Pinar wrote a fantastic post that was about quality versus quantity in social media. It made me think about why I post my pictures to social media. I’m one of those photographers who stands for quantity. I post many photos of the same scene, in similar situations – all in the search for an expression, for the right picture, the right atmosphere, the right feeling.
Why do I use social media?
Why do I use social media? What does Instagram, Facebook, Flickr do for my photography? I have in earlier posts mentioned that through social media I find a lot of inspiration. Through social channels I get to see the photos that I let myself be inspired by. I meet photographers, ideas, technical challenges that I might be attracted to (or not). Some I try, others I dismiss. The inspirational part of social media is something I can get without actually posting a single image. So why do I post pictures on social media?
When I’m finished, I post
There are several reasons. One is that when I publish my image, it forces me to finish the picture. As long as I’ve been interacting with social media, it has also served as a tool to force me to complete a picture. I have made a conscious choice that I’m done when I publish. At least my part of the work is done. Through social media my images and my image ideas can meet other viewer and through there viewing and interpretations, change is inevitable. When I’m finished with my part I want others to react to my images. I believe that through social media channels my photography will get an opportunity to meet other eyes, others experience and have a new life.
I get confirmation
Another reason that I post on Instagram and Facebook is that I want to get confirmation. Just like many other people, I crave and need others’ confirmation, I need to be and feel a sense of belonging. Social media is a tool to get just that: confirmation and togetherness. The big dilemma is that even though I feel blessed that I get a like or a heart, or even a comment that satisfaction doesn’t last long.
And as I see it, social media isn’t built for deep conversations (I know that Shelly and Brett will object and say that I ought to try out G+ (I have lurked around and I see a truly friendly place very well moderated, so join if you want to talk more, be part of challenges etc)). I know what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a much deeper conversation about meaning and imagery. I want to talk about all the details, the thought process that is behind an image. That type of conversation is hard to get on social channels because most social media is text based which is a great limitation. Social media opens a door to get confirmation, and I get some through posting. Not enough to be satisfying, but enough to keep me coming back for more; by posting again and again.
Based on a project
My relationship with social media and my posting to social media, however, is based on the projects I’m working on. It’s a deliberate decision. This year (2017), I’m doing a 52 projects that has its starting point on social media. Part of my practice is in the process of posting to social channels. Publishing the images on my blog and then on Facebook and Instagram makes me feel less lonely, strange or in some way ‘off’. Through social media I can see that I’m not the only one that makes images of and with toys. When you get to the bottom of why I post my works to social media like Facebook, Instagram, twitter and flickr, is that I get a feeling that I’m not alone.