#5 On Artists & Audiences
Reflection of Thomas J Bevan’s essay
As an audience, are you bored and frustrated by click bait low-quality content on Twitter or any other platform?
As an artist, do you find yourself compromising your production quality, giving into peer pressure and chasing vanity metrics?
You’re not alone.
Thomas J Bevan share his take against ephemeral content on internet. In his essay, he writes about how online content creators are doing a disservice to their audience and themselves by engineering for click baits, basing it on audience fear and their own financial insecurity.
He shares his concerns over “the diminishment in the discernment, taste and quality of audiences.” He asks… How many of us still read novels/ watch quality films/ listen to luring music, not just a pastime, but as activity in and of itself?
On the other hand, cash-strapped artists are “intentionally dumbing down or at least compromising aspect of their work.”
I’m no stranger to this.
I struggle to balance playing engagement games as against producing valuable content. While both may not be mutually exclusive, there are times when you are tempted to compromise the latter over the other!
I’m glad though that Tom offers an empowering solution.
He calls for everyone to “Raise your standards.”
“Demand more,” he suggests.
Looking at the past 3–4 months of my content consumption, as an audience, I’m sad that how low quality it has become. I don’t curse the ‘content creators’, but I blame myself only for lowering my standards. Thinking about it, during this period, I haven’t read long form blog articles, critical essays and/ or a deeper narrative.
At the same time, as an artist, albeit very few creations, I too have been producing lower quality content. I’ve not been putting out the best of my abilities; I’ve not taken enough effort to refine my content and almost creating content off the seat of my pants without any long-term thought, but to optimize for short-term dopamine hits of likes & RTs. Yet I call myself an ‘artist’. What a blasphemy!
As Thomas suggests, it will be mutual, where raising my own standards on consumption would hopefully increase my creation and which would in turn get quality audience, who will in turn push me to create better quality content.
So instead of becoming part of the downward vicious content cycle, I can choose to participate in the virtuous content cycle of better quality and standards.
This blog is one attempt at raising my standards. Instead of posting it as a tweet commentary, I’m writing a more thought-out reflection of the concept.
I’m not sure whether you, as my audience, would enjoy this. But I hope you would appreciate my attempt at it, which would in turn motivate me to produce more such content.
So, what would you vote for? To read more such (relatively) fully formed content or consume half-baked platitudes?
The choice is yours.
Originally published at https://aurasky.gumroad.com.