[Insider 59] My Mind is Colonized
speaking with samantha dion baker about social media and its impact on the artist.
I grab my phone the moment I wake up. Or should I say, it grabs me? A tiny, luminescent screen in the pre-dawn darkness, endlessly refreshing, has captured my entire mind. Like an addict starting each day with the wrong decision, my waking brain craves the first hit of dopamine.
Why are we obsessed with all the wrong things? In today’s post, some nagging thoughts, a ray of hope, and links to the end-of-month Insiders Hangout.
The SneakyArt (Insider) Post is the special Sunday edition written for SneakyArt Insiders - the readers, listeners and patrons who support my independent work as a writer, artist, and podcaster.
Performing on Stage Forever
If I make a great drawing, can I (as a professional artist) afford not to share it on social media? If I share it on social media, can I afford not to appease the Algorithm - that strange, unknowable force that decides all our success? Last week on the SneakyArt Podcast, I spoke with New York-based artist Samantha Dion Baker about how social media has infiltrated our minds.
It began with a great promise.
The great promise of social media was that anyone could have a stage. But over time it revealed itself to be an equally great curse. The great curse of social media is that everyone is always on stage. Forever.
The bigger your audience, the bigger your stage. The bigger the stage, the higher the stakes. Who can afford mistakes?
Sam and I spoke about what it means to be an artist and the need to connect with our deepest motivations. But is this still possible when every thought is interrupted by the need for social media approval?
“Am I doing what I want, or just what works with my audience?” she asks at one point.
Listen to this brief excerpt from early in the conversation. In it, I muse upon a counter-intuitive idea of freedom - to be an artist without a following.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
My Mind is Colonized
Every day, we do forced labour for an algorithm that does not care about us. Our eyeballs are tracked, every word is logged, and a hundred other data points are generated every second and plugged into complicated equations that generate a lot of money for some people. Not you. Nor me.
Are we just cogs in a giant machine? Irrelevant and replaceable? Or are we fuel?