It’s an odd blog post title, I know, but it’ll all come clear, I promise.
Lately, mostly because of the weather, this blog has been bereft of new content. This blog was never supposed to solely be about photos, yet that is what it has seemingly been about since I changed the design. My drive to post more on here was two-fold; I was aware that I was posting plenty of photos and content regularly to my Facebook page, and then it occurred to me one day that I wanted to be building up my own archive that I was in control of rather than feeding the social media beasts that at some point in the future will either cease to be or will evolve into something different that I might not want to be a part of. The other element of this ‘drive’ was that since becoming more immersed in film photography I have been inspired to create more of my own work, and so in that, I felt I needed a place for me personally to keep a log – or indeed – a blog.
We are swamped with social media and as a result, there are methods around that involve posting content to just one platform which will then automatically post that same content to the other platforms. I get why those methods exist and undoubtedly they are time-savers should you wish your content to reach the variety of audiences across the platforms. It appears to me though, that we have come some way from the original ethos behind social media: the social aspect of real sharing, discussion and communication. It has unapologetically become so ‘look at me’ that understandably some people are becoming turned off because they rarely see anything meaningful and because so much of the content is pure self-promotion.
Way back when I started this blog, tongue-in-cheek I titled it ‘Mainly About Me’ because I wanted to make no bones about what people would find here. And if people do find themselves here then that is all well and good, but this is first and foremost a blog for me – a way for me to chart my photographic journey in all that it entails. I have no hesitation in admitting that I would put money on the bet that my blog’s most regular visitor is me. I visit it from time to time – when I’m sat at home, or when I’m away somewhere unknown to me – and I look through the photos I have posted and I use it to remember the places I have visited and re-kindle the memories that were created. The photographs, the memories that you see here are what you get. There is no Look At Me, no I Know More Than You, no veiled Look At How Great I Am.
And so I am brought to the main reason I decided to sit down to write this particular post. This post that is perhaps the first really personal post I have made here.
Truth and integrity.
I’m not going to lie about this, I’ve had a few disappointments of late. People who I have looked up to but have then turned out to not be who I thought they were. Like many, I suppose, I like to pride myself on being a good judge of character. For the most part I still think I am good in this respect, but I have definitely made a few errors lately. Why is this relevant to social media? Simply because with social media, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. We all make judgements, form opinions and views based on what we see of people online. We may sometimes cross the virtual/real divide and meet up with those we’ve come to know online, but really most of what we know is from online appearances yet those online appearances can often be deceptive. So I’m talking about the truth, the lies…I’ll come to the videotape part shortly, I promise.
I don’t mean for this to come across as a depressing post about it not being possible to trust anyone in the online arena. I have met people online who have proven to be true to their online personality when I have met them in person, so it’s not all doom and gloom. For the most part I think I am the kind of person who prefers to think the best of others and so perhaps in this is the potential for me to overlook warning signs. I think about the disappointments I mentioned earlier, and I realise that there were warning signs there long ago, but because of my positive outlook in combination with a tendency to sometimes lack confidence, I did not listen to those signs. I feel bad about it, and I feel simultaneously annoyed with myself as well as angry at those I was taken in by.
Two things are now clear to me.
Firstly, I am proud of my own integrity in both a personal and professional capacity. I have been disappointed by people but I can hold my head high that I am the better person. What you see with me is what you get and I have no hidden agenda.
Secondly, I feel more determined than ever to forge my own path. I make my own luck and I believe that my integrity and honest determination will stand me in good stead. I do not need to self-promote either in an obvious way or from behind a veil of false modesty.
And so, this just leaves the videotape. It’s coming, I promise.
So here’s the thing: there is no videotape and there never was. It’s the only time I have ever lied to you, but just consider how you believed what I said. I hope you can forgive me because as well as writing this blog post for me, I wrote it for you too.