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4 reasons not to join social networks – Part 4: Trivialism

In the last weeks we have discussed the problems of privacy, copyright and time.

This part of the essay deals with trivialism.

I’m afraid to loose my identity by getting too dependent on other people’s feedback. A ‘like’ is not real! I don’t necessarily want my art to be popular in this kind of platform. Popularity might trivialize the value of my art.

Let’s be honest – we all want and need to be successful. Even as an artist. We all want to be appreciated for what we are and what we do.

But at the same time ‘art’ cannot be there to please its audience and still be called great art. This is a discrepancy that almost certainly affects every artist’s life in some way or rather.

We want to be appreciated but not ‘liked’, well at least not by the majority of people.

Popularity – so it seems – goes hand in hand with trivialism. And art has to go beyond that by definition (even when it is not criticizing society). The artist creates for something ‘bigger’ – more ‘idealistic’ – than the market.

Social media on the other hand is often about being ‘liked’. How can we keep our ideals in a world of instant ‘likes’, cat videos and selfie-celebrities on Instagram?

On the other hand – think of the artists that we most value today for their authenticity and idealism.

Do you believe they would have used Facebook? or would have blogged about their work? Van Gogh, for example, would have done all of that, I’m sure. He would have liked the aspect of talking to ‘normal’ people rather than just to ‘doctors’ of art. Also he felt much too much like a missionary to keep his thoughts and work private. Many artists kept diaries and many of these diaries were written assuming they would be published one day.

The ‘big names’ today certainly do have their online presence, although quite a few of these Twitter, Facebook etc. accounts are probably written by ghostwriters.

The question again for me is not if we should use social media but how we should use it.

How to be authentic on social media as an artist

  • not ‘ask’ for likes
  • don’t change your route according to popular trends
  • no likes for likes
  • be supportive but not in order to be supported
  • share things you like but not with the expectation to get shared yourself
  • share original content
  • don’t become addicted to the dopamine boost through likes and shares
  • don’t get frustrated when there is no response
  • show yourself exactly how you are – don’t change in order to be more popular
  • use hashtags
  • be patient

Then the Internet will help you to find ‘your’ audience – not any audience, but the right people who will value what you have to offer.

4 reasons not to join social networks – Part 1: Privacy

4 reasons not to join social networks – Part 2: Copyright

4 reasons not to join social networks – Part 3: Time




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