We’ve all done it. Scrolling through our Instagram feed, we see posts of murals or sculptures and think “Wow, I like that.” So we use our thumb and press on the screen to affirm our adoration.

The experience of art is different for everyone. People take their own predispositions with them when analyzing a work, and those concepts and ideas take away something unique. With the digitization of art at the local and international level, the experience is even more subjective.

Artists in our community have thousands of followers, and galleries and museums use their social media tools as a means of promotion and exposure. We can choose who we want to follow and see work from, almost creating our own little curation of what we want to see in our feed.

Jacksonville-based artist Logan Zawacki explained that for him, “Social media has, without question, changed the way we view art in the 21st century … Not only do I have an infinite amount of art ready to view online, but social media apps bring the art directly to me … My artistic awareness is at an all-time high, and what’s even better is that in this digital world, I get to decide which artists and works of art have the greatest value to me, without the influence of an art history book or museum saying, ‘You should value this art, because we say so.’”

With curation at our fingertips and art on our screen, we now see the world how we want to. Artists that inspire us pop up in our feed more than others, and it can give us an incentive to go out and experience art in person.

Ryan Paul Thompson, Director of Communications for GAAM (Games, Art, and Music) said, “It’s up to the artists to evolve with the medium and take advantage of the platform to figure out what story to tell, and how to differentiate the online story from the in-person experiences … Just as there is a difference between listening to music through headphones and being at a concert, artists need to embrace the meta mediums surrounding social media to make a worthwhile experience online, lean into what can only be experienced ‘In Real Life,’ and recognize the differences between the two.”

The art of the double tap has evolved with social media. As time has passed, we have been given more resources to make art more accessible and more invasive than ever before.

The curation of our feeds is up to us, we can pick and choose what we want to see and dismiss what doesn’t appeal to us.

Social media has been a catalyst for more conversation about art, and whether it is seen in person or through a screen, artistic discourse is happening more and more.  

Even though social media has been a great tool for exposure, individuals can also rush through their feed and not truly look at the piece.

Next time the MOCA posts a photo of their exhibit on Instagram or an artist does a boomerang of their painting, look a little closer. Give yourself more time. And, if possible, go in person. Support what you can with your own eyes, in addition to the double tap.