Y'all know that i've been missing from dA big time this year. I came back with a positive attitude but when i saw all the changes made around here my reaction was:
Hooray for my first gif though - i decided to use gifs in my journals from now on. That, by the way, was Tyler Oakley. I might slightly abuse him today. Back on the topic though. Let's get started!
While i was away changes were made to the site, which is cool i guess, it gives the feeling that we're moving forward. BUT... what the hell happened to the community?! I've been reading journals from people i admire and/or are/were so involved in the community and i thought "well, it's cool that i'm not the only one feeling it, it means i'm not crazy, but... wtf?" I have been stalking the DDs and i noticed peoples' enthusiasm is almost gone, few congratulatory comments, even fewer comments that are not plain copy-pasted (comparing to one year ago). This is just the tip of the iceberg. People don't thank so much anymore. It's not the comments per se, it's about what's behind it.
This community, right now, lacks enthusiasm and seem to take everything for granted. It's not just a feeling of mine, but of many others like me. Some people seem surprised when i comment on their works, like they didn't expect people to comment, just fave and run. And that's ok to some degree, but what is the extent of this trend exactly? When did people stop being involved and supporting? As someone who is here and does things for the community, i feel like a minority, as an outsider.
I remember how hard it was for me to get noticed in the beginning - imagine how a newbie feels now when it seems like no one's giving a shit about them. There are people that do care and do try to help, problem is, they are fewer than one year ago in a constantly growing community. The ratio is bad. There are old (small) communities that still go strong today here - support groups, other groups of various interests, but when you leave that bubble of known people, how many feel comfortable saying "hi, how are you?" to a complete stranger? Or starting a small talk about who knows what? I get that we're busy and always looking just at the covers of the books because we don't have the time to take a look inside, but here is more than meets the eye. Someone might just need a feature to brighten their day, others might need to talk to someone.
I know life can get sucky and i know there are people who will always smile regardless of how they feel. I know that we, those who are still active in this field, can't save them. But we can make them feel included and so, help them save themselves. I'm not specifically talking about depression, it's also the insecurity, the feeling of not being noticed or not belonging anywhere. I miss the people who left dA and used to be everywhere, making constructive things for us all. I miss the many community projects. We also need to inspire people to better themselves and pass it on to others. Where is that? How is this going to happen if there will be no community spirit? Don't tell me it isn't as dark as i see it cause i ain't the only one.
This is still going but not because there are enough people left to fuel it, it's because of what was done before. It's a kind of residual energy, let that burn down and we'll find ourselves complete strangers to a place we used to love and belong to. I already feel distanced, disconnected. Let me be clear, this didn't only happen while i was away or because i was away (lol), it started before that, it's just that now i can see it clearly. dA, as an art site, needs a strong community; without it it's just an advanced Google. You might say:
Well, you should, solely because you are part of it, everything else is secondary to that. I don't think there is no hope left because i'd underestimate the power united people hold - right now, i just think we have forgotten what truly matters and that we are not entitled to anything. Nothing in life comes free, this is why each and everyone of us should lend a hand and be grateful for every favourite, every llama, every friend we have here. We should not forget we are who we are because at some point we met someone who we looked up to and tried to be as good as they were - if they are not around anymore, then we should step up and be the next model. Remember the impact that person/action had on you and ask yourselves if you want to keep it to yourselves or would you rather make an impact on others as well? This is what community spirit means to me; what does it mean to you? What do you think needs to be done?
I would now like to ask each and everyone of you who have had enough patience to go through this journal to pass its essence on; maybe it will inspire some people to get involved. So... what are you waiting for?