sure connection and information share is fantastic it really is, but I suspect thats only a tiny sliver of what we call "social media" and it could certainly be maintained without mindlessly consuming all that damn sugar... Just saying..