The other day I realized something that shocked me:
the more I’m on social media, the less happy I am. I’m less fun to be around, less present, less authentic, and less myself.
Social media has been worshiped as the platform to “get yourself out there” and grow your business. So we end up wasting our precious time on facebook calling it ‘networking’ and becoming progressively more horrible at interacting with real alive people. I don’t doubt that social media drastically improves lots of businesses. It’s how a lot of my clients find out about me, to be sure–so I’m not pretending it’s completely worthless and evil or that I’m holier than all of it.
But I refuse to play icky games to get more followers, ‘likes’, or generally anything that tries to make me look popular. No trading likes, Monday Mingling, or pointless contests for me.
So does this put me behind in the biz-growing goodness of social media?
Lots of people end up seeing your work when you’re willing to do those things. But I just can’t feel good about being even a little scammy or shady or desperate just to get a few more eyes on my photographs–it’s inconsistent with who I am as an artist.
It feels too yucky to be that person and simultaneously chirp about authenticity, personal connections, and creating honest art.
It hurts my photographer heart to know just how many people are falling into this trap and doing exactly that–preachin’ keeping it real while doing scummy things for more popularity. It seems like we used to be genuinely interested in other people, like as real friends, you know? But now we’re all swirling in the social media vortex, and we have to be constantly posting something witty/interesting/breathtaking if we want our business to survive, let alone grow. No wonder we’re tempted to pay for ‘likes’ and draw followers in less-than-upstanding ways.
It takes a lot of strength and courage to be an honest artist–to be true to yourself on all fronts of your business, your creative process, your interactions with people (via the internet or in real life).
I want to hear about how you’re keepin’ it real–truly, authentically, without scams or pretending. Tell me in the comments what you’re up to, or I’d love to hear from you via email at brookebee @ gmail.com.