Everyone wants to be successful

At what cost ?

We live in a world where facebook (and other social media) makes us judge our success based on the number of likes we get, it's a fact regardless of you wanting to admit it or not.  It's highly addictive getting those little thumbs giving us a pat on the head, well done you, you did good, we like you, we like your pictures or what you say.  It justifies our existence, people are watching us, giving their approval. 

It's a fickle place facebook, one minute you may be riding the waves of glory, the next you post a picture you love and there's just one sad little thumb from your best mate, your wife or husband, or someone who clicked it by accident...and the more that happens the more you think, dammit I'm not posting any more like that, it's not popular enough, it made me feel bad, I don't even like the picture anyway - so you post pictures like the popular ones that got you lots of attention, you may not even like them but seeing that acknowledgment makes you feel good again.  In amongst all that you discover that if you start liking other people's stuff they like yours back, kinda like saying hello to someone face to face - they feel obliged to say hello back, so now you're caught in the never ending loop of 'likes for likes', you don't even (really) like the shit other people are posting, you're just doing it so they like your stuff (which they might not like either)....so it goes on, you're virtually jerking off other people so they'll do the same for you...

.....and somewhere in there you get lost, you're posting crap for other people, not for you, and as it becomes more and more addictive you start to photograph for other people, looking for the pictures you know other people will like and you stop photographing for yourself, copying the popular trends to feed your craving....until a few years down the line you look back and wonder, when did this become a 'job' rather than a passion ?

The whole situation reminds me of an episode of 'Black Mirror' called Nosedive

I'd break the cycle now if I were you, but who am I to tell you what to do....don't listen to me, I'm just a bloke with a camera who puts random thoughts into words.

Success takes time

So, if you're still reading this is I did actually start to write to make this point, really for new photographers trying to break into the industry.  It's around the desperation for quick success, to getting recognised for the right reasons - for your photography.  The point really is, there isn't a quick way, everyone who's ever been ever good at anything has put thousands and thousands of hours into their art, there's no such thing as a quick way to do it.  

Explained perfectly by 'overnight sensation' Big Shaq.  I won't waffle anymore, just take a look at this if you're interested, specifically from 6:07 to 7:13.  It's absolutely bang on the money - years and years of grafting in the background.  There are no shortcuts, get really good at what you do, then look for attention - but chances are it will find you anyway, if you're any good.