You know those times, when you have an idea in your head, but you just aren’t sure about everything that it entails? Since school ended last week, I have shifted my gaze back towards creation when I have the time. Sifting through some of my collective conceptual sketches and files, I found a few ideas that are in desperate need of creating. That said, it has been a few weeks and a fair share of experiences have passed by, and the muse is in need of some love and affection.
Now, back in the day, when I needed some direction and inspiration, I might have walked around, flipped through books or magazines, but as time and technology advance, I find that I stalk random Google searches and of course, create ridiculously specific boards on Pinterest for nearly every conceptual idea, inspiration, or subject I am fond of for art and design. Looking at it today, I realized I have over 100 boards and a stupid number of pins. Hands down, what makes Pinterest so nice is that I can have those boards with all my thoughts and inspirations right at my fingertips in a moment’s notice. One of the things I used to hate about random Google searches is if you forgot to save the image, you might never find it again.
I have even begun to branch off in my stalking to other sites like 500px, DeviantArt (which I used for ideas in the past), and even Flickr. There are a few of my friends there in those other forums, which makes it nice, but I think my biggest problem is that I am tiring of Google in general. Not so much in mail, but in social media, interface, and analytics. Even when I was using the Blogger tool, it wasn’t very integrated with its own products, and that was sad. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with “The Plus”, after being away for a while with school and such, I feel like a complete outsider. I also feel like the interaction has lost a bit of tenacity too.
If I could compare, Facebook is like a bulletin board in the family kitchen or dorm recreational room – it is the place where everyone goes to share their thoughts, memes, or activities with people local or of a close nature. Sometimes, I actually wonder if some of the people I have on Facebook get some of the inside jokes shared, but alas, they are in the inner sanctum anyway. I have noticed that I don’t share as much ridiculous stuff now that it has grown larger. I really need to remedy that. If I lose “friends” over being me, then it truly wasn’t friendship.
As for MySpace, well, that is like a revamped version of some of my teenage years hanging out on a park bench, but instead of us all wearing skateboarding sneaks and baggy jeans, we are all wearing fancy dresses and talking about work. It isn’t quite that same old glorified message board/ blog/ comment board. Oh the hours I would spend messing with code to get that to look like a video game threw up on my screen and good music playing in the background!
Ah yes, the place I have called a social media home for almost 3 years now?
For some reason it has snowballed.
It was a little thing at first. Snippets of drama spiced around the place and always at my periphery. I was not particularly involved, but it always affected people I knew and frustrated me. I wanted to mediate and of course tell people exactly how stupid and sheepish I thought they were being. of course, that is a boat rock that I wasn’t prepared to do. Then, I had my own fair share of drama and I kept it to myself (mostly). The first time I addressed drama with a handful of people, I learned that trust isn’t really something to be given freely in the really virtual world. but, I digress…
The drama passed or rather I forgot about it because it was not worth the effort or energy to put any time into. I kept coasting along my merry little way, but then I felt a vibe shift and I thought about those little snowball events. Each time I looked at my stream, I wasn’t feeling inspired or accepted. I started to get that funny feeling in my tummy like I was back in high school, but not even my high school, because I had some fun while I was there, but I felt like I was in that cliche Mean Girls or Veronica Mars kind of high school.
Popular people creating some (based on my design opinion) sub par work and getting 500+ pluses and comments, and it kind of began to cheapen the experience for me. Now, this is not a pity party because I know on a good day I churn out great work, and I can share it anywhere I want, but what I feel like is lost is the sense of community that I rather enjoyed from it. I was never anywhere – social media or real life – for the popularity or the bullshit, I went where I went for the inspiration and the learning. Currently, I don’t feel like I am learning much beyond what I don’t like about it anymore.
I mean, seriously, when I would prefer to go to the gym, go shoot and place it on my own self-hosted sites, or even “the family bulletin board”, then I have to question exactly what I am doing there.
Now, here is where the story changes a little. Sure, I was seeing the community devolve into high school, but I was sitting around with a very lovely lady named Patti that I had the pleasure of meeting through “The Plus”, and as we talked, I recalled why I was there originally. It was moments like that, the moments where I get to host a Get Critiqued hang-out, and the moments where I get to share and inspire through my own work. It is the moments we make without the camera in hand that make the moments we have then cradled in our palms so special.
So, I will ignore the high school aspects of it and I will choose to only “stalk up” the stuff worth my time – those are my friends, my fellow photogs/artists, and the others who are just kindred spirits. I believe in what it is that I do and what I create, I believe in the bonds that I have made, and if I continue to stick with it, there may be countless more moments like those already had in my future as well.
So, to sum it all up, real life is what you make it and so is the internet persona. If you can only see the shit, then your time will be shitty, but if you can see through it to the things that make it fruitful, then you will have an abundance. No matter what, get inspired and stay inspired.
Don’t let the trappings of life – virtual or not – get you into a hole you cannot climb out of.