Cardmaking Meets Social Media
It is not that many years ago that if a crafter of any kind including card makers wanted to share their craft, or share the love of their craft with others they had to take pictures and show them to friends and family, or card makers would send their cards to their friends and family or if they were proficient enough they might rent a booth at a craft fair and sell some cards. Sharing your talent was not an easy task for a crafter.
Written letters and cards, being delivered by hand, was the earliest form of social media. Technology brought along changes in the 1900’s, but it was not until 1997 that the first “Social Media” site was developed, called Six Degrees. Later in the 90’s people began blogging. This is when people were sharing parts of their personal lives online with the world.
Ahhhh, Social Media has begun, and crafters and card makers and everyone else in the world can share what it is they love to do. YouTube began in 2005, and Facebook in 2006 enabling people from all around the world to connect with each other instantly. Both a blessing and a curse to many people.
For the dozen or so card makers I spoke with, creating anywhere from two years to over twenty years, they have experienced changes in the world of creating and social media for themselves. All the women (sorry, no male card makers were interviewed for this article) currently post on some form of social media. Most post on Facebook, some on Instagram, some have YouTube channels, and others blog. Some began posting immediately, but most of them were more reluctant to post their creations right away. I discovered a commonality in the reason for those who did not want to post immediately upon starting their craft was they felt a sense of comparison or a sense of not being “good enough”. Lack of self confidence seems to be a common thread for those who do not post right away or regularly, although they also have found that finding a “safe place” where they get positive feedback and constructive criticism, getting “likes” and comments has both built the self esteem and given them the confidence to post on social media more frequently and in different places. Having encouragement and positivity goes a long way towards helping people want to post on social media, be it YouTube (look how many people drop their channels in just a few months), or a blog or on FaceBook.
The group I spoke with spoke about some of the pros and cons of social media, the most common statements for the con side is the comparisons that can take place, feelings of “oh, they did so much better than I did on that card”, Anne said “it can mess with your psyche, other people feedback can become too important.” Michele said, “getting nasty comments and being copied with out recognition”.
Everyone of the women interviewed agreed that the pro of posting their creations on social media is the support and encouragement from the community. Several said it is a great source of inspiration and creativity.
It is my opinion that crafters enjoy sharing what they create, but the world of social media brings out both the best and the worst of people, we live behind a screen and we do not always say the things we might say to someone in a face to face world. If we focus on being KIND to each other while sitting behind our screens and work to build community, we will encourage other (and newer) card makers to join the social media community.