In your orbit
15 December, 2022

I think most of us, photo taking people, share the same discomfort about algorithms, advertising, bubbles, privacy, ownership, hate speech etc. as a price to pay to get our work noticed. Reasons for some to leave social platforms, others choose to stay. I feel that ultimately it’s not algorithms and such that play a decisive role in this matter. You will find ways to work around those issues or to just accept them for what they are. A way to justify your presence one way or the other. It’s what people do all the time. What is decisive is the ability to connect with other people online, to be comfortable sharing personal information, to not care about interactions being superfluous, and connections fleeting. You need to feel that your words matter, and that your voice is a meaningful contribution to the noise that’s already out there. Somewhere along the way I have entirely lost all that.

I never considered myself a digital native, obviously, born well before the 1980s. The first time I touched a computer was in the early 90s. I rented one from college, a model with a floppy disk and a cursor blinkering on a blue screen. I work on websites for a living, for a pastime even, but on the editing side of things. I lack technical savvyness. I’m clumsy with computers and how to fix or operate them. I’m also not particularly interested. My online social clumsiness however, I used to blame on a personal defect, more than a generation thing. I’m starting to think it’s both though. I didn’t grow up living my life online. Social media didn’t come into play before I was looking at 40. For sure I enjoyed them for some time, out of curiosity for the new media, seeing new opportunities at work, a need to share my interest in photography with like minded people. But it quickly wears off now. And now that it does, I’m okay with it. I tried, I learned some, and that’s a good thing. It lowers expectations considerably. Also good.