Creative: “I am the danger.”

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“I am the danger, I am the one who knocks.” Thank you Walter White. This morning, moments before my thirty-mile bike ride, I found myself posting an image to Instagram. My thought while posting was “I hope people get a laugh out of this.” I wasn’t thinking about a reward. I wasn’t thinking about building following. I wasn’t thinking about my flow. But you see, it doesn’t matter one bit. By posting on Instagram at all, I am contributing to a myriad of societal problems. There is simply no other way to see this, and if you are posting to Instagram, or using Facebook, and you claim you aren’t part of the problem, well, I call bullshit.

This might sting but it needs to be said. If you are one of those people who is complaining about social, political, financial or sexual disparity and you are using Facebook or Instagram then you are the problem. You are endorsing brands that are owned by billionaires, run my multi-millionaires and who just got caught lying to congress…AGAIN. Need another take on this? Still think it’s all fun and games?

Still on the fence? How about a timeline of Facebook Controversies. And this is just recent history. In addition, by posting to these networks you are endorsing every single brand in my feed. You want me to see your work? Great, now tell me why you are endorsing all the products I’m seeing? Tell me how you are okay with the absolute blizzard of commercialism you are supporting by using these networks.

Now, time for the excuse parade. “Well, I need it to promote.” “My agent told me I have to be on there.” “I don’t take it that seriously.” “I only use it for one thing.” “How else can I get exposure?” “You just don’t understand it Milnor.” SAVE IT, people. I’ve heard it all before and it’s all bullshit. We are all total hypocrites, and the people who own and run these networks know it all too well. They know how weak we are. They know how needy we are, and they are the most masterful exploiters of our weaknesses the world has ever seen.

You notice I’m using “we.” That’s right. I’m a parasite. A scourge sent to Earth to ultimately aid in the destruction of our species and our planet. I’ve felt this way since high school because I don’t know any other way to look at the equation honestly and not come away with the same conclusion. I purchased and burned tens of thousands of gallons of fossil fuel. I’ve purchased clothing manufactured in what I’m guessing are horrible conditions. I’ve purchased computers and phones made by modern day slave labor. I’ve eaten farmed food. Hell, I used TO PLAY WITH LIQUID MERCURY WITH NO GLOVES. WE THOUGHT IT WAS COOL AND PROBABLY GOT RID OF IT BY POURING IT IN THE STORM DRAIN.

People will read this post and will respond in all kinds of ways. People will try to laugh it off, ask me if I’m depressed(far from it) or just play it off as misguided. Precisely what the networks know we will do. This is not the first time I’ve pointed out the hypocrisy related to social networks. I’ve had plenty of hate mail, nasty messages and I’ve been called every name in the book by creatives who have bought into social regardless of the facts. The lure of the like is just too strong for most of us, and many of us find ourselves in the situation of feeling trapped. “What other options do I have?” Just what the networks want.

Do you ever wonder how you got here? How you got feeling trapped? How many decisions, or poor decisions, landed you where you are? I do. Every single day. I don’t like seeing talented, creative, driven people having to engage with this clearly flawed system.

Now, to bring this turbulent reality up a notch, I like to think about solutions while admitting I don’t often have many. But, I look at this FB/IG takeover, and the lunacy it has inspired, and I wonder what the end game is. I’ve already told you my belief that I’m a Terminator, so will I delete my account? No. I haven’t used FB in years, and never will again, but I’m still on IG. Sure, this was a move to help my employer, but that doesn’t make it right. But I’m also not trying to tell you I’m something I’m not. I’m not trying to sell you something. All I’m saying is “I am the danger.”  

There will come a time in the near future when I will disappear from radar. Now, don’t go thinking Uncle Dan is going to do something bad. Not by a long shot. I look at disappearing as perhaps the most important thing I can do. I think maybe, just maybe, at that point I will be able to find clarity and maybe, just maybe find a solution to all this. Until then take a good look at your social reality and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

Comments 2

  1. Two books I’ve read recently, Digital Minimalism by Carl Newport and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier have really got me thinking about Instagram (Facebook & Twitter went ages ago).

    I still post to Instagram but whenever I do it feels like a little part of me has died. It’s complete bullshit isn’t it? We are confined to their platform under their constraints with all the adverts and bloody awful influencers. Social Media Influencers FFS!

    I culled 80% of the people I follow and muted nearly every one else but that still doesn’t feel enough. I’m on the brink of deleting it but can’t seem to pull the trigger just yet, although I know it’s going to happen eventually.

    Recently I’ve been posting to National Geographic’s Your Shot community and the Japan Panasonic Lumix community pages. Both similar to Instagram but with good photos, no adverts, and real photography enthusiasts. And an almost 100% guarantee that your photo won’t get noticed among all the other far better photos. I great incentive to improve your skills.

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      I don’t see any way to use this platform and not be part of the problem. If there is a way I’d love to hear it. You could argue, well, I’m supporting causes and using IG to promote those causes, but that does not negate the realities of what these platforms are doing in the background while you are promoting your cause. These platforms have so screwed our culture it’s hard to fathom creating a more destructive instrument, and to watch EVERYONE run headfirst into the chaos is the truly puzzling part. A modern, digital cult. Gave a talk once, kid in the audience came up after and asked for my IG handle. When I told him I didn’t have one he said “Oh, I don’t want to know you then.”

      Speaking of communities. Remember how great Flickr was? That was the last time it felt like there was a real online community. No idea the ills of that parent company but it sure felt more real than IG ever has.

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