Time: 23:15
Listening to: Awake Now
Topic: General

I don't title journal entries, but if I did, I'd call this one "I have to be cringe on the internet or I'll die." Or, "An argument for creating selfishly."

I initially posted a very short version of this elsewhere, but I wanted to modify and expand on my thoughts a bit. Make this a bit more structured. I recently stopped using most social media. I have a few sites I still use, but banning myself from Twitter and Twitch was the final nail in the coffin for me in terms of modern, heavily algorithm based social media and especially with trying to market myself in any capacity.

The thing about sites like Twitter, Twitch, etcetera, is they're all heavily sanitized. I don't want to talk it in an us versus them mentality here because there are great artists and creators on all variety of platforms. It's not about a lack of passion or creativity. Rather, it's the algorithms, about trying to treat even posting casually like a job. It's about everyone having to market themselves and makeup themselves rather than expressing themselves. Again, not us versus them. This applies to me too.

I found myself increasingly paring down and marketing my content. I can't be too "cringe," I can't be too open about my mental health, I can't speak openly when something terrible happens. I've tried to market myself on a number of sites before but truly, every time it's made me miserable. It all just feels so commerical and full of crunch. Push out the next piece of content so you get more eyes on your stuff, even though 1k+++ people seeing your stuff won't entice anyone to comment. If something happens and you can't do it, watch all your work go down the drain because algorithms thrive on consistency.

The thing is, I'm very full of myself when it comes to my art. I'm very full of myself when it comes to this site! I open it and read through my pages multiple times a day. I create new pages and draw new art and spend a week opening it every couple minutes because I enjoy what I make. I never really understood people who say they hate their art or the things they make. I make bad art sometimes. I've had a lot of growth as an artist and I have so, so much more ahead of me. Yet, I love everything I make. I can look at old works and see the charm in them because I made them. Is that a bit full of myself? Maybe so! Is it selfish? Absolutely. I don't make things for other people. I have always made them, and will always make them, for myself.

Sure, it's embarrassing, but every time I've lost sight of it I've really regretted it. To be myself is to be a bit embarrassing. But that's why I like sites like Neocities and the few social media sites I use that haven't completely fallen to algorithm heavy, randomized, borderline-unsearchable (though does it matter? When there's algorithms nobody searches anyway) content. People are here to express themselves because they love things and search because they love things. It's selfish creation for selfish enjoyment. It's being bad at something and getting better at it as you go along. It's actually seeing comments and people instead of falling into some sort of algorithm void.

So for me, I have to do and say the things that make me less "marketable" that make me more "cringe." What keeps me here, on this Earth, are the things I love. What keeps me making new things is a selfish, self centered desire to put the kind of stuff in the world I'd like to find.