At times I can really annoy my wife. Not in general, hopefully, but with my attitude towards social media and the proliferation of information we, as a family, allow to flow online. My stance: go dark. It's nobody's business what sort of toy our son received at Easter - and I don't need to know what sort of egg anybody else received either.
I just try and think ahead to when the little chap hits an age of understanding and challenges us on why we were dumb enough to 'share' all those moments which were ours and not intended for people I hardly know to pick over on their iPhone. It's great for people to look through my site and my work - but not peer through my windows, if you see my point.
Maybe it's because I come from a dim, distant professional age when there wasn't this incessant need to divulge everything. I recall working as a photographer pre-internet - imagine that! Way back when it would have seemed bizarre to think that ahead of shaking hands at the start of a meeting the person in question knew that yesterday I was having a coffee with whomever at the blah blah cafe - what possible use is that info to anybody? I just don't see the value, it has zero relevance to the kind of photographer I am.
Over the last year or so I have made a point of asking clients if they would find my service more useful if I used twitter or Facebook. In most cases they liked the idea of a discreet approach, because it was pointer as to who I was as a person and how I would handle their material. Most photographers I know don't enjoy having to constantly update their various apps and feeds, but dare not risk being left behind. I can only imagine the hole this distraction makes in a working day, not to mention the damage to a train of thought.
It seems I'm not alone. This piece by Teddy Wayne of the NYT about writer, Ottessa Moshfegh, says it all, and it does so beautifully as this excerpt illustrates:
"... As hoi polloi shamelessly promote themselves, bestow disingenuous praise upon colleagues in hopes of receiving it in return and peck out snarkily hashtagged jokes during awards shows, the person who remains offline accrues mystique and is viewed as nobly intentioned, an elusive object of fascination rather than an accessible subject of self-glorification. Who knows how they’re spending their time? Likely working hard for some transcendent and paradigm-shifting purpose, their online absence suggests. But post a tweet, and everyone knows what you’re doing at that moment: idly looking at a screen, chasing after notice... "
Read on, to my mind it's the perfect analysis...