I cannot think that social media is good for the artist. I will only speak for myself, I will say, for myself, social media is detrimental to my work, but I will speak for others too because I cannot think it is good for the artist! Can you imagine Willem de Kooning posting every new painting, in the wake of its being made, on Instagram or Facebook? The idea is laughable. (Although it is not too difficult to imagine Picasso doing this, but Picasso was a rooster and liked to show his feathers, and that is what people like to do on social media, they like to show you their bright feathers and little strut.) Of course I am not saying anything new when I say that social-media sites are merely arenas where popularity contests are waged, won or lost depending on one's sociabililty, attractiveness and engagement, much as it was in junior high. If that is what you are selling, if what you are selling is yourself, is the idea of yourself as being highly likeable, then I guess these sites are exactly the perfect venue for you, and it is not an act of absurdity to post, for instance, your acceptance letters from contests or galleries but one of necessary self-validation. But if what you are trying to do is to develop a body of work that has meaning and salience, resonance and weight, then I cannot see how offering that work while it is still wet, as it were, to the world to not precisely judge but dismiss or accept with the offhand motion of a finger (as though we were petty tyrants!) is at all beneficial or wise. On the contrary: It is an act of sabotage. If one truly wishes to develop, one doesn't offer one's work to be judged—blithely and dumbly dismissed or accepted—too soon, or even at all, for who are these people dismissing or accepting our work? Yet, we do it—yet, I do it! Do not think I am pleased by this hypocrisy, I do not like to be a hypocrite, yet I am a hypocrite! I show my work not quite as it is made, for I have some little sense of self-preservation, but not long after it is made, too soon, too soon, because I can. Not because I should, but because I can. After all, we cannot always be relied on to do what's best for ourselves, especially when we work in isolation and tilt toward the summit of Recognition without ever moving much nearer to it because, in fact, we are isolated and introverted artists. At least some of us are, and I am fairly sure there is a tradition of the isolated, introverted artist in this world, although social media would have us believe that such a character is not only an anomaly, but a freakish and pitiable one as well. Admittedly, there are times when my virtual connection to other artists throughout the world is something I enjoy very much—such connections are unprecedented. I am not speaking here of Facebook, for there is simply nothing that is not loathsome to me about Facebook, but Instagram, where the people I follow are all artists and all unknown to me, and, as I say, they are situated all over the world. It is a loose network of mutual support, and I find it meaningful in its way. It is the one thing about social media (Instagram) I cannot undervalue. But as far as the development of work goes, it is still, I fear, pernicious, and the more Instagram mimics the loathsome and infantilizing Facebook, the more loathsome it becomes to me. One day, it will give me tremendous pleasure, I hope I will delete the account. But here is what I do not know, this is what I do not know the answer to!: Is it more useful than it is pernicious, does the benefit of the connections outweigh the damage to or inflation of my confidence (and therefore influence the development and direction of my work [it is my fear]) as a result of the swift judgment of so many strangers, many of whom are completely unqualified to judge? (You might say, “Ah, but you shouldn’t be influenced, you should be proof against others’ opinions of your work!” and I will in turn say to you, “You try it. You try creating work out of nothing while remaining consistently and continuously impervious to the opinions of others!”)  I do not, cannot know the answer to that, and so I continue on in my hypocritical way, at once engaging with and utterly despising social media.