How to be a creative when you hate the creator economy

I just am not called to make “clickable content” or “drive engagement” based on the criteria of consumerism

Von Reyes

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

The creator economy has afforded artists of all mediums around the world with the ability to make the things they love and get paid for them. In essence, it is a democratization of the creative world — anyone can share what they’re working on and anyone can consume the art. My personal politic makes me extremely supportive of the decentralization of power, and on the tin the creator economy does just that. But like most things with good intentions, this “democratization of creativity” doesn’t really shake out equitably in practice.

Platforms are built by people, and the ones that proliferate our lives are built by people from the privileged class with wealth as their motivator. This motivator directly informs their worldviews, which almost always align with the subjugation of oppressed people all over the world. Therefore, their platforms facilitate marginality and encourage people to hurt each other to boost their analytics.

I just am not called to make “clickable content” or “drive engagement” based on the criteria of consumerism. Bo Burnham says it best, in my opinion:

“You know, maybe allowing giant digital media corporations to exploit the neurochemical drama of our children for profit; you know maybe that was a bad call by us. Maybe the flattening of the entire subjective human experience into a lifeless exchange of value that benefits nobody except for, you know, a handful of bug-eyed salamanders in Silicon Valley; maybe that as a way of life forever. Maybe that’s bad.”
- From Bo Burnham’s INSIDE

Dr. Safiya Noble has an incredibly robust body of work on the ways in which oppression is baked into the very fabric of our lives online. This critical point stuck with me from the keynote I attended of hers at DrupalCon Pittsburgh 2023 — It is hard to discern what is…

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Von Reyes

A sociologist attempting to build a life of joy, ease, and authenticity for us all between seeing my favorite bands live. vonreyes.carrd.co