Social Media Update

freedom

I was sitting in my office attempting to arrange too many shoots in too little time and looked up at the dashboard on my blog. In the middle, just slightly to the right, was the “top searches” section and they read as follows.

1. Fuji 670 (Please people I wrote this years ago and it’s the only equipment review I can remember doing and it’s still NUMBER ONE. So depressing but I know it’s probably not going to change.)
2- Smogranch (Makes sense.)
3- Deleting social media account(Popular as of late.)
4- What if you don’t have a social media account (Sounds like a panicky person perhaps.)

Yep, there they are, in that order. It’s so sad to me that “photography” or “documentary” or something of meaty order wasn’t on tap, but no, denied once again. It did trigger something VERY interesting however. It made me think about social media for the first time since I deleted my accounts. Why? Because I had already completely forgotten about them.

People keep asking me, “Do you miss them?” Are you frickin kidding me? Not only do I not miss them, I am LOVING the free emotional space no longer tied up with hmm….let’s see…relentless self-promotion, cats, police brutality claims, surely more Olympic trivia and than anyone can possibly consume, celebrity news and countless other valueless tidbits we love to throw around in record fashion.

What valueless drivel have I wasted my time on by NOT having social media? Well, I finally read the book about Buddhism I’d been trying to get to forever. Finished it, as well as many other books I’d been meaning to get to, and I’ve also spent the time writing 15,000 words of the book about my father. I’ve also created a gaggle of new “art” pieces, completely reorganized my office and have…wait for it…wait for it….taken up photography once again. New equipment, new shoots, new plans and new books(arty, edition of one) in the works including one that REALLY has my juices flowing.

And you know what else I’ve done? I’ve fielded a nonstop flow of “I read your social media post and I was so happy for you. I’d love to do it but I’m not quite there,” encounters, which I actually enjoy. First, I’m always amazed when someone reads my blog. Second, I’m glad a lot of other people are at least contemplating this avenue because I think they would have much more peaceful and centered lives without the constant drumbeat of nonsense.

And yes, there are plenty of people I have not corresponded with since that day, and perhaps never will again, but I’m totally okay with this. It appears I still know A LOT of people and can’t keep up with those in human form let alone those in cyber form.

My advice, just do it already. We as a species have gone down this hopeless rabbit hole, and the benefit is NOT outweighing what it has done to us as communicators. I met with a friend recently, someone I was close with at one point in time, and he could not have a conversation without referring to what was happening on social media. I kept having to say “I’m not on it,” which was met with a strange stare and then he would go right back to asking if I had seen such and such on Facebook. And you want to know what else? His work has slipped. And he’s no longer as interesting as he once was. Nor is he a good conversation. Not to mention he can’t finish a thought or sentence. Sadly, he’s not the only one I’ve had this experience with.

And finally, what has come from this departure is a return to letter writing. I’ve always written letters not only because I love doing so, but also because I love RECEIVING letters. My mind feels far less cluttered than it did a few short months ago, which for me is flat out working. I still find it very difficult to quiet my mind, still can’t really meditate and still have too many things going on at one particular time, but I think I’m moving in the right direction. As a friend once said in referring to photography, “You need to find the clarity within the clutter.” I couldn’t agree more.

20 Responses to “Social Media Update”

  1. Mick Buston says:

    Hi Dan

    There is no link to the GF670 post. If there is no unboxing video then don’t send me the link as that is the best bit for me. Love people putting batteries in and the different ways you can add the strap. Have sent you a letter about this oversight :-)

  2. I’m sorry Daniel, but in the meantime you have another hit on that Fuji GF670 review :-)

    Regarding letter writing. I recently found old letters I wrote to some family members back in the eighties and nineties. Good memories. I will try to pick up that habit, thanks to you!

    Lately, I’m less active on Facebook. And it looks like I don’t miss anything at all. I will probably deactive my account someday. A while ago, I deleted some other social media accounts which I haven’t missed a day since.

  3. You’re absolutely right. The other day I deleted my Facebook photography page. I hear from left and right how important is the social media these days. I really would love to delete not just my Facebook, but also my Tumblr, my twitter, my Flickr and my 500px account. As a struggling artist I wish the process of making a living as an artist/photographer was more organic as it was in the past. And I really wish more people would think like you.
    A lot of us need refreshing ideas, far from what millions of other photographers are doing. I appreciated your words and thank you to remind me to think outside of the box. Yesterday I was listening to you on a podcast and got me thinking the difference between how I used to create and how I create images now a days, and within seconds I started to miss the FREEDOM of art making and it remind me of why I started to make art in the first place, freedom. Thank you

    PS: Perdon mi ingles.

    Lucca
    http://www.luccanazario.com

    • Smogranch says:

      Lucca,
      Go back to how you made art in the beginning. It’s the only chance you have. I don’t see the social sites doing much of anything to help sustain a career, regardless of word on the street. Make work with meaning and you have something of value. Otherwise, it’s just noise.

