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At the Art Museum by Richard Keeling on 500px.com

I am, like most others these days, a daily user of social media. Just like this site, in truth. Facebook, Twitter, Cowbird, various photography specializing sites too.

But the reality is that I am no good at playing that game. By that, I mean that although I contribute – to a greater or lesser extent – original material to the web, I do not get involved beyond the most limited extent in the social process. I rarely visit other people’s pages, express a ‘like’ or a ‘love’ or devote myself to interaction. For me, the web is simply a place to park my images and words and I have no interest at all in the quid pro quo of following or being followed by others.

In this way, I continue a self-contained approach to my photography. I draw my influences from my observations and from my studies of art in all its forms. I express myself in whatever way happens to involve me at that particular moment with no regard to generating any interest.

Which is not say that I am indifferent to interest. I keep an eye on the likes and loves that come my way, and I enjoy it when they do. But I have never made any effort to cultivate them beyond simply existing.

For me, this is crucial. My worst and least satisfying work has always been made when I am trying to do something that I think will please others. Such work has no connection to my soul and consequently leaves me empty. I perhaps could do it for money, but it would always be as utilitarian as that implies.

Sometimes I wonder whether my indifference to the game of social media is weird. Most of my friends are caught up in it. But I believe it gives me freedom. It certainly gives me a lot more time to devote to what I regard as more satisfying occupations. Like writing this article, for instance.

 

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