Hello everybody! Today I’m really excited to have a guest post by a good friend and fellow author, Jesse Abundis. He’s a creative mind that likes to push the envelope, and today he’s brought us an excellent post on social media.
When the internet and social media came, artist alike were on the right track of what they wanted to do with it. We saw it as a means to connect, truly connect. Share ideas with people we would have never met, if this tool had never come to us. We were talking, we were standing up, we were fighting back against an industry run by snobs in a way. People still don’t realize how much of a revolutionary stage we were at the time, and that started for artist, we had no idea how big it would be for the whole world. Information was being spread, we didn’t want to be told, you can never do this, we knew we COULD DO THIS and we didn’t have to believe what we were being force to accept, that was the beauty of freedom of information.
If you were to go back in time and see the industry pre-internet stage, you would find it a very hateful place. If you posted on your blog, you were bashed for it, if you called yourself an artist, you were mocked. I remember those days well, cause I was around the time the internet was getting it’s feet under itself. I even remember when writers would put locks on their work, cause they thought someone would rip their idea off. It was put best by one of my favorite tech geeks on how the mass consensuses of people though of the Internet as “ everyone is a thief, that wants to rip you off.” That was Mr. Leo Laporte, he didn’t believe it, he saw the internet as a tool that could change how we did things. And it did.
Then came ebooks and self-publishing sites, allowing authors to make their work available to global audiences and give them the respect they deserved. Let me tell you this, that was never accept at it’s birth, not one freaking bit. I dare you to find some old twitter chats like #writechat and you would see how indie was hated with a passion, how self-publishing was called a cancer, by so called agents, authors, who called it cheap and thought of it as throwing in the towel. Now jump to today and you’ll see those same users who bashed it, praise it, like they never hated it. The internet in a whole, reshaped life, it gave a new meaning to information.
Social media became a ground breaking tool, not for artist, no, it was the voice of generation when Occupy Wall Street was born. It showed the world, that Facebook and Twitter weren’t just time killers, they could show some very ugly truths of the world, even if the world wasn’t ready to see it. Hell, I remember when I and group of artist fought hard when the internet bill CISPA and SOPA were trying to become law, a law that would hinder the internet freedom and blacklist over a million websites on day one of it’s birth. We signed and wrote to congress. We stopped a bill that was backed by Hollywood and big business, that was the true beauty of the internet and somewhere along the way we forgot, we just became a fall from grace.
Today social media is so out of control, it’s become a mass ball of stupidity from all sides. I still use it, but I tend to re frame from becoming a spam bot of “buy me” or links to ads that have nothing to do with anything. I’ve seen egos just inflate out of control the moment they hit 1,000 followers. Authors paying for followers, authors paying for reviews, authors tanking down other authors ratings to remain on top. It’s insanity.
It’s now become a platform for shallow thinking and more falsely forced words that you’ll ever find. The sad part, that many artist around are now starting to feed this lie, they want everyone to think this is how art should be, this is what it will always be. They want you to cut out being an individual or be a free thinker. The worst part of it all is that I find the indie artist forcing this ideology, cause they read at some blog how someone made 50k in their first month and everyone is trying to mimic the same steps. But what they don’t see, is that they’re creating their own hell.
The internet and social media is more than just about you or me. We’ve seen it play a huge part in the culture revolution around the world. It gave birth to occupy wall street, it over threw regimes in the middle east. Yet, somehow here in the U.S, we’ve seem to use it less productively in daily life.
Yes, we use it to entertain, laugh, play a few games, rant—much like I am doing right now—- But, what’s being left out is education. For a tool that’s suppose to keep you informed, we are less informed than ever. I being an artist, I feel as though we dropped the ball. Look throughout time, artist have been the ones that made society evaluate life and question the social norms. Today in these modern times, I feel we have less backbone to say what’s on our mind, in fear of losing sales, or being singled out, in a way we’re purposely giving into censorship, just to stay in the good grace of followers and likes, which in the end of day mean nothing, if you don’t have a voice.
I know at the end of this, you might ask, what the fuck was the purpose of this article? Was I just looking back fondly of the days of old? am I just bitching about social media? I would have to say, no. This article was meant to show you, how drastically things have changed from then and now, where we stand as one, hoping somewhere out there, an artist might shake themselves out of this hornet nest of “ Money, fame, shallowness.” and get back in doing what we were suppose to do in life, speak your mind, hide no truth and connect with the world. Cause in the end of the day, if we’re just in it to be egomaniacs, then the world and art, will be a less open place for future generations.
What do you guys think of social media? Is it the best thing since sliced bread, or a slippery slope of egomaniacs?