Everyone today seems to be so obsessed with social media and numbers. From the number of followers they have on Instagram to the number of likes their status updates get on Twitter, as a society, we love numbers. And we allow these numbers to define us. When we go to the doctor’s office for a regular check-up, we get weighed in and are told to lose such-and-such amount of weight because, according to the flawed BMI scale, we are “overweight.” The kids struggling through high school are told that if they do not have a 3.5 or higher GPA, they will never get into the college of their dreams, ultimately never being able to succeed in life. Ultimately, this is a habit that we need to put an end to. This is me, doing my part to the best of my ability.
Let’s talk about social media followers
As I write this, I have 220 followers on my Instagram account, where I post once a week a new photograph from my collection. Of course, maybe that is different by the time you are reading this, but whatever.
Needless to say, my content is not seen by a whole ton of people. But just because I do not get over one thousand likes per post – let alone one hundred likes each – it does not mean that my work is not good. It does not mean that my work is any worse than any other photographers’ out there. My work is not as good as there’s because I do not have the same experience as they do, not because I do not have the same numbers on social media as them.
You see, social media does not define your worth
Whether you are an artist, a content creator, a celebrity, or even an average bum off the streets, it does not matter if you have one follower or one million: you are just as good as the next guy. Those numbers only define how many people are willing to see your content every single day of the year. Even then, in order to get those high numbers, you have to know somebody who knows someone else who knows that guy from across the street whose cousin is somehow related to the fifteenth president’s great-great-great-grandson. Get what I’m saying?
I would rather have one true follower
I learned this concept from a rather popular blogger online who talks all about street photography and entrepreneurship. While his content has not been the best lately – in my humble opinion – there have been many takeaways I have gained by reading his daily content. One of these was the idea of having one true follower.
If I have a single person who follows me on all my social media accounts, that likes everything I put out there, that comments on everything – that means more to me than having three hundred thousand people who “like” and comment only on certain posts. And I am not talking about convincing your significant other or your mother or your father or whoever the hell else to go “like” and comment and follow you on everything, just because you want this one true follower.
If you do that, then you aren’t getting my point.
When I say one true follower, I am talking about a person who is genuinely so in love with everything you are putting out there that they cannot help themselves but to comment and like, etc. They are the ones who are your “number one fans” because they adore your work. Maybe it helps them through the day, maybe it gives them hope to one day be just like you. Whatever the reason, they are your true followers. And if you have just one person who is like this for you, then in my opinion, you can define yourself as being rather successful. And if they decide that they are going to buy your work and spread your name like wildfire, then goddammit that is awesome, and they deserve all the praise in the world.
To my true followers
To the ones who have been here since the start.
To the ones who have followed my work and read every post, seen every photograph, liked every image.
To those who have spread my name out there and told friends and family about what I do.
To all of you who have supported me relentlessly…