Social media. It has been an amazing gift to photographers (and other businesses too). We pretty much don’t have to pay for advertising anymore. We can find inspiration and resources for learning with the click of a mouse. I can truly attribute the majority of my success and learning to facebook groups, pages, and other online forums.
Unfortunately, the invention of social media also created something nasty. It’s called cyber-bullying. I see it happen ALL THE TIME… and it sucks. It especially hurts when you’re on the receiving end. I know this blog post has pretty much been done a thousand times before. I know we’ve all read it. Why don’t we listen? I’m aiming this at photographers, but it obviously doesn’t stop there. I just see that the most because it’s one of the circles I run in. Photographers: we all started somewhere, and we all end up somewhere. Let’s celebrate each other’s successes and help encourage those who have yet to be really successful.
I’m going to issue a challenge today. Try to go an entire week just being yourself on facebook. Yourself as in who you are in real life. Please think every time you’re about to post or comment on something, ‘would I say this to this person in real life? Is it going to hurt?’ If it is the real you, by all means hit enter. It’s just so easy to hide behind that monitor and be cruel. Chances are, you don’t know what that person you’ve hurt is going through today. You don’t know who he or she is in real life. I pretty much consider myself to be an all-around nice person in real life. And I’m sensitive. Maybe that’s one of my downfalls…
Those of us who are in the “spotlight” seem to be targeted a lot. Do you see us for our “big” business? Do you see us for our success? Is that fair? We have feelings too. We hurt the same. Please try to see us for who we are. Humans. We all are humans. Canon or Nikon, Republican or Democrat, (I won’t even go into all the parenting choice bashing I’ve seen).
My good photographer friend, Rachel found herself caught up in the drama. She decided that her best solution was to leave facebook for a month. To disable her account. I’m not telling you this is the answer. It might be for some. The answer may be to just walk away from your monitor for a few hours. Don’t worry about anyone half way around the world for a bit. They’ll probably still be there once you cool your jets.
I’m going to end this post by showing you the real me… I’m a small business owner. I’m a full time mom. I don’t make a six figure salary. I work hard for every penny I make, and I’m proud to create something that is good and that makes people smile.
And lastly.. some photos that make me happy. My 2 favorite guys having a blast at the pumpkin patch the other day… I don’t know what theses giant bouncy surfaces are called, but they are AWESOME. :)
Be happy. Be nice. And most importantly.. Be yourself!