I’m not the biggest fan of social media. Briefly, here’s why.
Joined around 2009, left in 2010. The more I hear about it, the more glad I am to have left it behind. What scares me even more now is that people don’t seem to feel they can just make the choice any free thinking adult has – to just leave if they don’t like it.
Love the simple, clean layout and intuitive design and used it extensively around 2014. These days it feels like a wasteland, and I just couldn’t find anything worth following in recent months that was regularly updated. So I left a few weeks ago.
This makes me a little sad, because I enjoyed Twitter hugely as a forum for sharing poetry (haiku) and simple links from around 2008-2012, when it looked like this and this. Returning recently I couldn’t bear the saturation of ads and the pictures and videos. For me its original joy was that it only allowed short, text only updates. So I also left a few weeks ago.
Really tried to like it, but for me it has two huge flaws for photography. Firstly, I spend most of my online time on a recently rebooted 15″ MacBook. Instagram seems geared to mobile users – you can’t post anything on a laptop or desktop machine. Call me old fashioned but when looking at photos I like them poster – or at least postcard – size, not postage stamp size. Secondly, 90% of comments seem so brief and banal as to be worthless. All likes and no feeling. Gave up on it (again!) maybe a month ago after not using it again in months.
After the collective disappointed of the major sites mentioned above, I’d recently decided I would say goodnight and farewell to all social media.
I still use Flickr, but mostly for archive purposes, with very little social interaction.
My focus online instead would be purely on writing and sharing here on 35hunter and a small collection of other blogs I visit.
Offline, I’m continuing to study more photography books to educate myself more about the past masters of photograph, in a slower, deeper , calmer way than internet browsing generally encourages.
Then, by chance (or not!) an email arrived in my inbox from Pinterest.
Now, I can’t remember the last time I had an email from Pinterest, and to give you an idea, when I clicked through, I couldn’t remember my password, username or why I’d joined in the first place. Or that I still had an account!
But the fact the email was headed “18 William Eggleston pins to check out” (a photographer high on my “I know very little of their work but have liked what I’ve seen so far and am intrigued to explore more” list) and contained a selection of intriguing Eggleston photographs.
Once I’d reset my password and logged in again, one of the first “pins” displayed contained a link to an interesting article about Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest series.
Which I “pinned” on a new board called Inspiring Photography.
This got me thinking about how I had used Pinterest years ago, and how different it feels to other social platforms like the big names mentioned above.
For me, Pinterest seems a simple and most importantly a useful tool to gather interesting stuff you find on topics you love.
Kind of like bookmarks in your browser, but in a more visual and immediate and fun way.
Plus, there doesn’t feel that pressure to update regularly, or to follow and keep up with what everyone else is doing.
On returning I found I’m following five topics and zero people. And no-one is following me. In other words, currently I’m 100% anti-social on this particular social media platform!
My next plan is to explore some of those other William Eggleston pins, and see where they lead. Beyond that, to search Pinterest around some other photographers whose names and work have come (or returned again) to my attention recently, like Alfred Stieglitz, Eugene Atget, Paul Strand, Berenice Abbot, Robert Frank and Harry Callahan.
It actually feels quite exciting to have a tool that can help with this continued photographic exploration, at my own pace, and throw up some interesting avenues and diversions along the way.
Due to how I’ve used other platforms previously, I instinctively started looking for a way to share 35hunter posts on Pinterest, to widen my potential audience.
But I think this would miss the point of what it’s for, and how I can enjoy it.
My fledgling “Inspiring Photography” board is shared publicly so anyone can view or follow it – if they find it. But again, the social side of Pinterest isn’t my focus or reason for using it. Which feels incredibly refreshing.
How about you – do you use Pinterest? How has it inspired you and/or helped your photography (or indeed anything else you’re interested in)?
Please let us know below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.