At my age, I thought having my feelings hurt by comments from the “mean kids” was far behind me.
As the mother of two teens, I’m often reciting quotes about criticism. Quotes like: “Criticism is information about how others are feeling,” or “what other people think of you is none of your business.” I also cite the Adidas campaign that embraced haters with the hashtag #therewillbehaters, which called out nasty trolls before they said a word while encouraging players to embrace abuse as a form of motivation.
So as I reach the second half of my sixth decade of life, who would have guessed that my conviction against the haters would be put to the test?
The Social Media Impact
Social media is an interesting thing. I often wonder if the values I learned from my parents can exist within the same world as Instagram. I think about this often — and I believe they can.
Instagram might seem like an egotistical world of the selfie (read: selfish), but is this really an accurate assessment? Not in my experience. Instead, Instagram is a networking site where you can find and interact with creative people whom you might otherwise never have the ability to access. Facebook might seem like the world of cats and political expression but it’s helped our clients spread messages while forging countless partnerships and awareness. And Twitter appears to be a combination of everything and anything, yet it is a news site that has been instrumental to informing the world about all kinds of revolutions.
Through social media, I have met some truly lovely people. Starting as virtual acquaintances, they have become friends who I’ve met in person, including collaborators on work projects. They have included young photographers, talented videographers who are now working on projects for our clients, an autistic artist who takes phenomenal landscape photos, the wife of a fantastic hairdresser, a hip-hop dancer, singer and choreographer, a Serbian-born, multifaceted stylist, and a makeup artist who made a professional introduction that changed my life. Each of these individuals have enriched me, my business and the businesses of our clients.
The relationships one forges via social media might begin through a positive compliment, an emoji that makes someone laugh, or a sincere observation regarding their photograph. Through hashtags, commonalities can be found. Ultimately, a direct message might prompt the start of a positive, productive work relationship. By truly viewing Instagram as an incredible resource to find talented like-minded creatives, I search content under hashtags that relate to whatever I am seeking. Need a great photographer? Search #photographer or #photography and see what comes up. Assess whose style intrigues you and suits the project at hand. When we needed a videographer for a client whose products involve movement and action, I searched skateboard videographers; my thinking was if you can keep up with a fast-moving skateboarder, you can probably capture motion better than someone more focused on still-life.