As of late, it’s been really driving me crazy how much everyone cares about what other people like. Websites like Facebook continually ask us to connect everything we do to our profile so people can see what music we listen to, what pages we like, our Farmville scores, the movies and books we read, the articles we click, and a thousand other things that may be private or may be things we don’t need/want to broadcast to the world. I totally get that this is the whole point of social media, advertising your Twitter account on Facebook, your Facebook account on Pinterest, your Pinterest account on Tumblr, etc etc until your life becomes one giant self advertisement. I recently deactivated my Facebook account as a social experiment (well more of an experiment to myself) to see how much Facebook really has affected my daily life. (Stay tuned for a pop culture rant)
Now this may seem crazy, but I am definitely experiencing a little bit of a Facebook withdrawal. I deactivated my account primarily because I have finals coming up and really really need to ace all of my exams but beyond that, I want my relationships with people in real life to be better. Being in constant communication with someone is the worst thing you can do to a friendship. You really can run out of things to say, and no one wants to be in a friendship where you find yourselves sitting in silence because you are so in tune with each others’ daily lives that there is nothing to talk about. I have nothing against sitting in silence with close friends just to enjoy their company, but you get what I mean. There’s a line there.
So this is day one of my lack of Facebook. It feels weird to not talk to people that I’m used to talking to on Facebook, but it’s incredibly relieving. I’ve gotten more studying done today than any other day of my life and I think that’s a good sign.
The other thing I wanted to address that I talked about for a second up there is that I think people’s private lives are becoming so public that it’s changing our perception of ourselves and our friends. I was listening to a playlist of terrible but super catchy middle school era songs with my friend on the drive back to school the other day and I can’t tell you how many times I was worried about how it would look when my Facebook profile updated saying that I had listened to Jesse McCartney and Hilary Duff. It sort of hit me then that I was so concerned with my outward image that it had started to give me anxiety and make me worried. There is nothing less punk than thinking about how punk your Facebook profile looks, and worrying about how other people will perceive you when they know that Coldplay is in your top five favorite bands. On the same note there is nothing less cool than talking about how uncool other people’s interests are. So what if that guy in your chem class likes Taking Back Sunday and reps them on his shirts everyday? Judging others is not going to make you seem cooler. It’s just going to make you look like an immature high school jackass.
I’m not going to lie and say that I only listen to “cool” music. Sure I listen to my fair share of indie rock, local music, underground hip hop artists, and upbeat electronic producers. I love all of that. But if a Taylor Swift song comes on the radio, you bet your bottom dollar that I’m gonna crank it up and sing all the words. You can hate on One Direction all you want, but they did win a singing competition, and they are unfairly attractive, and this will make gay men and straight women (and maybe straight men) melt. If “Little Things” comes on I’m gonna crank it up (but props to Ed Sheeran on that one for sure). If Chris Brown, Drake, Kanye, Katy Perry, Rihanna, or any other “mainstream” artist comes on the radio, who gives a crap whether or not you turn it up? I feel like this new generation of “music lovers” has been trained to stray away from anything “mainstream” because we’re looking for deeper meaning in music. There is nothing wrong with liking music just because it’s catchy and fun to dance to. Some music is not trying as hard as we think it is, and if you like “What Makes You Beautiful” or “Don’t Wake Me Up” because they’re fun, you shouldn’t be ashamed for that.
That’s all I have on that. I was just getting pissed at everyone who flinched instinctively when I told them I listened to a One Direction song and liked it. Deep and meaningful music has it’s place, but so does pop. Pop is supposed to be carefree and fun, and though it may not be of the best “musical” quality and though the artists may not be in the business for the right reasons, it’s dumb that we have become so pretentious as to sneer at Taylor Swift (I could write a whole post about how I respect her) and Justin Bieber because we’ve been trained to. I LISTENED TO THE SONG “BOYFRIEND” AND LIKED IT. I LISTENED TO THE SONG “ONE MORE NIGHT” AND LIKED IT. Are you going to judge me and invalidate my opinions now? Maybe. Do I care? No. We are entitled to like whatever we want, and we shouldn’t feel embarrassed when our Facebook profiles tell other people that we listened to “Beautiful Soul” 18 times in an hour. Do what you gotta do. There is no judgement here.