• martinwrbaker

Social Media’s Diminishing Returns

I’m curious if this is a familiar with other creative folk who inevitably now depend on social media as their only audience.

As many causal users one gets addicted to the sense of validation when you receive various likes and comments for uploading something. Then god forbid should you then share something that’s met with a digital tumbleweed, your met with an unsettling sense of self disappointment, mortified if it happens to be something that took an awful lot of work to produce. In reflection it’s quite disturbing how dependant one can feel on such a chance set of algorithms, personal tastes, Trent ion spans and timing that now seems to determine how well your going to sleep tonight.

After one can deuce any of the factors just mentioned, rather than shrugging it off, this tentative means of judging ones own material becomes critical,and strategies generate to make something more imitate and attention grabbing, strategically timed, strategically shared, more striking, more funny, more likeable. Oh dear, how did it get here?

I don’t know about you, this is not a unique dilemma to lockdown, even in the days of exhibiting and art fairs etc, social media has long taken the lions share of creative self validation, sorry, I meant self validation. One feels a rushing sense of despair whenever one would find any distant friends clock up multitudes of social media followers, shamefully blaming an overly introverted past for not having the same social life credentials to bath in a torrent of positive reception whenever you so much as lift a finger.

I realise entirely, that that mindset is missing the point. Which I believe begs the question for many who’ve experienced this, what unmet needs are systemic in all this. I’m not prepared to blame lockdown, it may have merely perpetuated this environment, but I believe many peoples social existence, or sense of belonging has long been dismantling. As far as the social media goes, I dare say it will get increasingly challenging to gain people’s attention on these platforms, unless I suppose you already one of the aforementioned factors currently in your favour, but such things are rarely permanent for most mortals. Critical feedback is valuable, but diminishing feedback is a less constructive but inevitable situation, whatever you can put it down to. So rather that painstakingly pandering to a hypothetical audience, I’m becoming inclined to abandon that flawed purist of validation for something else, I just haven’t worked out what yet, so here I am. PM me and you’ll be the first to know when I do work out what that is.

As far as my status, writing brings catharsis and probably a necessary break from an overly obsessive work ethic around the visual art practise. But enough about me. See you later.

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For whom it might ever be of relevance, my Artist Journal entires are now kept on my instagram/Facebook videos section, and the usual podcast platforms. Under either 'Martin Baker Art' or 'Passive Cha