Dear friend, I think a lot of us fall victim to a “social media treadmill”; we seek to get more and more followers for the sake of it; without really knowing or asking, “Why?”
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A year ago I deleted my Instagram. Why? I fell victim to the social media treadmill; a metaphorical rat race, where you were simply seeking more followers for the sake of it, seeking more likes, just to keep up, or when comparing yourself with others.
The main problem was this:
I was making photos to maximize my “likes” on Instagram and social media, not to make a body of photographic work that gave me a deeper sense of purpose or direction in life.
In other words, deleting my Instagram has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my creativity.
The reason why the “treadmill” analogy exists is because of this:
We’re just expending useless energy, running in a hamster wheel, just to keep up at the same pace, rather than considering the philosophical why behind our photography.
The first question is always asking ourselves,
“Why do I make photos?”
For myself, I make photos to make an impact on society. I see my photography as visual sociology; using my camera as a tool to analyze, critique, and change society. I work in the spirit of Lewis Hine and Philip Jones Griffiths.
To me there ain’t a right or wrong reason to take photos. There is no ultimate ethical philosophy that applies to everyone; only you.
This means, you must discover your own purpose as photographer; making photos for a greater good and for future generations, instead of just falling victim to uploading photos to the gram (because that is what everyone else is doing).
You can decide to step off the treadmill
You have the power to decide not to play this silly rat race. Only use social media in a way which empowers you. If you don’t like it, recognize you have the power to quit!
BE BOLD, brazen, and make photos which give you a deeper sense of purpose and direction in life!
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