  4. lionelB says:

    GF670. Heavy. Noisy. Ugly.
    Also, like being six again and unwrapping a bicycle at Christmas.

  5. Dude, this post is awesome. I too have started again to load up the four reel tank. Hey, what Buddha book was that.
    Finally got a vintage 28mm finder for the little buddy.
    Btw. Ernesto is planning probably his last river trip with some of his buddies that are still alive. He said late April /early may. Wanna be a part of that rag tag crew? Should be epic.

  6. Sean Breslin says:

    I was thinking about buying a new camera strap the other day so searched online and came across someone on YouTube who had made a video of himself unboxing his new camera strap! Social media can be absolutely insane.

    It’s great that you have a lot more time for art/photography projects and reading but I’m a little concerned that you didn’t mention cycling in the post.

    Personally I only have the dreaded FB left as I’ve quit everything else, but on Jan 1st. I decided to quit alcohol as well. It’s easily one of the best things I’ve ever done – more money for film and travelling (and music), more cycling time, I’m far more productive both photographically and in business (not photo related), not to mention better health and clarity of mind.

    The similarity between alcohol consumption and social networking is quite chilling.

    Oh, and I want a GF670 :-)

    • Smogranch says:

      Sean,
      I didn’t mention cycling because with Lyme I haven’t ridden in six months. However, new bike is days away so I’m starting to think about riding again. I too, again because of Lyme, haven’t had alcohol in six months, and I too won’t be going back. Far more productive and just more energy in general, and considering I have Lyme that is saying something.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I’m guilty of looking up that GF670 post in the past. But it had an unintended consequence as it made me discover Smogranch and for that I’m thankful that you wrote the gear review. I never bought the camera but your site has exposed me to a lot of interesting ideas and concepts that I wouldn’t necessarily have encountered otherwise. So in terms of spreading a different viewpoint on the photography industry that post definitely has some value. Incidentally, I deleted my Facebook account and my blog after Christmas. Best thing I’ve done – so much more time to actually go out and create.

    • Smogranch says:

      Stephanie,
      This blog could be a fill in for social. Just a slower and more in depth rate….but it’t online none the less…..glad you are reading.

  8. Charlene says:

    I’m one of those want-to-but-can’t-quite-get-rid-of-Facebook. I will say though, that reading about everything you’ve done instead of waste time on this thing, kicks me a step or two closer. It’s fracturing my already wanting attention span in very bad ways.

    Give me a holler if you need another pair of eyes to proof read your novel. I promise to give you a hard time. I come with references :)

  9. Kirk Mastin says:

    You are living the dream by living outside of FB. I am trying to do this and I tell myself I will once I can get someone else to manage my business page without having to involve myself daily.

    So at this point how do you interact with the online world? Just email and blogging?

    Anything else?

    Kirk

    • Smogranch says:

      Kirk,
      I really don’t want to spend much time interacting with the online world. I’m not anti social I just don’t want to know that version of people. I blog, I have plenty of email, but I prefer to call, meet in person, attend events or exchange letters. Tonight I’ve got two former White House photographers speaking locally. I just put two letters/art pieces in the mail and I have been doing email all morning. Social media for me held no value whatsoever, and I never even had a business page, nor did I ever subscribe to anyone else’s.

  10. Jason Timmis says:

    Reading this post got me thinking…and yes (laughing), now that I think about it, it actually was that Fuji 670 post that brought me here. But just like Stephanie it was what brought me but it was the photography, the documentary, the civility of the climate, the sound thoughts from someone that’s been around the block and back and gets IT, the books, The Bandit, and okay maybe that beer with the books, that keeps me coming back.

    You throw in a Leica, a Nikon, TriX, some flip flopping between being a photographer and not being a photographer that may or may not have shot his last wedding and some social media anarchy and you got yourself a blog people…don’t matter how you got here…and BTW where is here? It’s awful smoggy. I can’t see a thing…’cept some cows. Maybe we’re on a ranch.

    :-)

    Keep on keep’n on Brother

  11. Chantal says:

    you continue to inspire. “find the clarity within the clutter.” I needed that. thank you.

  12. The reason I am pretty closed about telling people I take pictures is that most people who are “in to photography” in a casual way are actually “in to” cameras. Far too many conversations about photography leap immediately to “so, what do you shoot? Nikon, eh? We can never be friends ha ha ha!” which does not have a good effect on my mental state.

    Anyways. On the internet, photography == gear, not pictures. To first order. It’s pretty depressing.

    • Smogranch says:

      Andrew,
      YOu are very right on. I dread those conversations. Actually, I’m dreading most photo related conversations LATELY, but that will change. there’s a lot of good going on out there.

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