Social media is a big part of the creative industry. It practically drives the creative industry, as it allows companies to advertise new products they come up with, as well as communicate with employees, clients and job applicants. However, despite knowing this, I find myself hesitant to use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and other sites like the two I have mentioned. If you haven’t guessed from the title, or from this paragraph, the lecture that I’m reflecting on was about social media. Week 3 of this trimester had much to say about the importance of social media to the creative industry.
Before I get any further, I would like to make this note to readers; I noted in class last Friday that I should have elaborated more on my use of DeviantArt in my last reflective blog, however, as I sat in front of my laptop typing, the thought came to me that that information fits better in this blog post, instead of where I was trying to fit it.
What is social media? And more importantly, I think, what is social media to me? To answer the first question, I think that I need not go any further than a quick Google search of the definition.
Straight from searching “social media definition”, the result I get is this:
Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
This definition describes websites such as Facebook, Twitter, DeviantArt and FanFiction.net. I will get more into these sites soon.
To me however, social media is a complicated thing. I do not class Facebook or Twitter as the same kind of site as DeviantArt or FanFiction.net for the simple fact that the information shared on all these sites is different.
I don’t like Facebook. The only thing I use Facebook for is it’s Messenger app, and occasionally looking at the Facebook page for one of mobile games I play. I got my Facebook account a few years ago, and when I first used it I thought it was cool, but eventually, due to people typing hate at each other and bringing drama from school into their status posts, I started avoiding the website, trying to use Skype to communicate with my friends, but I found that hard when everyone uses Facebook. Because I don’t like Facebook, I find myself hesitant to participate much on Twitter. I have been told many numerous that social media is important in the creative industry, as the lecture for week 3 said; it allows you to promote your work online in a place where everyone can view it. Despite knowing this, I still hesitate to rejoin the Facebook community or take part in the Twitter community.
On the other hand, I have no problem at all communicating with artists and authors on DeviantArt and FanFiction.net. I suspect that this is because I don’t know who anyone is, and I’m not hearing about their problems all day every day. Not that I won’t help people with their problems, but I can only do so much before it’s out of my hands.
On DeviantArt I am free to share my art, comment on other’s art and have my art commented on. The feedback from other artists is inspiring and is very often encouraging. On FanFiction.net, reviewers always make sure to make their feelings known, though those feeling aren’t always the nicest comments (most of the time they are), they will more often then not give you advice on how to improve, even if it’s not always worded in the most polite way.
In the lecture, there were two questions asked: what name will I use, and what are the pros and cons of creating accounts under an alias? These were interesting questions questions that made me question why do I use an alias? What purpose do the pen-names “Icetail” and “FrostieHeart” serve me? Icetail is actually the second pen-name I have had, the first being Meta-If (if you have ever been on my first blog or seen my FanFiction.net profile back in 2012-2013). The only place where the name “Meta-If” still applies is FanFiction.net, where it is apart of my current pen-name (which might or might not change…). The name Icetail is one of my original character’s names from my fanfiction stories, and doesn’t do much for me in a professional sense. The name FrostieHeart, I didn’t come up with until two years ago in grade 11 when I got my DeviantArt account. Instead of using the name Icetail again I used the name of one of my World of Warcraft characters; Frostyhart (who doesn’t exist anymore sadly). While I might like these names at this current stage, I cannot see myself using them as a professional alias, they are too detached from my person to be so.
But still I have to ask, what do these mean to me anyway? The name FrostieHeart probably means the most to me as a creator at this point in my life, as my current pen-name, though it has no particular meaning in general. I just thought it was cool, and it is so simple to change when I get tired of it. My real name means so much more to me. Rebekah, in Hebrew means ‘to tie or secure’, but that is inconsequential to the fact that it is the name that my parents gave me. I have come to believe that you don’t really have a name on social media, not if it can be so easily changed, merely you type a name into a small box and it remains your name until you change it, whether you inform your watchers or not is a choice that you make.
While it remains so simple to change a name on social media it is almost impossible to retain a single name, where your followers start calling you something, you eventually set that as your name, then you continue on for a few months or years until you feel so detached from the name that your followers have given you and you change your name to the next most popular name you get called, because your followers have changed and evolved, as a consequence they come up with a new name for you. It’s a form of never ending cycle that happens until you settle onto one name, your identity and brand.
However what I am going to dive into next falls under my final reflective blog task topic, being week one’s lecture on “Your Professional Identity”. I do hope you are not too bored with my blog posts, I’ve been enjoying typing them so far. Leave a comment to ask me anything you like, I will endeavour to answer everyone.
Until next post!