Do you want to know how much time you are spending on social media platforms every day? It’s 118 minutes. I guess, this is not really a surprise. We all know that we spend to much time in front of our smartphones, tablets and laptops. Social addiction is real. But today I don’t want to outline the consume of Social Media itself, I prefer to question the quality of our online experience.
What does it mean, quality of our online experience?
Lets start at the beginning: As a photographer, the quality of a picture is essential. I can spend several hours at one location just to capture a single photo. For me it’s not a simple snapshot, it’s a reflection of my personal experience banned on the chip of my camera. The picture is defined by certain elements and details: leading lines, lights & shadows, depth, just to name some of the relevant aspects. The proper combination of these pieces characterizes the quality of the final result.
And the online experience?
Social Media platforms are fast, super fast. People don’t watch videos for several minutes, they just scroll and stop only for a few seconds. Regulary it’s because of a funny picture or a short video. It’s like dumb trash TV, consuming without processing; easy, funny and you don’t have to reflect it.
Take a look at the changes in social media: Instagram Stories and Snapchat don’t even offer the opportunity to show quality. If you want to be successful and reach a lot of people, then post your food, your pet, your every day life. Instagram will reward your effort with more visibilty. The formula is simple: Frequency comes first, content is secondary and high quality is not even necessary.
Leading Lines in Landscape Photography: White Rock – Canada
Where does this social speed lead to?
We loose our creativity, the sense for interpretation and the ability to create something unique. The pressure to deliver content as fast as possible influences the way we communicate. You can’t succeed in the social world, if you are not fast enough. Especially younger generations are influenced by quantity, not quality. Social media experts recommend to publish one post every day, better three to maximize your reach. This development concerns me, no, it scares me.
Let me give you a concrete example. Think about your grand parents. If they show you a picture on their wall, they can tell you a whole story about it. What about you? You take another shot of your burger and send it to your friend via snapchat. After one week you don’t even remember this picture. Sad, isn’t it?
The overflow of information leads us to a 80% society. Good is good enough, people don’t have time to go for 100%. You can see this phenomenon not only in photography, even in the news, in the school or in your carreer. Speed is the essential value at the cost of quality, the value that should be important in the first place.
And now? Should we all delete our profiles?
Of course not! We just have to reconsider our online behavior. It’s important to distingiush between relevant content and nonsense. We should rediscover our ability to enjoy a picture, using our imagination to decode and interpretate. It’s not bad to settle back for a few minutes. Don’t consume everything, take your time and experience quality.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
– William A. Foster
Cityscape Photography: The Skyline of New York City