Susannah Paterson Painter, Ceramicist & Psychotherapist

March 2019

Is Social Media Stealing Your Joy

Is Social Media Stealing Your Joy?

Every now and again I think to myself I simply must get my head around this Instagram or Facebook thing. Maybe I could reactivate my old Tumblr feed or tiddle about with my Etsy shop?

I read that other artists are selling loads of stuff on all these platforms and yet I struggle to get more than 50 rather meaningless “likes” and a couple of comments. Don’t get me wrong, I do like those likes, and if the comments are not generated by a bot, then I like those too, but blimey, suddenly an hour has gone by and the washing still needs doing.

Apparently it’s something about the algorithm. It seems I have made the horrible mistake of actually paying for ads on Facebook - usually for events like my Open Studios. It’s always been totally useless (so don’t bother). These platforms are not for the likes of us. The artists who barely make enough to cover our costs, let alone have a spare couple of grand for a marketing campaign. LOL! - if I have a spare couple of grand, it’s off to the art or potters shops for me. It’s probably that way for you too.

Anyhow, back to the story, I begin by spending the better part of a day in a whirlwind of computer screen activity, trying to understand all the most recent advice on what to do. I enthusiastically make some changes to various pages, website, feeds, and then guess what? Nothing happens. Nope. Not A Thing. They’ve choked my feed for god’s sake because I once paid for it, so clearly I will again (no I won’t because it’s rubbish), and until I do, they will make damn sure my posts are sprinkled so very lightly that only a few diehard fans even notice I’ve made something new. Joy duly stolen.

My husband says that social media is like a giant pokie machine. The more you post, the more they encourage you to do more and mine your data is a diamond mine. It’s sucking us all in folks, gobbling us up like that Dr Who episode . So, I hereby announce that I will not try to make my feed look staged and neat with everything seamlessly linked together. I will continue to post whatever I want, whenever I want and homogeny be damned. They will like it or they won’t, but I have a hunch that one day it is those of us who have kept our authentic voices in the public domain that will draw attention away from the boring, banal, and overly derivative.