Social media for an artist is like being a fish in an aquarium. We swim around on display hoping people think what we are doing is beautiful. If you have ever been to an aquarium or pet store you will notice many signs posted that say "Do not tap on the glass." It upsets the fish, its disturbing and loud. It reverberates through their entire world.
Think of every offhanded comment on social media as a tap on the glass. "Oh this looks just like so and so's work" TAP! "Where can I buy this even though it is very CLEARLY listed in the post I am commenting on?" TAP! TAP! TAP! "I placed an order an hour ago, where is it??" TAP!!!!!
This generates so much noise and disturbance in my life it makes it hard to create. Screaming messages in all caps at 3am. People picking fights because abusing a stranger makes them feel better about whatever is bothering them in their lives. There is a PERSON here behind this post. A PERSON with feelings. A person who is a sister and a daughter, maybe you have one, maybe that will humanize me for you. I just had a very troubling interaction on Kickstarter with an individual who was angry because they failed to read any of my updates, or what items were actually in their tier. TAP TAP TAP TAP. 30 min+ and it all could have been avoided. This makes me feel awful.I get SICK when I think a customer is unhappy. Physically, arm numbing, heart palpitations, stomach churning SICK. I feel like my time means nothing and that no one really values me at all. It makes me not want to be "out there" anymore, to be less personable, less accessible.
All I ask is when interacting with me or other artists on Facebook, think about what you are about to say. Are you going to make someone feel awful? Can your question be found easily? What constitutes an emergency in the art world? Does it merit disturbing someone at 3am? If someone did or said this to you how would you feel?? We don't have to be here in public. We are here because we want to be, but if it causes constant stress and anxiety I think you will find interactions more scarce.
Think about it before you tap on the glass.
Please and thank you,