Social media burnt me out

Oct 11, 2018

Jon Hathaway

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Social media burnt me out

Oct 11, 2018

Jon Hathaway

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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Photography used to be my main hobby. I did nature, street, travel and other “solo” photography styles. I posted stuff on Flickr and it was good. A few of my photos ended up on Explore, some local news websites used my pictures in articles, I even had a guest article on PetaPixel. I really enjoyed the balance of shooting and exposure. This was 2009-2014.

I started getting into portraits and shooting models. Models weren’t really interested in Flickr and wanted an Instagram famous photographer so I started curating an account, optimizing post frequency and hashtags. You know, playing that game. I really hated the Instagram interactions but did it because I felt I had to.

After a couple years of great shooting experiences and limited Instagram numbers the thing that broke me was when I was shooting in Iceland and came across a photographer with a 2-week old profile and 6,000 followers. I reached out and asked him how he had found ‘success’ in such a short time. He admitted to running a bot that would track hashtags and automatically follow, unfollow, like and comment in an optimal way. He said he wasn’t sure if he’d get banned but he said it was worth a try. This was 2016.

I still check up on that photographer. He has over 100k followers and has massive sponsorship. I haven’t been active posting photos since early 2017.

I’m still taking photos for myself but I miss sharing them. I find it hard to participate in Instagram without becoming obsessed with follow/like metrics. Flickr is all but dead. When it was more active it seemed like a great place to share pictures among like-minded photographers without the baggage of Instagram.

Any advice on finding the balance here?

About the Author

Jon Hathaway was an active travel, nature and portrait photographer in the Pacific Northwest. His current focus is playing bass guitar in a cover band while finding the right time to pick back up his camera. His day job is in the games industry. You can follow his work on his [currently neglected] social media accounts: Instagram and Flickr. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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5 responses to “Social media burnt me out”

  1. Trino Pam Avatar
    Trino Pam

    Is it me or this article seems to end abruptly? ?
    Feels incomplete…

    1. jagigen Avatar
      jagigen

      Yes indeed it does feel as if a large section fell off some how.

      Anyway – balance is when we define our own limits and stick to them.
      Not trying to live by someone else’s ruler. You can always measure your self against the whole world but you will always lose as well.

  2. rifki syahputra Avatar
    rifki syahputra

    find your own game young padawan..

  3. mikerofoto Avatar
    mikerofoto

    Its a millenium thing, everything has to do with social media (mind breaker, depression builder). Take a week or two off and you’ll see the world differently.

  4. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    Build a portfolio on Instagram and leave it there as it is. Call it up when you need it to show something.
    Meanwhile, chase off your future elsewhere. I left Instagram myself and now I’m back focusing a bit on Flickr to see real photographers (or so) instead of a gibberish of selfies and naked people on Instagram, with stupid algorithm that controls the whats and whens. Of course you have other gates like 500px (had one and canceled it) and so on. The point is, as your headline says: Don’t get yourself burnt out by social media. This is why I stopped using 500px and Instagram and back to Flickr on my own base. Twitter seems a lightweight social media ventilation to get your work shared and spread (and it has free analytics too) – I’m using it now to share my stock images to get more exposure and not like showing everything I do with my camera.