It’s no surprise to those who know me, or have read through this blog, that I don’t particularly like how the internet is evolving. Part of that is the mass market to which it now appeals. Part of that is the steering away from the written form because photos and videos are so much easier to absorb. Most of it, though, I’ll admit is internal. I haven’t evolved with it.
The broader audience, or I suppose “contributors” is what they really are, has blended the online population into that of the physical world. Tweeters and Facebook friends are coming from all sorts of cultural backgrounds, including age (and by extension, era of adolescence) and education and value systems. On paper I appreciate the diversity, and everybody should have the freedom of access to the internet and expressing themselves thereby. But this clogs both the social media and focus of the online press with Biebermania and #ignoranthashtags and people believing that the LOLcats photos they’re making are original and creative. We are all being bombarded with shallow content.
This greatly hinders my personal motivation to create and contribute. The beginning of the end of civilization, I know – what I have to say is exactly that important. This may not affect anybody but me and the 1.2 people who ever skim through my writings, but for a moment I’m going to be completely self-centered and say that my creativity is fundamental to my existence and, overall, what I give to society as a whole.
I look at what the living artists and writers I adore are doing in applying their efforts and brilliants into accessible online works with thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of regular readers. Much like with television I never had the courage, or rather the gall, to march into creative territory and say “I WILL MAKE MY LIVING THROUGH YOU!” I convince myself I would’ve failed by now. But expressing yourself on the internet is free. All I would have to fall back on is, I don’t know, my existing level of skill and education and a supportive base of friends and family? So what’s the difference? Why can’t I go out and sell myself now? It’s because I was never good at selling myself to begin with. I can’t bring myself to request other people to listen to me.
Through Twitter I get to follow many of the artists I respect as if I knew them. There are many web comic artists whom I follow, and most of them know each other and are engaged all the time in Twitter-based conversation for all their mutual fans to see. There’s a community there, the kind of community that I miss. But when I also see the trending topic lists as a mass wave of hyper-marketed garbage in pop music and bad TV my motivation is dragged down by the reality that I will likely never get noticed, because there is too much substance in what I want to give to the world for it to be worth the effort of those gaga for Gaga to delve in. And beyond the shallow end of the cultural pool there are too many bloggers and too may photographers waiting for their big break. I will always be working a day job, I gather, so being fully engaged in something creative and involved remains a pipe dream.