At present, I am active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and occasionally Twitter.
Last time when Facebook was ‘new’, I remember being very addicted to it. Besides playing Facebook games (Pet Society and Restaurant City, etc) , I liked to post photos, stalk people, see their photos, write status and anticipate the replies.
However, as I aged, my usage of Facebook has also evolved. I no longer post status because I don’t want to be on constant broadcast about my life. I do check my Facebook every day but it serves more like newsfeeds.
Moreover, unless my status update is about me dying or getting married, people generally don’t care. Furthermore, I heard Facebook is competing with YouTube. So interesting videos show up in Facebook newsfeed first, resulting in my personal updates often get flushed down.
The next rising star (or current super star) is Instagram. It seems that everyone, especially the young, is using them. Many photographers are also in the game.
I vividly remember signing up Instagram in 2012, and only posted boring photos like my bag, my bubbletea, lamp post, etc and used their filters to make my photos ‘nicer’. I didn’t get any likes at all because not many friends were active on it.
Then I went to the UK and suddenly I received many likes from my friends because my UK pictures were ‘special’ and more and more friends were getting active on it.
Somehow I became very concerned about how many likes and follow I would get.
For sure, I was super active on Instagram during the 2 years in UK because my ‘likes’ was constantly higher than usual. Haha!
Then after I am back, life became ‘normal’ again. And I started using Instragram for my photography. My ‘likes’ dropped.
After observing how people play the system to get more likes and became very obsessed with it, I realised:
Life has more to the number of likes you received. Number is just a game. On my filmbasedtraveler, I mainly and only post photos I shot on film. Nothing personal.
Then I also realised people just like your photos for the sake of it. Because it’s like returning favours. Today, you like my post. Tomorrow I must like yours back. Hence, gradually, the ‘likes’ becomes no value.
An extremely beautiful photo might not get more than 10 likes if the user doesn’t market himself by putting tonnes of hashtags or tagging other instagram accounts. A very common photo, however, gets more than 100 likes because the user markets himself like crazy. Go comment, like and follow then unfollow other accounts, etc.
Furthermore, you know thing is bad when Instagram follower count has gradually became a portfolio where your new friends judge you by comparing you to their follower’s count. If yours is higher, they respect you and automatically think all your photos are heavenly nice.
Because when people follow my account in front of me, they will murmur ‘oh, 700.’
Even when someone commented on my photos, it’s very obvious they are just hoping to hit a jackpot that you might follow them. It’s bloody irritating. The real feedback is not by ‘likes’ and ‘comments’. But by harsh words from a real photographer!
(I got criticised by a professional photographer and it hurts real bad)
You see, I often got compliment from others online about my photos. When I showed my work to a real photographer, he could easily point out 10 errors. Such as overexposed, messy, and not well composed.
Lastly, everyone is narcissist. They only care about their own photos. Who would really look at your photos?
If I were to like photos I truly like on Instagram. I think it would have less than 10 likes from me per day.
So, don’t get upset or offended if you don’t get many likes. Because everything is just superficial. The number doesn’t give justice about your ability and skill.
I will still post photos but I no longer track my number of ‘likes’.
Social medias can be toxic if you are too involved into it.
Thanks for reading.