Living by Experience - Travel and Photography Lifestyle Magazine
Putting the social back in “social media” Putting the social back in “social media”
I’ll admit it. I use Instagram professionally. Putting the social back in “social media”

I’ll admit it. I use Instagram professionally. I’m a photographic artist so a social media network that’s designed to share just photographs sounds like it’s too good to be true. I don’t have to deal with uninteresting status updates, games, pokes or any other unpleasantries. The downside of Instagram for me is the amount of spammy comments – especially now my “followers” on Instagram are growing steadily I get the occasional passer-by to indulge in some shameless self-promotion. My first reaction was – How dare they do that on a profile that’s intended to promote me. And that’s exactly the problem with social media. It’s not that social. It’s all about me, me, me. We’re all connected, but no one is really connecting anymore.

The same kind of happens on Facebook. I choose quality over quantity when putting together my friends list. Because who really has over a 1000 Friends? That’s more a collection of acquaintances you’ve met once in your life. “Collect them all”. And even with my short list of Friends, it appears to be challenging to engage them in real life. Now for some that makes sense. Facebook is a great way for me to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world I otherwise might have lost touch with. But for those geographically closer to me, it’s a different story. It might be me, but inviting anyone to real life events seems to be pointless. A response rate of only one or two is not uncommon. Maybe my parties aren’t that cool after all. It’s possible, not everyone is into parties featuring free food, drinks and a world class DJ after all. I get it.

Now that’s the personal side. I also have a page on Facebook for my fine art business. That’s even more tricky, and unless your name starts with Zucker and ends with Berg the benefits are questionable at best. That’s putting it nicely. What I really feel like is that Facebook might be one big Lie. Mark sure has created a nice little world for himself. I have almost a 1000 “fans” on my photography page, yet the statistics tell me my posts usually only are served to anywhere between 50-150 people. That’s on a good day, for some less popular posts the number doesn’t make it very far past the amount of fingers and toes I have. Since almost one thousand people “liked” me at some point you’d think they want to hear from me. If they don’t “like” me anymore, they can simply hide my updates. No hard feelings. But “social” media sites applying some apparent censorship over what I see in my newsfeed is just not very social at all. Maybe we should rename it to “socialist media” to justify the censorship over what we get to see from our “friends”. Or maybe we should just disconnect from it all, and take our “social” from online to offline. Coffee, anyone?

Wilko van de Kamp Author

WILKO VAN DE KAMP is the author of #1 international best seller The Freedom Project and several other books and e-books. He's also an award-winning photographic artist, and professional world traveler. His inspiration comes from traveling all over the world. He calls the Canadian Rocky Mountains his home, and the rest of the world his office. He has been capturing our wonderful planet, and it's beautiful inhabitants, for more than half his life. Wilko has spent his life traveling the world to capture awe-inspiring images for those who wouldn't see them otherwise, and to inspire others to embark on their journey of a lifetime. Through his art, writing and appearances as a keynote speaker he enjoys sharing his colorful experiences with the world. Visit him online at www.wilko.ca