I feel I need to talk to someone about art. The nature of the work is solitary as many who are in the trade will testify. Ironically I have all the means to connect virtually with the entire world, and yet I feel I have no one to talk to.
The social media platforms look like a perpetual trade show with people seeking attention amidst the cacophony of solicitations. That is why they are pitching, rather than talking.
In the earlier days of the Web, people were putting up their websites and blogs, hoping they would get indexed, or maybe even curated. Then the static nature of their publications got unbundled, and their content distributed in a piecemeal fashion. They called it the Web 2.0. Then came the social media platforms that sought to capture all these “wandering stars:” Nuggets people’s ideas, identities and desires, and keep them safely in their net.
So here we are, in this giant screaming match, often voicing the opinions of others through an endless atream of sharing, rather than our own. After all, no one would read your litanies when there so much of everything else in the feed.
This is all coming from an average Joe. Sure there are pundits and opinion leaders, influencers and what not, who manage to send their message across. But what about the rest of us?
I say, the purpose of writing and speaking goes beyond the audience count. I shouldn’t vainly lament the scant readership when there’s probably so many great books and articles languishing in the libraries amidst the declining readership numbers. These materials may never be digitized, the thoughts written on these pages tightly sandwitched within rows upon rows of other neglected volumes somewhere in the darkness of the dusty bookshelves.