This post was originally written as part of a series of assignments for my Introduction to Social Media class at Algonquin College.
There was a time when it seemed like I had enough time to try all the things social media had to offer. Every week there was a new app to check out, a new site to join my friends on, a new experience to be had. I jumped on to Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, VSCO, Tumblr, Snapchat, Google+, 500px, Behance, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and on and on. I designed sites and blogged with WordPress, and then took the time to teach myself Drupal, just to see if it was any better.
However, life got a bit busier, days got a little fuller, and finding time away from all my various screens became a little more precious, and gradually my interest in blog-tweet-posting all of my thoughts about the latest thingamabob faded away. The last Facebook post I made was about the birth of my son a year ago. The last tweet I sent out was on July 13, 2016. I haven’t been active on Model Mayhem since around 2012, and Flickr, once a site that I gave hours of my day to, hasn’t heard from me since July of 2010.
I moved from Toronto to Ottawa in 2016, started a family, took a job that I wasn’t all that interested in in order to help support them. Flicking around on social media became a lot less imperative, especially since most of my contacts were no longer in the same city as me and I wasn’t using it as a way to arrange meet ups any more. That part doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it might. What I am realizing now, however, is just how much momentum I have lost in my professional life by letting all of these things slip away over the past handful of years.
I worked pretty consistently to build up a reputation as a photographer from 2010 through 2016. I went from practicing on myself and my dog, to photographing friends, to actually getting paid work. If I had kept pushing along that path, I think I might actually have been able to make photography my full time gig. But the combination of moving to a new area where I had no connections and didn’t know the landscape, along with my waning interest in promoting myself online, fully derailed any chances of that.
A little over a month ago I made the decision to finally leave the job I wasn’t interested in, to stay at home and care for my son for the next handful of months, and to take some classes to help rejuvenate my resume. And then, when I am ready, to put myself back in to the market as a photographer and graphic designer, to get back in to the work that I did, and loved, before moving here.
Needless to say, the landscape has changed quite a bit since I dropped out of the social media day-to-day. A number of the sites that I used to rely on for exposure have lost a great amount of significance, or closed up shop all together. A lot of the ways that I knew how to push my work out in to the world, don’t really work any more. So I am left with the task of starting somewhat from scratch — I now live in a city where I don’t have access to the vast number of personal and professional contacts that I once did, and getting back online to get my name out there and my work seen is all the more crucial.
Social media didn’t stop when I did, it kept rolling on, evolving and changing. Many of the sites I knew have dropped away, new sites have cropped up. The landscape is vaguely familiar, but at the same time, quite different. And if I really want to get myself and my career back on track then I guess I’m going to have to learn to evolve and change right along with it.
Facebook: What happens when life gets in the way and you really can’t move at the speed of social media any longer? https://bit.ly/3jCiPXD
Twitter: How do you get back on track after dropping out of the social media rat-race? https://bit.ly/3jCiPXD