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The Impetus: being social in spite of social media

A flat lay of 2 magazines on top of a marble counter top. One magazine is Hagerty driver's club, and the other is open to an automotive painting in The English Home. To the right of the magazines are they keys to a 1965 ford mustang, a pair of vintage Serengeti sunglasses, and fronds from a boston fern. To the right of the magazines are 4 paint swatches that highlight the colour palette within the image.


At the risk of radiocarbon dating myself, I can say that I have witnessed the rise and fall of every major Social Media platform. One by one the sites appeared, each with their own unique niche and userbase. Then one by one they began to sell up and amalgamate. Over time their unique features faded away and the same forced trends began to diminish the remaining platforms until they became the desolate algorithm-driven websites that we know and love today. Years ago, you could easily find and connect with real people and content that mattered to you. It was also easier for artists and creators to organically share their work with the people that wanted to see it; regardless if they knew it existed or not. First, we lost chronological timelines and then came the deluge of ads and forced content that took the place of what we were actually there to engage with. Next, we were told that a mere 10% of the content that we wanted to see was sufficient. Clearly, we did not have any idea of what was good for us. And finally, the advent of search restrictions which make it almost impossible to find any content that hasn’t been churned out by an account with at least ten thousand bots.


The unfortunate reality is that when it comes to sharing their art on social media, artists are now left with few viable options. Option one is to spend hours on their craft, post a picture, and within 30 seconds, watch as it disappears into a void - never to be seen or heard from again. Option two is to open their wallets and pay to have a post distributed as an advertisement and hope that it truly reaches their target audience and not all of the of bot accounts that are actively ruining our lives. Option three also begins by opening their wallet, but in this case, it involves drinking the questionable Kool-Aid and purchasing a brainless bot army of followers. Your newly purchased army will then attach themselves to your account like a horde of zombies, which should supposedly increase the odds of individuals with functional brains seeing your posts. Option four isn’t clear on what exactly it entails, but it would require one to spend hours of their life attempting to win over the temperamental and arguably useless algorithms; perhaps with an offering of precious goods or a really impressive interpretative dance. Personally, I am more likely to punt a programmer into a volcano, than choose to waste 5 minutes of my life trying to appease a demonic algorithm, but that’s just me.


So where does that leave us? It leaves us here, on the section of my website that is labelled “blog”. A blog isn’t a revolutionary new idea. In fact, by examining a few broken webpage shards, one can date the concept of blogging all the way back to the Early GeoCities Era. Despite these ancient origins, a personal art blog comes with many benefits, such as an algorithm-free way to get to know yours truly. As an artist, I am not convinced that it is truly possibly to turn off that part of my brain, and as such, art will be woven in throughout this blog. I will also be sharing a look into my travels, my interests outside of art, and many pictures of my furry office assistant/rodent technician Fez (he is very excited to meet all of you). Cheers to being social in spite of social media and a Zuckerberg free experience!


Sophia R Signature



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