Art on the internet

The internet, in many ways, is a terrible place for art. When art is viewed online, it loses all of its visceral qualities. The viewer cannot see the texture, the material, the intangible qualities that a physical work of art possesses; the viewer cannot feel its "aura." It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to form an emotional bond with an artwork viewed on a screen. In fact, the work is actually reduced from "art" to simply "an image" when viewed on a screen. 

Instagram and similar smartphone apps are even worse for art. Not only are works of all shapes and sizes reduced to a 2" square on a handheld device, but they are swiped past after only a second or two. It's horrifying! Most artwork reveals itself over time. The longer one can look at it, the more rewarding it is. To think that a picture I have spent countless hours pouring labor and emotion into is swiped past in one second and given a "like" or not is a bit crushing. 

Of course, I recognize that in terms of art, the positive side of the internet and Instagram is potential worldwide exposure for little or no cost. I participate. I post my pictures on my website and social media. But as time progresses, there seem to be fewer and fewer places to show and look at artwork in person. What happens to all of this artwork that is posted online? What should I do with my pictures once I post an image of them on Instagram? Should I throw them away? Should I recycle the materials into the next picture in an endless cycle of social media content creation? Does it matter if a picture still exists in the physical world once an image of it has been posted on the internet?