The Post Social Media Wastelands

The Social Media issue

Hello there my fellow pilgrims in the art world.

Today I wanted to talk about something less related to art and more related to something that is in the news and lives among the popular kids. Never thought I would be trapped in this spiderweb of hip and popular stuff like social media but this time I made a BIG mistake and now I fell in the shit filled toilet and I am not sure what to do at this moment.
So lets talk about this problem called Facebook and other social media

Some weeks ago.

Before I started writing on this article I was writing on something else related to this. I thought that it would be good to stay away from social media for a while. The reason for this was the idea of being too available for everyone.
As an freelancer you have to manage your time and take care of your business on your own. As an artist this "manager" side is not the most exiting part of your existence. Well... at least I don't like that. I am not the most social person and being in contact with many people sucks the life out of me. I should be drawing not replying to all the messages on facebook and other social media sites.

The problem with this is that there is the idea you should be on there and be interactive with your audience all the fucking time. If you are not you don't get followers and people are not going to like you and you are not going to get any clients and you miss everything. This is just an idea. A wrong idea carefully constructed by these compagnies and it slowly crawled into our lives and took over. Now we are stuck in it's web.

So I figured I should stay away from social media for one week. Just seven days and see what would change.
In the piece I wanted to write before I did go deep into the effects of it all but here I will keep it short. It was really nice. It brought more peace, I could focus more on my work, I felt like I was missing things but in a few days I couldn't care less since this was way more productive on an artistic level.
I felt good, I slept better and after 7 days I checked facebook and the other social media and I missed nothing but farts, crap, piss and the tumors of society shouting things.

Revolution! Be Punk! Future No Future!
Artwork by: CAVUM

Now in the news.

Facebook fucked up for years. If you havent read or heard about it here is an BBC article about it. . I have to add to this entire thing: PLEASE, read it do you research, read everything else on the internet and then think about it for a few days and then form your opinion. But one thing is clear, our personal stuff at Facebook was shared and sold with compagnies. Companies can focus their commercials with this information. That's understandable. It's nasty but not something that will destroy the world. But it appeared that sold information to certain parties could influence the opinions on the government and be a great impact on the elections and a country. This is something damaging on a bigger scale.

So why is this something to think about since you "don't post anything online that could damage you in person". Well apparently it is possible to read the likes you gave posts and pictures and with this information it appears to be possible to even guess your skin color. So the things YOU like can be used to know things about you. I don't know what profilers can do and in what level they are used to find out who you are but it is possible. This is something I don't agree with.

Now you can say you don't care about this. Facebook can be fun. I agree with that. SMODnation is a facebook group I like and the people there are fun. But there is more.
So damn many websites have the facebook logo and you can log in with facebook, WIFI logins at restaurant are accessible by logging in at Facebook and so on and so forth. It is everywhere and now here is a problem. It is hard to use the internet and do normal things without being confronted with Facebook.

I want to do things without social media.

Is it possible to do things without social media?

To be honest, I don't know but there probably is. The downside of this will be that it is going to take time and probably is going to cost some money.

A friend posted the question for his band: Are there ways to get in contact with people without using facebook? It appears that facebook took over many of these sources. Maybe I am misjudging people with this statement but it in fact is hard to get audience to move. People think it is a huge step to buy a ticket for 5 euros and go to the venue and then support the band by buying some merchandise for 10 euros. Even I try to do that and I don't have much to spend at all. But let's say I am fucking weird (I probably am so fuck you). When you get a flyer, do you check out the website that is written on it? Do you keep your business cards? Do you remember names when  you talked to people for the first time? You probably remember the name of the person just long enough to search for it on facebook and then add them to your friend list.
I do use facebook to search for possible clients and their email addresses and I know there are artdirectors who search not the internet, but social media to find Illustrators and designers for their project. So I am equally guilty of this lazy "I search things at social media and I share my portfolio on my social media profile and people should do their own work to check my website"

Back to being a Nomad.
Copyright: CAVUMscriptorium

So what are our options? We can look back to see what people did in the past.
They made flyers. They searched for compagnies on the internet. I know illustrators called compagnies to schedule a appointment to show the artdirector their portfolio.
These are all options that worked back in the daze. Then the internet came and artdirectors became more and more busy and I can promise you, almost none of the artdirectors have to time to look at your portfolio anymore. Flyers do have the same impact as social media. If people are interested in your work already and know about you they are going to check out your flyer. You probably are not going to reach new people.
But websites are not gone yet. It sounds stupid but there are lists of concert venues, publishers, bands and so on and so forth on sites as Wikipedia and I can find many bands on Metal Archives and at Bandcamp.
So what I should do is update my website to make it usable for "lazy people" and maybe adding another layer for easy interaction like a modern version of a guestbook.
Also I think the most important thing for anyone in the creative spectrum is putting out something that is of more value than a business card or a flyer.
For example: I made wooden business cards with all the information burned in the wood and made leather patches with an engraving in it. I think these things will keep people remembering me. You could call the last one relation gifts. You get closer contacts and can keep them warm and interact with them by relation gifts or sending an email so now and then. I think it is more interesting to send letters with these type of things in it to compagnies, try to visit festivals and concerts and talk to the right people a lot, go to network meetings and so on and so forth.

It is more of a hands on mentality, you can exchange email addresses and telephone numbers. Try to be nice and maybe even go for a coffee with an potential client. They should not be an enemy, they can be friends too. That could make your work more easy as wel.

About a month ago I was at a Nile concert in 013 Tilburg. Normally a band does it's thing, says thank you to the audience and goes offstage. When Nile did go offstage something else happened. Karl Sanders sat down on the edge of the stage and talked to some people. He shook some hands and interacted. It doesn't matter what the topics were but everyone who saw this must have thought he was a really nice dude. He is a extremely kind and cool man so it was not a commercial thing to do but it brings your fans closer.

So I think we should try to interact more with our clients face to face when possible and try to show you are really interested and take your whole existence in your own hands. You don't need facebook to send a letter with a print in it or a cool creatively found object. It is only going to cost a bit more.


Am I going to delete facebook an all my other social media platforms? No, I am not at that point yet. I have contacts in America and other countries I have to talk with. But slowly I want to think of interesting and smart ways to replace this medium since I discovered I like my life without it better.
Maybe I am going to print some small posters that I can send to possible clients and see what happens. They wont throw that away that easy if it is good enough don't you think?

We should all be more aware of what we do with social media. Facebook slowly crawled in our lives and now it is hard to get rid of it. So let's try to solve this in a creative way and not fall into the next trap of a new social media platform that promises to be better and more safe. Nothing really is for free.

Stay weird!



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