At first it was an exciting feeling, to see one of my own quotes reposted on someone else's Instagram feed. Until I realized that the account who used the image applied their own filter, and then didn't give my credit or a shout out for the image (or the words). Harumph. Even more, the Instagram profile for the account that re-posted the image sort of seems to say "all images copyright us" which then sort of implies that they are the original creators of all the images in their Instagram feed. Which now, at least on one account, I know isn't true. Even more / even worse, the offender appears to be a small creative stationery company!! Say what?!!
In case it's not clear. I'm just going to hop up onto the second step of my soapbox.
I get it, the internet and social media come with a price. We work in the currency of shares and likes, but there isn't a bank that offers a widely-agreed upon exchange rate for these transactions, and the policing of fair exchanges isn't really stellar (if even existent at all). It's sort of like the honor system, but half the population is doing a really shitty job of honoring the people who are actually making the art, digital images, words, memes and gifs that provide us our scrolling online entertainment.
I felt feisty, so I sent a direct message almost immediately upon seeing the offending post. I requested that they provide attribution in the comments following the image, or post the image using the re-post app. Or, if not, I requested they take the photo down. Nothing happened... And then I felt all sassy like I might as well make a public service announcement out of the whole deal (especially since it also appeared that the direct message didn't go through) in the comments section. You can see my clearly hot-headed and could-always-use-more-editing notes in today's quote here. Later in the afternoon the entire post was gone. No note, just gone. Since I don't know the people and I don't live in their heads and I didn't hear back from them, I can only assume their actions are somewhere in the spectrum from "we don't believe in repost or attributing work to the people who actually made it, so we'll just take it down" to "oops I'm embarrassed by all this so I'll take it down" to probably a billion other reasons that I can't even access or image. Who am I to suppose. All I know is that posting the image with proper attribution wasn't in their course of action.
So, why the ramble? Because I believe in the community that we can create on social media. The good and empowering kind that makes us all feel more connected and more positive. And, the kind that recognizes anytime we can share and lift each other up, the better we all will be. (Which applies to like everything on the planet and not just social media.) And the kind that maybe places a different, higher, value on the social media economic currency of sharing and tagging and helping to make all our 'friends' more visible. And by 'friends' I mean all the amazing people we meet online and never in real life who inspire and challenge and who we adore, but very well may live seven states away and we'll never actually get to meet in real life in person. Friends nonetheless.
It all reminded me of a wonderful blog post from Amanda Sandlin around this time last year. The essay is called "How to #repost with respect" and she offers a wonderful list and mantra and ground rules of sharing work. It's great, and you can read it here. Good words to live by (and to share and re-post by). I suggest reading and sharing her words.
I am about to fall asleep. So I'll end it abruptly here. (But, not without saying that the inner turmoil ended quickly thanks to some therapeutic weed wacker repair courtesy of Grandma who spoiled me with a cool-new-brush-cutter-attachment-thing today. (THANKS GRANDMA!) You can see all the old dry grass that was wrapped around the string trimmer head in tonight's photo.
Read it all HERE