This post is effectively part three of ‘No Social Media’. I detailed previously why I’d taken a break from social media and the results of that. In this one I’ll speak about the way forward as I see it.
So what is the perceived function of social media? It’s to interact with others as an addendum to your actual life. But what happens in reality is that the virtual gradually becomes the real. I very briefly used Facebook but didn’t like it, I used to have 500px account but have deleted it. I have a Flickr account that I’ve used for a few years and a Twitter one that I generally use to chat about sport. The newest platform I use is Instagram, I’ve found it the easiest way of communicating with other photographers, or sharing a Street Portrait with a subject.
So whats the next big social media platform? remember MySpace and Bebo. You see the pattern here, the latest social media site comes along and you engage with it for a while, eventually it’s consumed by a giant company and then becomes more commercial. Have you noticed the number of targeted ads you get in Twitter or Instagram?
Just over 18 months ago I started this website, I have complete control over the content and it’s ad free. Okay I have to pay for it,but it’s basically the price of a coffee each week. I’ve got almost 3000 followers on Flickr but how many actually engage with the imageI posted. Far fewer follow my website but they will take the time to read what I’ve written and can engage with me. You tend to get constructive criticism and feedback to your site.
So going forward, I intend to refocus on my website as my primary online presence. I’ll still have accounts with Instagram and Flickr,but will only post on them when I’ve added to my website. It’s worth taking a step back now and again to make sure that your website and not your media feeds are the your primary focus. Instagram encourages you to post frequently which tends to make you focus on the short term and just getting something uploaded rather than only posting your best work or working on projects.
Since writing this post Eric Kim has posted an article about the downsides of Social media and deleting your social media feeds.