Thursday, June 16, 2011

Social Media is an Art

The misconception that social and digital worlds are not creative is absolutely ridiculous. Since starting work at a film institute, I’ve pretty much copped slack every other day for being the social media strategist. “Oh, so you’re the Facebook girl.” Numbskull. 

The ‘operators’ of the online world are artists in their own right. Recently, in a discussion about work ethics and attitudes with some colleagues, I confessed a certain distaste for misplaced sensitivities. This is your place of work. Other than the necessary amounts of praise and recognition, a harmonious manner of cooperation and the like, I firmly believe in limited niceties, and quite frankly, ass kissing. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being nice to your coworkers - on the contrary. An amiable atmosphere, a supportive one, is essential for high levels of productivity and morale. But as they say, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and overt niceties do tend to lead to lines being crossed, relationships expanding beyond the appropriate lines and eventually, disagreements and the ‘s’ word: sensitivities. 
The response was: “We’re artists, we make films, we work with students, we need to be emotional and sensitive.” Right. Cos managing a community that is still fairly sheltered, unexposed to the fragility of online relationships, building and maintaining said relationships, putting yourself ‘out there’ amidst the scrutiny and general mercilessness of the internet is an easy job. And requires no emotion.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, other than that I am sick of our jobs being taken for granted, labelled as ‘easy’ or that we’re constantly thought of us uncreative, emotionless, without any knowledge of culture, emotion or art. We ARE artists. And without the magic WE weave, the internet would be one massive hole of aimless wanderers. 
On that note, I’d like to share my all time favourite TED talk, featuring a guy I’ve spoken about countless times before and that has inspired my love and exploration of emotion on the internet, Jonathan Harris: 

Opening image courtesy of digital artist Jer Thorp.

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