Thursday, February 28, 2019

Messages From The Universe

This quote has been popping up at me everywhere lately.

Clearly, it's the Universe sending me a message.

Writing hard and clear about what hurts has been on my mind for...oh, I don't know, maybe 30 or so years?  

Did I mention my tendency to procrastinate?  World class.

So it might finally be time to actually start. Today.
But probably tomorrow.

If you are someone who has been nice to me at some point in my life, I will remember to thank you in the Acknowledgements section of my book(s) when I finally write them.

If you are not someone who has been nice to me at some point in my life, I will not be thanking you in the Acknowledgements section of my book(s)...but I do otherwise thank you for all the material you've given me to write about.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Heart > Mind

If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know how much social media gets under my skin but, oh my goodness, it is a treasure trove for ideas of stuff to write about!  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, someone on Instagram posted a lament about how frustrated she felt that posts about her upcoming wedding garnered tons of attention (i.e. likes) whereas her posts about her business or creative accomplishments didn't get as much attention as she would like, or felt she...deserved.

She went into a big thing about how she noticed that posts about engagements, baby showers, birth announcements, etc. on social media resulted in the same thing.  It made her feel uneasy.

She suggested that maybe we should throw business showers instead of  baby showers for each other.

Of course, 153,296,702 women agreed with her. (That number might be a slight exaggeration.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Use Words Not The Like Button

If you read the 'About' page on my photo art website Land O' Make Believe , somewhere in there it says: I needed to find a way to make people see and feel again...to make them slow down, to pause for just a minute. 

That sentence or something similar is also in multiple newspaper articles about me.

For awhile, it worked.
My artwork did make people slow down and really see what they were looking at.  I knew this because they told me so. I would receive messages about how some people would linger on an image of mine and let it sink in, feel it.  Or how it brought up a beloved memory.  That sort of thing.

I treasure those interactions like you would not believe.  My husband will tell you that I get more excited about that kind of thing than I do when I make a sale (but sales are really nice so please feel free to go buy something of mine right now!)

But getting people to slow down and see is not working anymore and the reason I know that is because of LIKES.

Every single time I talk about LIKES I am always compelled to add a disclaimer along the likes of "of course I always appreciate receiving likes" because right after that there is a big old BUT.

I appreciate receiving likes BUT they make me crazy.
I appreciate receiving likes BUT sometimes I don't.
I appreciate receiving likes BUT I wish there was no such thing as the like button.

I'm so frustrated by the epidemic of 'liking' that I am in serious reconsideration of how I do things so that I can not rely so heavily on social media.  Oh I know there are 700 bazillion businesses and people who are A-OK with getting likes but, you know, it just ain't me.  The like button makes me feel hollow.  That's the truth.

A week or so ago on Instagram someone posted a beautiful poignant photograph. She had captured a real moment between two people with her camera - it took my breath away. 
I noticed she had a couple dozen likes for it but no comments.  So I left one.  I told her how it made me feel, that it was the best thing I'd seen on the internet in days. I wanted to show my appreciation with words and I wanted to make her feel good. She never responded to my comment which maybe is her style but I could never in a million years not respond to the kind of comment I left for her.

When was the last time you showed your appreciation with words instead of or in addition to the nanosecond like click?  Why not NOT click the like button and instead leave a comment?
How many times did you mindlessly click the like button as you scrolled scrolled scrolled or swiped swiped swiped?  At the end of the day do you remember what you really saw that day?
I mean, really saw. 

We're too wrapped up in this like thing.  I almost never use the like button because it's so awkward to me + well, I kinda really just hate it.  Sorry.  Still just being truthful.

We're so inundated by images.  I don't think our brains can handle it.  We're rapidly losing our attention spans and that is really, really bad. That's one of the big reasons I have to come up with ways to do things differently instead of posting on social media.  If I sent you an email with my latest art you couldn't click a like button, but you could potentially look at for longer than a second or two because you wouldn't be under the spell of social media. The trance of scrolling and swiping.

Can you imagine walking through a museum really fast saying "like...like...like..." as you walked past amazing artwork?  Hopefully you wouldn't do that.  But you are doing exactly that on the internet.  It's not good.  I think we all should be horrified that we're no longer in awe of...much.  When was the last time you saw something that made you talk about it at the dinner table? 

The following link is to an article that nailed this topic better than I ever could.  I urge you to read it.  Here's a sample from it:

The Like has become the currency of carelessness — a way to show we approve without being deeply invested. In many cases, it covers for a lack of attention. It helps fake news propagate, discourages meaningful conversations, encourages shallowness, and exacerbates the most psychologically damaging effects of social media. 

Yikes, right? 
Here's the link:  Why Facebook and Instagram Should Kill The Like Button

I hope you slow down today and really see some stuff and show your appreciation for it with words.

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