I still like blogging, though it can be hard to stay motivated when no one leaves comments anymore except for spammers, and Google seems to think this blog is only about those pictures I took of a certain dead celebrity's childhood home in Gary, Indiana. I still like Flickr, though it seems like the communities there are not as active since the rise of Instagram (yawn), Facebook, and Twitter. But I still have accounts at both Facebook and Twitter because I feel obligated to. It's become essential. It's kind of like having a phone. Though in my case it's like having a phone but only getting calls from telemarketers and being bombarded with text messages from a service that won't let you unsubscribe.
When I am feeling cynical, I start thinking that the only reason people go online anyway is to look at porn. What use do they have for fine arts or anything requiring a vocabulary beyond a few four letter words? When I am feeling especially contemptuous, sometimes I even think that the only time the rest of the world truly takes notice of a person's online publications is when that person becomes the subject of media attention for other reasons, like if they are under investigation for kidnapping or murder. Suddenly, their every word becomes important and each phrase is scrutinized and analyzed by pundits and talking heads. Yes, the depraved notion that infamy is the best publicity. But you shouldn't have to become a porn star or a 21st century Roxie Hart in order to matter on the internet.
|Is this all the Internet is good for? |
Is this what you have to do to get people to pay attention?
I feel like the promise of social media still has not been fulfilled. Instead of profound discussions and meaningful connections, we have trite missives about how drunk people are right now and stupid cat videos and vile, grammatically atrocious YouTube comments. Because of my introverted nature, I had been hoping to use social media as a crutch and online networking as a substitute for real networking. Back when I was still trying to become a screenwriter, I had some pretty bad experiences while trying to network in person and got my feelings hurt so many times by wannabe Hollywood types that I just kind of gave up on the idea of schmoozing. But now I realize that there really is no substitute for getting out and meeting people.
The Chicago art world people I've met so far have been really nice. Someone once mentioned how small the art community here is, despite being in such a large city, and I'm finding that to be true. It's nice to meet people who are who they say they are, instead of all the Twitter phonies proclaiming themselves to be experts, coaches, gurus, and future billionaires. They're no better than the Hollywood wannabes I mentioned earlier.
The Internet is an airless space, too two-dimensional to allow for true interaction. And perhaps because of this, art sales are still averse to it. Without the milieu of the gallery, without the collectors gazing contemplatively at the art, wine glasses in hand, without the eccentrically dressed art students and their sketchbooks and their bottles of PBR, without white walls or rough-hewn pop-up spaces, the Internet lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that going to an art show in person has. And besides, going to art shows is a great excuse to come up with a killer outfit.
So I'm still going to keep this blog going, and my Facebook and Twitter accounts. But I'm not going to put as much time or effort into Facebook or Twitter as I did before since it's not paying off for me and I don't enjoy it anyway. I will keep blogging, mainly for the sake of my new book I'm working on. But from now on all this Internet stuff is secondary and I am focusing my networking efforts where they count: in person.