A Letter to My Past Self: Stop Giving a F*ck

A Letter to My Past Self: Stop Giving a F*ck

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No, you didn’t read that wrong. Stop it. You’re doing it right now. You’re counting how many likes you got as soon as you posted that photo. You’re estimating how much time it’ll take to get to 100. 200. 300. You find yourself wanting more: “How many times do I comment to bump this up in everyone’s feed?” So close to that #LLF1000CLUB, that as soon as the likes slowed down, you’ve lost that euphoric feeling you had when you had 100. In the world of social media, enough never seems to be enough, huh?

Stop.

You can’t pick up your camera anymore because you expected a group of 20,000 to validate a photo you held dear. And when only a trickle of one or two likes happen after five minutes, you throw in the towel, and with it, your worth, your art, all that passion, all that time.

Stop it.

Stop it. Right now.

Are you hearing yourself? You’re telling yourself to f*ck all your worth and all your work because a handful of people didn’t validate you by clicking a button you’ll never hold in your hands. Your art is not measured through unpredictable algorithms of something as whimsy as social media. Your capability isn’t gauged by the total tally of your likes every month. Photography isn’t dodgeball – the team with most hits doesn’t win in this industry. Social media is an illusion – likes and numbers provide the false sense of security that you’re doing great, that you’ve got no more room for improvement, that these “likes” are all you need to keep the artist in you thriving.

Are you hearing yourself? Whatever happened to the girl who picked up that D90 and started taking photos of flowers? Who now takes photos of timeless moments? Where is your passion? Your spark? The one that existed, that burned on without social media? Your passion was once upon a time spurred on by the need to encapsulate the mere atmosphere you breathe. It once existed to live and take close hold and capture of memories some people would kill to have again.

Once upon a summer day, you dragged your niece outside to the grass and burned through your memory card. When the buffer of your D90 couldn’t handle the barrage of photos you kept taking, instead of frustration at your entry level camera’s capability, you shrugged it off and waited and took some more.

Stop it. Stop getting lost in the temporary fantasy and nature of the instant gratification in today’s world.

Did you hear me yet? Okay. Now go. Shoot more. Shoot everything and anything. Shoot like the young girl you once were. Take photos of the butterflies, of the wind, of your niece, of moments you held on to so close. Don’t worry about the bigger picture just yet.

The artist that once had her soul overflowing is now parched. Go…go, and live in today, and take photos.

Stop giving a fuck.

Anne Salas
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