I know I am. Admitting it is the first step, right?
I’m not sure when it started. Was it myspace? Facebook or Twitter? Instagram? Or maybe it’s always been around and we now can gauge it easier with these networks. Either way, it really sank in with me yesterday.
I wrote a post that I thought was really clever and had some nice photos in it. It was properly tagged and categorized. The grammar was ok too. I hit ‘publish’ with the eager anticipation of…
…sadly, and to my horror, I realized I was posting in anticipation of the ‘likes’ I would receive. Thankfully there were none forthcoming or I might not have come to this realization. I spent today thinking about that. At first, I was in denial. It had to have been the time of day it was posted. Nobody reads at 2:00pm on a Saturday, right?
I went through my evening as usual but I kept feeling something was wrong. Every time my phone would vibrate in my pocket, my heart would leap to my throat. Was that a notification?
Clearly I have a problem. I used to post to Instagram daily and I would average 20 likes per photo. Not bad in the grand scale of things. Lately I found I haven’t been posting much. The other day I caught myself thinking that a picture I was about to post wasn’t good enough for Instagram.
Wasn’t good enough for Instagram? What the f**k was I thinking?
If the only reason you are creating any art is to satisfy the craving for acknowledgment, then you aren’t doing it for the right reason. Of course it’s nice to be told your photos are good. It’s nice to be complimented on your writing. But you should be creating art because it’s bursting out of you. It’s a story that needs to be told and if people like it, good. If they don’t, that’s fine too. Tell your story. Create your images and never worry if it gets one like or two thousand. Keep at it and hone your craft. Learn as much about it as you can. Apply what you need to better your work but don’t ever worry if you tagged it properly or if some random user from across the world likes it or not.
So now that I’ve realized my problem, what to do? I’m starting by shutting off all notifications. I will check them once a week and respond to comments. I will continue to read the blogs I like and even click the like button if I like something, but I cannot let my craving for likes continue to affect how I perceive my art or work.
Here are some completely irrelevant photos to hopefully bring a smile to your face. It will also help my self-therapy. I will never know if you liked this post because of the words or the images. That will help me in the long run.
P.S. Yes I tagged this post. Baby steps 😉