However! It's because of that very same reason that I'm tapping away at my keyboard this very moment!! Exciting, I know, but before your adrenaline rush kicks in, I must warn you; this is more of a rant than anything else.
Yep. Another one.
Y'know you work hard, you pour your all in to it, and then you finally unleash your creation on to the world, with baited breath!
And you wait..
Because all those sleepless nights HAVE to have been for SOMETHING, right??
But the world doesn't care (and by 'the world' I mean people that don't read this blog. Obviously. You guys are cool).
You console yourself with comparisons to Van Gogh.. that maybe you'll have your moment in the sun after you're gone. That the struggle will be worth it in the end... But the truth of it is, most of us will fade into oblivion, never having been recognised; our work remaining as unseen as some super nova in the night sky, drowned out by the amber glow of a million city lights...
But with the advent of social media, we have a chance!
..or so we're told.
And now, the backstory:
I'm that guy that scrolls through my Facebook newsfeed and 'likes' everyone's posts or shares all the things people ask me to share. I get requests to 'like' Facebook pages, and I happily oblige, after all, what does it cost me? Nothing. And if it makes someone feel boosted in any way, then I'm glad to have played a small role in that feeling.
It's the least I can do for someone I met in real life at least once.
Show a little love.
After all, when someone posts something online, be it a photo, a statement or whatever! All they're really doing is seeking some sort of acknowledgement, and when you 'like' their post, you're really telling them that 'yes, I see you and I acknowledge you.' A kind of nod of the head to a passer by... You check your notifications with eager anticipation at the number of acknowledgements you received and the greater the impact, the more popular you feel, and as every school kid knows, the more more popular you feel, the happier you are.
Conversely, what do you think you're doing to someone when you ignore their posts?
They're nodding at you, and you rudely pretend you didn't even see them. Some 'friend' (I don't care if it is only on 'Facebook'). If a complete stranger nodded in my direction or said a polite 'hello', I'd at the very least reciprocate.
That's why I ALWAYS 'like' any post I see on 'Facebook' that hasn't already been liked, or acknowledge any thinly veiled attempt at validation. As I said, it costs me nothing and it makes the person feel a little better...
Put it this way; I'm the opposite of an 'online troll'- I want to make you feel good about your online presence!
..well, not any more.
I won't troll you, but I will just leave you to your own devices and pretend I didn't see you nodding in my direction.
Like some proud rock, I have tried to remain steadfast in who I am. I'm a nice guy, I'm positive, I always greet the world with a smile... No matter how bad things get, I WILL NOT LET THE WORLD CHANGE WHO I AM!!
That's a stance I've clung on to.
But lets face it, the world can be a pretty shitty place, and most people are fucking idiots, more so on social media.
So alas, I have been changed by my exposure to the world.. or the world of social media that is.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life" -Muhammed Ali
A man HAS to learn the lessons that life teaches him, otherwise he's an idiot.
As a 'filmmaker', 'artist', 'creative' or whatever you wanna call me ('sexy' would be nice), I don't get paid for what I do (not yet anyway), so the only validation us types get is through social media.
We battle it out in competitions and contests and the currency we duke it out for is the number of 'likes' or 'shares' we receive. It's not a meritocracy (no endeavour in life really is), but just one big popularity contest, and thus our hustle is all about how popular we can make our work until that life-changing day when we finally get paid for what we have hitherto done for 'free' (make no mistake, it does cost us, but we pay the price and charge you zilch in the hope that someday you'll be a paying customer!).
So whilst I'd love to just focus on the work and not have to worry about the 'sell' and 'popularity contest' of social media, the reality of the world and the film industry especially, is that the 'sell' and the 'popularity contest' are far more important than the work itself (as you'll be acutely aware of every time you've seen a shit film that had the hell hyped out of it!).
Even after I've written, organised, shot, edited and done all manner of post-production trickery, I then have to hock my wares to a world that is at best indifferent, and at worst, holds me in contempt. You have to be a master of all aspects of the creative process if you're gonna be any good, and even if you are any good after all of that, success can still be elusive...
I enjoy my life, but I sometimes look at my peers and the things they've accomplished; the homes they've made, the lives they've carved out, the wife, the kids, the holidays... and I do wonder.
The point is NOT to scare you into discouraging anyone you know from pursuing a life in the arts (you should be smart enough to do that already!).
The point is.. actually what is the point? Other than to just vent, of course...
The POINT IS... SOUR GRAPES!! (Other than Grapes of Wrath, the best kind of Grapes!!)
I worked damn hard on my last shortfilm and then eagerly posted it on Facebook so that all my so called 'friends' could validate my hard work and at least send some kudos my way, after all, as I've said a million times now, we don't get paid for this shiz, it's a labour of love, and all we want in return is some love back...
Out of over 300+ 'Facebook friends' only 6 people liked my post and only 3 people shared it. This was despite me saying on my post that 'I Need your help!' and then asking my 'friends' to share etc.
God forbid if I was on fire and needed any of these mother truckers to call me an ambulance!
Not even all my 'real-life friends' shared or liked my post!! (Some did. You know who you are, so thank you!)
I mean, Jeezus Jones!! What does it cost to press 'like' or 'share'??!!
And this despite my years of good karma for 'liking' and 'sharing' any old crap just to make the person that posted it feel a little better!!
I was so desperate to succeed in the competetion I entered (remember, success is often measured by popularity) and so incensed by the lack of support from people I know, that I paid for a Facebook ad to 'boost' my post! It resulted in 9 more clicks. I guess what I was really paying for was a lesson.. a lesson that taught me not to pay for any more Facebook ads!!
I've been here many times and I will soldier on and I WILL be successful!
I also know who's going to be invited to my 'Gatsby' style parties when I do make it!
In the immortal words of Timon from 'The Lion King':
"When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world!"
If people (because they sure as hell ain't friends) are going to be petty, then I am going to play them at their own game.
A HUGE Thank You to all those that support me. However, from now on, I'm not gonna 'Like' any more posts, pictures, memories or any other crap that validates a person's existence in the virtual world. I'm not even gonna write on your 'wall' to wish you a 'Happy Birthday' (which I ALWAYS did).
If we're real-life friends I'll send you a text, or greet you in person because you invited me to your birthday drinks. If not, lets just end the damn facade. I'd unfriend you, but what's the point? It's mutually beneficial to pretend we have more friends than we actually do.
Besides, once I've reached a level of success where I no longer need to enter these contests or 'share' my work on social media, I'm just gonna delete my accounts.
That day can not come soon enough in my opinion, so time to get cracking and make it happen ASAP
In the meantime, if you wanna shut me up for good, check out my entry to this competition. Vote, share, propel me to popularity and then we can be done with one another for good!
Good riddance I say!!