I have a love/hate relationship with the internet.
I love that information and ideas can be so easily shared. Everyone can have a voice on the ‘net. We are free to express ourselves however we like. Too often for worse rather than better. The hate and bigotry that is rampant on the internet is sad really and says a lot about human nature. Some of us need police and prisons to keep ourselves in check. Happily I think that is the minority rather than the majority.
Expression comes in many forms. Political. Religious. Morality. I choose to express myself for lack of a better word and without trying to sound pretentious, artistically.
The internet has changed me as a photographer. I think that it has probably made me a better one. Digital photography, camera/phones, etc. have made photography more accessible than it has ever been. Everyone is a photographer or wants to be one it seems.
For the last couple of years I have noticed a homogenization in landscape photography. What do I mean by that? Every freaking picture looks like it was taken by the same person.
A visit this morning to the photo sharing website 500px only served to reinforce that. When I look under popular landscapes there is more similarity than uniqueness among the first few pages of photos and I think that is a bad thing rather than a good thing.
Why does it seem that everyone at least everyone who is “popular” looks the same? What was popular twenty years ago is now outdated and old. What is now popular was once new and beyond the bounds of what is “normal”.
We all want to be liked. We all want the pat on the back that says, well done. Some of us chase it more than others and to what end?
Why is it important to be “popular” on the internet? It takes hard work to be popular. It just doesn’t happen on its own. I see photographers on Flickr and 500pix with thousands of friends. That means every time they log on they get hundreds and thousands of photos in their feed.
Can you really be their “friend” when they are one of thousands of anonymous people you have friended? I don’t think so.
For my whole life I have made a conscious effort to be different. To step apart from the crowd. To speak my own voice.
Maybe it’s more important to have two or three real friends than thousands of “friends” on the internet?
In a world where everyone looks the same I want to look different.