I recently saw this video by Ted Forbes from the YouTube channel The Art of Photography.
At first I thought the points of views expressed were a bit cynical, but after giving it a bit more thought I realized that he were absolutely right and his points resonates very well with my own experiences with critique from online sources (Can be found here, but it is in danish).
I think the real truth as to why it is so hard to get meaningful critique is just at Ted Forbes describes it: nobody cares about your photography!
If you consider it, it is really quite simple. The people giving you critique only do it to be eligible for critique of their own pictures. They don't really care if your pictures suck a little or suck a lot. They care about their own work. Sure, there are some people who give critique to a strangers photos without a wish for getting critique for their own work. But then they do it to be important some other way. As a know-it-all-guru, or as a great photographer who's work you ought to admire.
In short, it is all a matter of getting something for something. The interest in your work does not really exist. Why? Because it is not interesting.
For me that was quite a pill to swallow at first, but then it dawned on me that it doesn't matter. It might actually set you free to acknowledge that nobody cares. You are free from hunting Likes on social medias, free from chasing popularity, free from trying to be famous.
What do you do then, with that freedom?
The answer is simple and also given by Ted Forbes in the video above. You practice and hone your skills. You create something that makes a difference. Not necessarily in a society changing manner. Maybe just something that matters to you, your family or your friends. Maybe something that is really spectacular and enjoyed by a lot of people. Not because they really want you to look at their pictures but because the really want to look at your pictures.