10 Comments
Apr 5Liked by Meghan J. Ward

Some good observations here, Meghan- Particularly around the algorithm. How I miss the days when that word was no more than a computer science-specific word that no one else knew about. :)

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It's really done a lot to destroy creativity and our motivations for creating in the first place. Thanks for taking the time to read this piece!

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Love this article. After years of having a pretty laissez-faire attitude to Instagram, I started feeling so much pressure to "get my work out there" (I'm a writer too) in a way that appealed visually, was well-timed for max engagement (ugh) and served the endlessly changing algorithm. Exhausting! I still post on Instagram, but much much prefer Substack, it's built for words!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment, Eva. The more I think about what is required of artists and authors to get their work out there - a process that compromises the integrity of the work itself - the whole system seems rather ludicrous. I have also seen ways that social media can help the creative process (I recently ran a crowdfunding campaign that hit its fundraising goals). But, trying to keep up with the algorithms... I'm so over it! :)

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Apr 11, 2023Liked by Meghan J. Ward

It's always finishing the books for me first, then a walk into nature to reflect, and of course, kindreds. Social media is an expression of my art and voice, and whenever I've tried to make it business, it hurts my body, and I think the creative work. Thanks for this reflection.

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I appreciate your thoughts, too. For me (and our photo biz) it's not easy to separate these two things sometimes. But I think at some point creative people need to make a firm choice about how they will use it. Perhaps compartmentalization is key, too. Social media is a tool amongst many others. It can be an expression, as you say. And it might even be a lucrative source of revenue for others. Being deliberate is essential to overcoming the feeling that we're always trying to keep up.

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Oh my gosh, yes. Nodding as I read this. My 'best ever' instagram reel was a watermelon in my garden along with the Harry Styles song "watermelon sugar" which took approximately 60 seconds to film and put together.

Here's to reclaiming our agency (even if the alg. doesn't like it...but it's not alive, so I say it doesn't get a vote..)

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Oh, that's funny. And isn't it so silly. Yes to reclaiming our agency and our choice of how to engage. I think that's what I'm really after here. Not a full stop (though that might be the right course for some people); just a deeper look at what the end game here and what it costs us to get there.

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Yep, it's exhausting. As a creative, it seems like I do all this work but no one sees it. I want to promote my book, but I can get past the algorithms. I want to create and connect, which seems to be happening better here on Substack than anywhere else. But I do keep trying because I know the potential is there, but getting through the noise is so hard.

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I have chosen to move in and out of social media on my own terms. I think redefining our relationship with it is key. As you say, the potential is there, so sometimes I try. But I don't want to be striving; I just want to post what feels right for me and if it doesn't fly, so be it. That's why I'm choosing to build up a community here on Substack, too. I'm also focusing more on real-life connections, which take me away from my computer and smartphone in a wonderful way.

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