I have a problem with some LIKES. The ones that remove the “K” and are essentially LIES. Not malicious lies, but ones that don’t reflect someone truly enjoying and valuing our work.
See, where you get the LIKE matters. If I get a LIKE on this blog post, chances are this post was read. (And with bold directions in the headline, that’s especially true for this one.)
But if I add this blog post link to Facebook and someone LIKES it, they may just be saying they LIKE me, and they LIKE me for posting it. But that doesn’t mean they read it. In fact I know they did not, as the stats for the blog are always much lower than the number of LIKES on the Facebook post.
Same with a photography gallery page to a photo project. If someone comes to my RoyStryker.com page and goes through a post and LIKES it, I know they saw it. Not true if I post the same link on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook. I get many LIKES on my social media posts. All LIES! (But well-intentioned ones.)
So, while I am a big believer in printing our photographs and making a display that showcases them the way and size we want them to be viewed (no pinching and zooming–photographs aren’t meant to be interactive!), like framed and on a gallery wall ideally, it’s even more so today as most people are looking at photographs for split seconds on screens and often are LIKING work they didn’t even look at.
I’ve done it myself. A friend today posted a link on Facebook with a story he documented, and I immediately hit LIKE. Because I LIKE him. That’s not a fair LIKE, it’s a LIE. I didn’t get to his link to see the work, I said I’d get to it later. Later never happens.
So, between photography being reduced to phone glances and no printing, posting for LIKES that are LIES (again, nothing malicious, just that nobody has the time to visit our work), I am sticking to making prints and gifting them to people. Making prints and displaying them on my walls. And writing blog posts and creating podcasts and videos that I know people watched–on those platforms, they are seen and the LIKES are real.
I am not against LIKES, they’re a nod to someone appreciating us. It’s just that they aren’t necessarily appreciating our work. And I am a photographer who needs my work seen well, and so I print my work and display it where I can. Or I build online galleries that I personally email to friends. Then when I get a reply back, thanking me for the photographs, I know it’s real, they saw my work.
It’s a true LIKE.