By Alain Deen
Volume 1 Issue 7
April 22, 2021
Image provided by WNYC
Numbers. An age-old concept, defined on Google as a “mathematical, object used to count, measure or label.” However, When I say “numbers”, I don’t literally mean 1, 2 or 75,496. Modern day has placed increasing emphasis on the value of numbers, whether through money, views, likes, or NFT’s. Specifically, I’m interested in giving my take on the presence of numbers on social media. Views, likes, comments, and even shares typically degrade the simplicity of social media, most prominently from the angle of a creator. As a social media creator with somewhat of a following myself, the numbers seem to plague social media to the extent where creating is no longer an art form, but rather a chore.
I consider acting and filmmaking two of my strongest passions. However, it only beats pancake baking and burger flipping by a hair. Anyway, I have brought filmmaking and acting to a certain social media platform, allowing me to express myself to thousands of people around the world. Whether I spread awareness on current issues through a short film medium or produce captivating yet sometimes cheesy renditions of iconic scenes from movie and TV, I think it’s safe to say I enjoy what I do. This was of course until…the numbers rolled in.
“50,000 views. Wow!”
“200,000 views. HUH!?”
“1 million views. Hey: where’s my limo?”
In an instant, it all went right to my head. It was a lot to take in, especially due to my under-developed pre-frontal cortex. That feeling of impacting someone’s day is indescribable. On the surface it may not seem that deep, but when you think about it, anyone has the power to brighten someone’s else’s day. All it takes is some courage, passion, and I was producing the content I loved, while still gaining traction. Sweet! Until I wasn’t…
“Dang. This video didn’t do well”. Says the kid with a large community of supporters, failing to recognize the sheer sense of community present. I no longer produced content for my supporters and for me, but rather a few pixels at the bottom left of the videos on my page. I lost that sense of community which gave me traction in the first place. Months and months of mindless content, with no thought or desire to impact someone’s day, but rather the app’s algorithm. This is what I like to call “Creators End-Game”. Do you see what I did there? Never mind. If I’m being honest, that was an awful pairing of words. My condolences to any Marvel fans. Anyway, I was producing content for the app’s algorithm. It was…miserable, to say the least.
However, I had a stark realization a couple of weeks ago. What do numbers really mean? Nothing! Why worry about numbers when you have a large community of amazing people, sitting right in front of you? In my opinion, community is irreplaceable. Simply put, it’s a group of unified souls with the same interests and hobbies as one another. Even if that’s not the case, there is a sense of family present. Now that, my friend, no number can top. This concept doesn’t entirely apply to social media. Look outside! So many interesting souls, with unique stories. Remarkable.
That realization has prompted a spike in my content. Not in numbers, but in passion and quality. I’m now producing content solely based on my desire to simply create. Although the numbers haven’t been as spectacular, the fun of creating greatly outweighs any possible number of viewers imaginable.