These days, there are three types of people: people who can’t live without art, people who can’t live without social media, and people who can’t live without both. Technology has had a tremendous impact on art creation. Whether we like it or not, technology is shaping the way we look, approach, and create art. The impact of technology, particularly social media, is not just evident in the art world because it reflects in our everyday lives. Almost every aspect of our existence, starting with the advent of social media, revolves around the universe of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. We rely on it so much to the point that it seems like these apps control us already. In the context of the art world, artists began to experiment with incorporating digital technology into their creative processes in the 1960s, and the use of technology in the arts has sparked heated discussion ever since. In the last 10 years, there have been two major changes: big data and the advent of social media. Because of the big changes that we’re facing right now, it is worth talking about the impact of social media on art. We know that each story has its two sides– the good and the bad side. And that's the topic of this article, so keep on reading if you wanna learn more!
The advent of social media and its widespread use is seen as one of the most significant technological advances in the last 10 years. According to recent data, the number of users across different social media sites has more than tripled in the last decade, reaching around three billion by 2020. For many artists, the use of social media helps them in various aspects of their art career. It helps them share their artworks and create their name in the art world, even with little to no connection with prolific art dealers, critics, and enthusiasts. The biggest appeal of social media for many creators of different art forms is that it’s mostly free unless they want to pay for their ads, boost their posts, etc. Moreover, for artists with small businesses, social media is a very powerful tool to cut the cost of online self-promotion, marketing, and developing tiny and micro-businesses. Based on research, there has been a trend in the art market, particularly in the United States, that shows small art enterprises have grown their audience thanks to various social media platforms in the past few years.
The Positive Impact of Social Media on Art
Truly, art has a way of getting into our daily lives. Now that we are immersed with technology, we somehow forget about the true joys of our existence- - that is, art, poetry, philosophy, and all the other good things in between. These things we mentioned never fade, even though trends change. With that, let’s take a look at the positive impact of social media on art in this section.
1. Social media allows artists to directly represent themselves to their audience:
Social media has replaced conventional modes of communication which allows you to communicate with your audience about who you are, your goals, and your visions as an artist. In many instances, people can enquire about an item, and it can be sold in an instant. And, with one single interaction such as "follow," or "like," you can get acknowledged by the art industry's respectable figures who can help you establish your name in the art market.
2. Inexpensive way to show off their artworks:
In the present art market, most conventional art galleries and shops have already closed due to certain circumstances, mostly because they cannot live up to the expectations of the modern world. These days, artists are looking for new ways to get their artwork in front of the art community. And what better method to do so than the internet, especially social media? Thanks to different social media sites, artists can finally sell their artworks in the least expensive way— less cut from dealers or galleries, minimal expenses from ads, etc. Doing such represents a great opportunity for many aspiring artists who have hopes of being seen in the competitive industry which has a multitude of people doing the same thing.
3. Social media is making art accessible for everyone:
One of the greatest changes in the art landscape is that the art experience is getting better and more accessible. Back in the day, various art forms, especially visual art, could only be seen through museums, exhibits, art galleries, and expensive art books. Things have changed for the better now– those people who can’t afford to experience art in real life can finally experience it digitally, and they’re mostly free.
The Negative Impact of Social Media on Art
Of course, everything has its two sides, so let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, which is the negative impact of social media on art.
1. It causes unnecessary pressure for many artists:
As the number of users on social media grows, so do the demands for becoming a famous artist on social media sites. It may have done the trick at the start to simply upload your art, some short clips of the creative process, and a short description. But as time goes by, it creates an unnecessary pressure for many artists to keep their status and in turn, they have to be online on a frequent basis, post on a strict schedule, communicate with others, and develop new ideas for content interaction. If you want to be visible and stay visible, social media has essentially become an exhausting full-time job with limited advantages.
2. Fame is short-lived in social media:
Founded fame on social media is intended to be temporary. As a result, your art, which is merely perceived as "content" on social media sites, vanishes in almost an instant. When we upload artwork that we spent hours, days, or even weeks creating, we love the feeling of appreciation through the likes, shares, and follows that we gain because of our art. But, those numbers of "gratifications" that we get are less than a fraction of actual social media users around the world. In most cases, most people will quickly scroll by in less than a second, as if your creation never existed in the first place. Your odds of even appearing in the feeds of your followers are slim unless you pay for ads. Depending on the platform, your content might be gone in days or even minutes. The worst-case scenario is that your artwork is not visible at all. Whether we want to accept it or not, the post interactions that we get are not an assurance that our artworks will be sold.
3. Social media paves the way for plagiarizing acts:
When it comes to creating different types of artworks, social media is an excellent source of inspiration. People nowadays may easily download and steal a portion of something while claiming it does not constitute plagiarism or it's merely "accidental". However, it is partly because of social media that plagiarism is easy to do. Moreover, what's more, troubling is that there is a multitude of plagiarized works out there that haven't been exposed. With such, we appear to be a generation of copy-pasters and stealers.
We hope that these insights regarding the positive and negative impact of social media on art have gained you a deeper perspective on the advantages and drawbacks of promoting your art through various social media sites.