Letter #436

Posted by Zakkarrii D on

Dear Wanderer,

Think of this as lighting sage, palo santo, a clearing out of the dust.
It's been awhile.

None of this is meant to be a presentation of a grand epiphany.
Nor is it a stunning revelation laid on a silver platter to satiate a hunger for meaning on the internet.
Sometimes your brain needs a break from overthinking to just muse.

A memory plays on loop (among dozens of others). A while ago I found out a "friend" had been screenshotting my posts, posts that I had turned off reposts for. A screenshot in this context would mean they would've had to remove my name from 2 places, the top and the bottom of the post. No tags, no credit. Modified slightly so it looks slightly different from the original, but still my post is being presented as their own. At first it might seem that this is about feeling slighted (you must be new here).
I did feel slighted at first, and then I saw how this rippled across social media as a whole. I became curious about how this moment could look from different angles.  

-If you make something and someone tries to pass it off as their own, would you be more or less inclined to keep sharing your creations?
-Would your feelings about people sharing your content without credit change whether it was a stranger or a friend?
-What if the person didn't know it was yours in the first place? What if they thought you had gotten it from somewhere else and they thought they were just doing what you did?
-What does "ownership" mean in a digital world where your work exists alongside AI generated content, content bundles for sale and whoever the algorithm favors today gets to be "seen"?

I invite you to look at the way you can share content on different platforms. If you're sharing it within the platform, say Instagram to Instagram, how visible is the name of the person you found the post from? If you're sharing it across platforms, say Tiktok to Instagram, how visible is the person's name then?

This is a small thing that can have a significant impact on social media etiquette.

When I say I thought about this, I mean that's a small book of thoughts on just sharing on social media. We haven't even gotten to the part where what do you do if the other person's account is private in some way but the information is valuable (to you) and you see sharing it as a compliment? Don't worry, you're not trying to figure this out on your own. I don't have answers to these things, but I'm sure with the wealth of perspectives the world has to offer someone has thought about this more than I have. We'll return to this nebulous topic eventually.

And as I said that, another memory played. This one is about having to explain to someone how much work it takes to write content for a website. I remember them focusing on the end product. It's just a blog post, a couple paragraphs. I explained that if someone wanted me to write for their website, I'd have to do some research. That's a part of the cost. There's the time spent drafting and editing to make sure the content is in line with the brand's voice and tailored for their audience (particularly if I'm not being featured as a guest writer).

The memory is coming up here because why did I write something where I didn't have the answers ready to share for my audience? I actually feel slightly embarrassed about it. Perfect. It's not perfect like fix all your problems with the push of a button perfect.

I am holding space for myself through these letters. I haven't shared anything in years. I completely closed myself off for multiple reasons. Isolation served me well, but it's not a way to live. There is no perfect version of me waiting to emerge. The most perfect version of me is already here now as is yours. We'll learn some new things today and become a little better at being ourselves come nightfall.

My goal here isn't to present myself as some kind of authority figure masquerading as a prophet. Strange and Savage is a gift shop on the edge of the void. I'm not exactly downtown as the central hub for knowledge. I think there's something magical in being able to go away (physically, mentally, digitally) and give your perspective some room to roam, to get some experience points, to relax. One of those places is here.

Which reminds me of something I read in a book called "High Conflict", but we'll talk about that next time.

Thanks for being here.

Stay curious, stay strange.


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