Embrace the weirdness of actively supporting people
Send some love to your local creative, they really appreciate it.
Social media is one of my absolute favourite things on this planet, not because of the ability to waste large amounts of time under the guise of productivity, but because it keeps me up to date on so many people I haven’t been particularly close with over the years who are now running amazing businesses, making cool art projects, or just genuinely experiencing the world in a way that I’m not.
The problem here lies in the fact that since we haven’t been close in “real” life in a lot of cases, it occasionally feels a bit awkward to me to do more than click like on a post/photo/video/whatever that they’ve shared when really I want to scream “holy crap, go you, this is awesome!”.
I’ve spent a lot of time writing, making, and sharing my own work online, and I’m well aware that those actual comments or even personal messages telling me just how much someone likes whatever I’ve put out into the universe are WAY more validating that someone clicking like.
Yet somehow I fall into this weird mental spiral of not wanting to appear too eager, too enthused, too stalker-y, too weird.
I now try to make a point of doing it anyways, even if it makes me a little uncomfortable at first.
Not once has anyone called me a stalker, or weird, or been anything but grateful that I also think their work deserves recognition and support.
I reserve my excitement and praise for projects that I genuinely believe in. (Sorry Karen, you’re multi-level marketing crap make-up isn’t my kind of sales pitch.) You don’t have to religiously congratulate every person on every project just because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do.
But when someone I’m connected with (even if it was meeting you at a frat party one time) puts out something that is really awesome, whether it’s a music video, a podcast, a blog, or even a nicely painted rock that is going to sit on their front lawn, I take 2–3 minutes out of my day and let them know how great they’re doing.
We’re living in the gig economy, we’re living in the age of everyone having a side hustle, and we’re living with this magical thing called the internet that makes it incredibly easy to put yourself out there.
As a creative, what bothers me more than people actively disliking my work, is putting hours, weeks, or even years into a project, and not receiving any kind of response or feedback.
If you like something, even if you think it’s weird to reach out and say it, I promise that we really appreciate hearing it.