About truth on social media

Can you be open and tell your opinion to your friend (contact) on social media (Facebook, Flickr, Instagram etc)? Can you tell, frankly, what you think?

I don’t think so. From my own experience. When I said something what I thought about someone’s work, I was blocked and un-friended. What I did was, that I disagreed with the opinion. With the photographs that the person was publishing and I expressed my opinion. It was nothing offensive.

People on social media want (in general) positive feedback, likes, support. They want confirmation that they are doing it well. And people often use it for self promotion.

When you step out of this social pattern (behavior), you are bad.

Ever tried to write something like “I really don’t like your photo, because…” to someone on Facebook or Flickr? Not likely. I know it happens, but it is rare. I don’t like it either, but it is necessary sometimes.

But telling someone that his/her work is good while thinking opposite is the worst thing we could do.

So what I wanted to say, social media and photography, it is good for building audience. But, that kind of audience that appreciates and likes your work. You will not, most likely, hear disagreement. It is good to build self confidence, but bad for personal growth. And also, it can also guide you to a wrong path,  because if you listen the voice of “likes”, you don’t listen to your own voice.

Ostrava- Svinov, February 2017



7 thoughts on “About truth on social media

  1. Frank Lehnen April 3, 2017 / 9:59 am

    I’m normally too craven to say outright if I find something is crap. Anyway, that’s just my opinion and probably the whole rest of the world would find it great.

    So I normally don’t say a thing if I don’t like anything. Unless asked…

    I never say I like something when it’s not true! And what’s sure, whenever you say something others don’t like on social media it’s a major affair. You get hatemail, aggressive comments and oh horror, you are unfollowed….

    By the way, I like your photos!

    • Pavel P. April 3, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      Thank you, really!

      I used to be part of that machine, and honestly, back in the days, I faved even photos that wasn’t so good only to receive fave in advance. Now, it seems ridiculous and dumb.

      On Flickr, or similar platforms, negativism isn’t part of the game. It practically doesn’t exist. It is another extreme. It needs some reasonable balance, I think. I mean, too much critique isn’t also something that would encourage and can lead in loosing of motivation.

  2. yuri rasin April 3, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    I would agree with Frank. If i dont like a certain photo id just keep quite most of the time. At times i have to say if smth bothers me in a photo so i try to phrase it correctly and provide constructive criticism or opinion. Some people just can’t handle the truth. I honestly welcome bad as well as good criticism as to get none is worth i think. The photo in this post relates very well too…

    • Pavel P. April 3, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      It is often very thin ice to say what person thinks. Maybe, I should do so only if I am explicitly asked to give an opinion. So perhaps, I was guilty as well for starting that kind of discussion. On the other side, those photos were public and potential reactions could be expected.

  3. Britstreet April 4, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    As you know I don’t think very much about social media the way it is being used – I don’t think human behaviour has matured enough just yet, it’s all every new really. Except to say that perhaps it works not only because of approbation but also the other direction because we have a “love of looking” hardwired into us. But as a site of valuable critique it is also grossly over-rated as is any form of faceless anonymous or pseudo-anonymous feedback. One should not expect for something to ‘speak’ to everyone, nor should we all be expected to ‘get it’ ie speak or appreciate the same visual ‘language’.

    Having said that I now see it as a bit like going around an art gallery. If you like something then you like it and you might come back and have another look, if you don’t then you move on. But what you don’t do is leave a negative comments slip at the exit as it’s just plain bad manners.

    • Pavel P. April 5, 2017 / 8:23 am

      Dear Kevin, I can’t say I gave “negative comment” in this case. What I did was that I gave the person opinion and how I see the work that was displayed on the Internet. My viewpoint was different to authors viewpoint. And it was not anonymous, I knew that person from real life.

      • Britstreet April 5, 2017 / 8:51 am

        Hi – well people are sensitive I suppose. But, I know what you mean – as work is put on public display then it should be a given that it can and should be critiqued in public and by the public in a somehow democratic mode. I’m still thinking it through myself. But what is sure is that the internet maintains a distance at the same time as bringing a closeness.

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