Friday, February 14, 2014

A Social Media Manifesto (sort of) for Artists/Humans

This week, in the Professional Writing class that I teach (for art students), we were discussing social media. I've also been talking with my mom about this, as she's been setting up her Etsy shop for her cards (check it out--it's called Slender Stalk, and it's beautiful!) and experimenting with social media.  It got me thinking about why I have found it so valuable, and why I keep using it. Yes, it's fun, and of course, it's wonderful to connect with others who share the same passions. But it's more than that.

Here are some thoughts on the topic. I'd love to hear yours, too!

How can artists/humans benefit from social media?

Social media is a space that folks must navigate, enter, and fill. It is a convention center. It is a train station. It is a street.

Social media is a tool for communication (both sharing and listening). It is not a replacement for human connection. It is another way to speak to other humans.

We do not need to use social media to live. Ideally, it can add to/enhance our experience of life. To some, it can feel overwhelming and detrimental. I understand this. We must remember that we are able to use or not use social media anytime we like--we control it (not the other way around).

The purpose is not to sell work, to shout like the loudest infomercials about ourselves. We would not behave this way in public; thus, it behooves us to be mindful about our presence online. Online = in public. The point is never about getting numbers, sales, or recognition.

Not every social media channel will be useful for us. We have to make decisions about which will be most helpful for our work and our lives. Also, we can use these channels differently from one another.

An authentic voice (discussing real passions, thoughts, and both good and stupid ideas) will resonate with interested listeners. We can be silly, deep, thoughtful, irritated, inquisitive as we express ourselves.

Social media allows us to open our studio to the public. Even if we don’t have a studio. It allows us to visit other artists’ studios and have discussions about what we make.

Social media furthers our art and our thinking about art. It can be a good excuse to take our own art seriously (if we do not already).

A crucial part of being an artist is supporting the creativity and art of others. Social media allows us to be a champion for people and ideas that we believe in.

Social media can help us find a generous, supportive community (to which we must bring a generous, supportive presence). Social media is about connection. What if social media (like art) could help us become more open to the world and the place of the self here? What if it (like art) could help us to be more present? I think it can.


  1. since the intro to the cybernetic world back in the 50's, i've been interested in and on its impact on people and their interrelationships with each other as a unfamiliar 'tool'. how it's utilitly in the social media realm has affected, uncontrollably, the psyche of minds and how its imparted almost imposed a means of interaction amongst each other. how it has been introduced to the masses before its 'real world' understanding of its affects to the minds at different stages of development and cognitive abilities. the 'social media' is but one catch phrase that is used very loosely in its interpretation of the utilitarianism of this vehicle. an observation: interesting how the mind has been assimilated into the cybernetic mechanics in a similar way our synapses work in our own cerebellum, all thoughts and array of cognition seemingly juxtaposed sometimes without rational understanding. this 'social media' concept and its affects must be written about as abudently as possible by as many professionals and 'experts' so that we can all understand it better and so that we, the human mind, is in control of this vehicle and not it of us. we have noticed much good of this vehicle but also some not so good by those believing they can use it for their own insidious manipulations.

    sorry Hannah but you did ask for some thoughts in this matter and this is but a tad bit of my observations

    Oh by the way, happy Valentine's Day, mi amiga

  2. I mine social media for the art that beautifies, the words that often enchant, the images that can leave me in awe, the connections that have made a difference, the family who've found a way to keep in touch, the friends around the world I sometimes get to meet in person, the sharing of all that spurs creativity.

  3. Social Media is the only platform which everyone could be something in the real world as well as the virtual. Likewise anyone can become Justin Bieber. If you have assisted with any Social Media Agency, it can make you something better in this competitive world..


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