I’ve just had the most relieving realisation.
I don’t have to keep buying in to all the bull-shit hype that this modern online, self congratulating, fake-it-til-you-make-it, celebrity worshipping, socially disconnected/social media-using world expects of me.
Actually I refuse to do it anymore. I don’t want that to be my legacy.
Here’s my confession…I’ve been pretending.
I’m not actually as cool as my press shots look or as successful as I have been trying to make you believe. (Shock! Horror!) I work in an industry that believes in maintaining a highly visible public profile, to get gigs, to sell records…to get lots of likes on Facebook (ludicrous concept!) and ultimately make certain corporations a lot of money. For independent artists such as myself the big corporations don’t have to be a factor, but the basic principles are the same and if you are not careful you can start to believe your own hype.
The truth is that even though I work hard and tour, release albums and videos, perform regularly on radio and all of that stuff, I still play most shows to sparsely populated rooms and struggle every week to justify my decision to be a musician. I wouldn’t change that decision for the world, but I want you all to be on the same page with me while my career develops. I want you to witness it from a genuine perspective, not through an over-inflated, hyped up, media machine.
I’ve had enough of contributing to the “Great Disconnect”, the ever widening divide between real people & real stories and the enormous pile of deceit and misconceptions generated by a system that now seems to believe that viewing a Facebook profile is akin to getting to know somebody.
It’s not…and it’s got to stop. At least for me.
I don’t mean that I’m going to go completely offline or that I now look down on others in the industry who use those techniques or frown upon all social media etc. I just want to start making a more genuine and truthful contribution to this world, using all of the same tools I am now.
Are you with me?
Please join me in making this world a more genuine place to live in, and create a legacy we can all be proud of…tune out of the hype and tune in to the person next to you.
Look up from your phone and talk to the person sitting across from you on public transport. Smile at a stranger. Talk to your neighbours. Call or visit your friends instead of only messaging them on their birthday. Do an anonymous good deed for someone in need. Do one thing everyday to make this world just a little more genuinely connected.
There’s a whole new generation who will thank us for it.
Please leave a comment or thought here to help me generate more of a conversation around this subject. I kind of feel like I’m just spilling my guts into a void right now…
Good one Tim. I have lots to say on this topic!
Go on then Stewart! Speak.
Tim … the truth will set you free! The self satisfaction of writing a good song and performing it well whenever the occasion arises is success as a musician and a songwriter. These are two different things “Music” and “the Music Business” sometimes their paths intersect but not as often as one would think. I and you and many more of us are musicians and songwriters but it is wrong to say we “work in the music business”. Success is not determined by others but by ourselves it is not how high your stack of money is, or how high your “likes” are it’s how high you hold your head. Oh well its something to write about anyway. Cheers Bob
I’ve met you, you so are that cool!!
Thanks for speaking the truth Tim, the world always appreciates honesty, and all of us from time to time feel like we’re living in a digital and fake world. I’m fortunate enough to live in an amazing community where I communicate with my neighbours daily, we make food for each other, grow veggies for each other, and turn up with wine or flowers, but I’ve lived anonymously in streets with no faces and it’s no fun. Go forth and spread humanity – humanity needs it.
You are very lucky to be in a community like that Penny. You are a very genuine person too so that of course is the contribution you make to your local situation. I’m fortunate enough to live in a very close knit neighbourhood too. None of us really communicate via social media. It’s face to face, veggie swaps and street parties for us too. That’s real community, real society, real culture. You can’t like that on Facebook!
I did lights for a youth dance show recently – exactly 25% of the music they chose was about looking up from your phone – and one of the pieces explicitly dealt with this. So there are some positive signs that some young people at least are moving on from being ‘screen jockeys’
Thanks Bevan, that’s a really encouraging thing to hear. Artists have a social responsibility to lead the backlash against this problem of social disconnect.
My mission in life is to inspire conversation about “Legacy”. What is it to you? What are you leaving behind?
I really believe that if we face that question as a whole society we will start to make more responsible decisions for the future generations of sentient beings on this planet.
I agree 100% with you Tim – I do fear greatly for the younger generation as they really don’t know how to communicate in person. Many of them can’t even speak properly – they mumble, and a great deal don’t seem to know how to spell English!!! And what you said about the self adoration is so correct – you just have to look at the amount of times people change their self profile photos on Facebook for the sole purpose of getting their ‘friends’ to tell them how great they are. The 35 plus women seem to the worse at this. I know of several marriages and families that have been damaged because the wife/mother is constantly on Facebook speaking with her friends, being told how ‘beautiful, hot, young’ she looks…….
I seen young people in what is suppose the be a ‘conversation pit’ at a venue and not one of them is speaking – they are all texting……
Take away the phones, ipads for a couple of weeks and see if you know your family!!!
Thankfully, as with any subject, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule Denise. I know of a lot of really amazingly switched-on youth, who are actively trying to combat this problem.
Your comments are a sad reflection of the times though, as I witness similar scenes everyday.
I really want to become a part of the solution not a contributor to the problem.