The Internet Age as a Creative Person
Some pros - it's easier than ever to come up with and distribute creative content. Places like YouTube mean anyone can make videos for people to watch; you can create a website, with the url as your own name if you're a narcissist, and write blog posts to spew out there; if you like making music, it's no trouble to get some cheap software and get it up on Soundcloud. Awesome!
The big con - self-promo.
Job/project not intrinsically tied to the internet? DON'T MATTER
YAH GOTTA DO THAT SELF-PROMO, BRAH
GOTTA GET THEM TWITS TO TWIT AT YOU
HAVE ALL THE GRAMMERS
SUB DON'T DUB
VINE... something or other fuck it
I'm not a detractor of social media; truth be told, I enjoy it a lot and I've actually, you know, found it helpful in keeping connected with some people. This isn't me ragging on social media.
What I am ragging on, however, is the be-all-end-all importance social media gets when it comes to "promoting" or "marketing" or (shudder) "BRANDING" yourself. This is especially sinful in creative fields, but you can see it creep up pretty much everywhere.
But it is particularly bad if you want to produce creative work. 'Cuz until you do get a sizeable following, nobody's going to advocate for your work like you can, so you gotta shove it in everybody's face and MAKE THEM LOVE IT.
Maybe I'm just bitter because I still haven't broke a hundred Twitter followers. That's probably it.
Actually, I'm probably just bitter as a cover-up for being to scared to put myself out there, but I didn't create this blog to be all vulnerable about insecurities (...all of the time...)!
I know that self-promo isn't restricted to social media; it's still common to have to advocate for yourself in real life situations (though, frankly, you can't remove the internet from your real life any more, ya luddite) and be pushy about why what you have to say is worth the time of people.
Online or off - I hate that shit.
As much as I would love to just be able to create stuff and do nothing else, that's not the way the world works.
Legwork must be put in; the tweets must be made, the letters must be sent, the emails too, the calls made, the (shudder) networking must happen.
Marketing, self-promo - it's a way of creating your own luck. Makes it more likely that one of those projects, or even career, you've been spending so much time on will take off; otherwise, you just have to cross your fingers and hope, out of nowhere, someone important sees your work and spreads it all around. In fields where attention = success (or at least tends to), working hard to get seen - moreover, liked - by a large number of people is pretty much necessary.
It's a popularity contest where the winner doesn't merely get bragging rights, like in high school, but financial security and further job opportunities.
Funny enough, although I'm an actor and therefore feed off the validation of others, I've never given a damn about being popular. Certainly not in high school, not in college either.
I can say pseudo-deep things about that tendency, like how it matters more to me the quality of people who enjoy and give feedback about my work than the quantity... but that's just me making retroactive excuses for a long-ingrained defense system - I will not shy out of that stage spotlight, but the social one... I will take any excuse to get out of that.
But instead of accepting that it's my own social anxiety holding me back, I'm just going to blame "self-promo culture," a term I just coined and immediately find insufferably infuriating.
Fuck you, "self-promo culture" - holding me back from focusing on prolific quality work of all mediums I like to dabble in and shit.