This popped up in my news feed - no, not on Facebook but on the News app on my iPhone. If you click the screen shot you can go to the article published on The Telegraph in early February 2018. If you don't have the time or want to read the article, it's about the millions now being spent to educate people on the worst effects of social media, particularly wanting better protections for children using smart phones. One thing that caught my eye and kind of freaked me out was this statement:
"Tristan Harris, who helped launch the campaign and was once an in-house ethics adviser for Google, told The Telegraph he was concerned by the influence internet companies now have. “The thoughts of two billion people every day are steered by 50 people in Mountain View,” said Mr Harris, referring to the Californian headquarters of Google."
I have been using less social media myself for one simple reason... my wife. You see she raised something with friends when we were talking and it got me thinking. She was talking about the negatives she'd seen with social media, then, she mentioned me as an example. My ears pricked up wondering what was coming next. She said ...
"I remember when Rob would post a photo that was really good and it would get 4 or 5 likes, but he'd see a picture posted of something stupid or boring but it would get dozens of likes. It would depress him that he'd spend so much time creating an image and it not being appreciated..."
Wow! She's right of course. It's how I felt and probably how many people feel. About a year ago, I deleted my "photo" page from Facebook and, to be honest I wonder why I keep my Instagram going.
Yes, the medical experts have come out saying that our pursuit of likes and affirmation is making us unhappy. (Read about the studies here).
Even the founding president of Facebook, Sean Parker, admitted that Facebook set out to create an addictive product. Wow!
So I got to thinking about this, the whole social media thing and my photography and I came to the conclusion that I'll never want to be a professional photographer, as in one who makes the majority of my income shooting for others (it's my personal definition of the term "professional photographer" ).
I don't want to turn what I love into a job (for me) and I don't want to do it for the "likes" or "follows" or any of that social media B.S - it's unhealthy (for me). So why...?
I've never considered myself a creative person. Photography, however, let's me do something that I feel, fulfills my desire to create. Plus, and even more importantly, I love creating photos for others. I love being able to make someone happy with what I can do. Maybe that's another form of a "like" but, for me it's a healthy one. As long as I keep it in check and I don't get addicted to their "likes"
So 2018 will be one of pushing my creativity and hoping my photography makes others smile. Bugger the likes...