It seems to be lately that we’ve a choice to make. We live like we live on Facebook or we live like we live on a blog. Let me try to explain.
Most of us have a Facebook account, so says the stats. Chances are we set up an account to stay in touch with people and to stay in the mix of mass culture. After all, there’s nothing more annoying than lots of your mates knowing something that you don’t, simply because you’re not on the same channel as them. If you’re all on the same wavelengths, then it would make sense you all use the same channels of communication then, right?
So we set up our accounts and we set about making them live enough that it was worth investing time on there each day. So we spend time looking for value, points of engagement, and we post to match what we see garners reaction and response. We court friendship and feelings, we nurture comment and critique, all the while aiming to cement a sense of individuality and belonging. And the more we do, the more the algorithms churn, and the more we are fed what matches us. It matches us on reaction and we react accordingly.
Before too long, Facebook becomes a holding pattern of behaviours and content. It is a curated experience. By habit and by forces unseen, your daily experience is moulded to a caricature of your life, the highs and the lows with little daily tiny shiny moments – those go on Instagram. And whilst some of us know that our news feed is then governed by maths and metadata, we are happy to live within those parameters, forgetting who lives on the periphery, forgetting where the outliers are. As the curation hones itself, so too does your outlook and your awareness.
Some of us, clearly all of us here, feel the need to take a more active role in our lives, to not simply let forces beyond us form our daily vision. Some of us have a nagging, nebulous sense that there should be more to experiences than that. And so we find a place in which to create. We carve a niche, not knowing what that really is and, post by post, find stride in creating something totally new. We know not our audiences nor our connections, we know not when we will reach someone nor how, but we create nevertheless. We create not to consolidate a status quo, but to extend it, stretch it, expand it and challenge it. We push comfort zones to share the personal and the intimate, our perceptions laid bare for others to scrutinise or share. We become the proactive curators of our voice, what we choose to imbue with symbols and meaning and energy.
There is a beautiful place for both channels and outlets for life. There always is. But as Christmas looms, I would like to thank you all for supporting the creative in us all, for the inspiration that sparks someone else’s post, for the reblogs that spread the energies just that little further. Thank you for all you do to enrich each day with your own unique, beautiful, empowered voice. It’s truly a more creative world for it.