(3 Minute Read)
Life Through Social Media
For many people, social media is a place to display our highlight reel; it's a collection of all our peak experiences. Have you ever had this experience? Your food arrives at the table, and just as you pick up your fork, your friend across the table tells you to wait so they can - I don't even need to finish the sentence.
I'm not saying it's wrong to share tiny slices of your life on social media. We all have the desire to be seen, understood, and to connect with others at some level. However, sometimes we forget that social media is just a filter.
And we look at all these highlight reels and compare them to our daily lives.
We might see a friend's pictures from their latest travel adventure and make the mistake of thinking that they must be happier that we are.
The Other 95 Percent
What you don't see is the other 95 percent. You miss the daily grind, the struggle, and all the challenges they face. So what if they got to go to Thailand for a three month vacation? You didn't see the four months of sixty hours workweeks.
Barely anyone post pictures from halfway up the hike. They post pictures from the top.
I've heard some fiction writers say that it took them ten pages of shitty writing just to get one good paragraph. Those pages were not a waste. It just took them ten pages of writing to get in the zone of unobstructed creative flow. The word "essay" means "to attempt" and it's in those repeated attempts, shitty or not, that lead to something beautiful.
About five percent of the photos I make are "good" photos. All this means is that there are about 5 out of every 100 photos actually make me feel proud. If you saw the other 95 percent, you'd see how much more I have to learn.
Within a few months of starting photography, I realized that it's probably better to show 10 great photos than to show a mixed batch of 30 photos. If you only show the best, you'll be perceived as a better photographer, artist, writer...etc. This is how great portfolios are made.
If you look close enough, the seeds of success are found within every failed attempt. Any "success" I might have had is pretty much a pile of garbage rearranged into an art piece. People think that success lies in one direction and failure is in the other direction. The truth is you actually fail your way to "success".
There really is no way to fail, because every "failure" is just an opportunity to learn something. How much do you learn when everything goes right?