Creative Toughness and the Internet

Life has a way of filling its vessel with substance whether we’re wishing it a fair wind or setting its rigging to survive the tumble of its seas.

And more than ever before, the Internet has come to be a living force equally empowered by good or often it seems, bereft of purpose at all.

When I say, “more than ever before” I mean its unprecedented boost to prominence these past few years as a warbling voice of politicians, an unpredictable vehicle to extract societal change or its insinuation into our very lives through apathetic surveillance.

But what does it mean for the creatives, the people who wish to express themselves and share their fruits with no one but everyone in particular? Well, the Internet for now, serves them too but with one caveat we should explore.

As much as social media wants us to believe otherwise, “being online” isn’t always as pleasant as its promise. I recall that line in The West Wing, where the senior senator from California, Arnie Vinick (played by the exceptional Alan Alda) says:

California is the one state that has everything: big cities, small towns, mountains, deserts, farms, factories, fishermen, surfers, all races, all religions, gay, straight, everything this country has. There’s more real America in California than anywhere else.

Surely, we can say the same thing even more emphatically about the Internet right now—of course, expanding its paradigm to the world (and remember, Big Social Media wasn’t even around when Arnie delivered his line):

The Internet is the one technology that has it all: people and robots (created by people, if you recall) with all their quibbles, talents, fetishes, and foibles to roost.

The lesson here, is that if you want to create and share on the Internet, develop a leather skin. For with the praises and likes that will come, so too will the critiques and sheer nastiness. You’ve just got to fob off the whole thing as a factor of living in a human world with every imperfection, magnified by a 24-7 anonymity the online world appears to sow.

Being a leader, a journalist, an opiniontor, a novelist!, an artist, a celebrity, an entrepreneur, or a thinker lifts the cover to an audience nowadays wider than heretofore imagined.

Those who succeed, know how to sift through its feedback for the gold, pro and con and let its chaff blow away in the ocean breeze. Though it’s never easy.

The main thing is, remain true to your vision; share your inner poetry and individuality, because as the saying goes, “Build it. And they will come”.

© 2017 Adam Parker.