I don’t want to be biased here; it isn’t just Snapchat. It’s Snapchat, Instagram, any social media outlet whose users are obsessed with filtering their lives rather than actually living them. We get it; capturing your every move is part of everyday life now. But when you’re channeling an entire gig- one of the most exhilarating, exciting experiences we have at our fingertips- through Snapchat rather than your own eyes, you really are doing it wrong.
I’ve been a busy little bee this past week and have somehow managed to squeeze three gigs into five days and let me tell you, between the day job, eating pizza and sleeping, that’s not an easy task. They’ve all been different, ranging from nostalgic boybands to fresh, feisty pop-rock, and have brought in crowds ranging from pre-teens all squishy with anticipation at their first concert to seasoned pros who probably struggle to remember their first gig. But no matter which band or how old the crowd, one thing stuck; social media was everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes thinking I’m some sort of technophobic dinosaur, but I promise you, I’m not! In fact I’m sitting with my iPhone next to me and Netflix playing in the background right now before uploading this article to a variety of social media outlets myself. But I believe there is a difference between using social media to pass the time, to stay in touch, to express yourself, and letting your online avatar become more important your own real-life experience and memories.
Perfect example- at one of the aforementioned gigs, I happened to be standing in front of a group of girls from Brazil (the massive Brazilian flag they persistently waved behind my head gave them away) who had obviously travelled a hell of a long way to spend a night in North London, and I definitely admired their commitment. Real, proper fans, right? Well, maybe not. The girl standing closest to me would sing a line, perhaps two, before taking umpteen photos and videos and zooming straight onto her phone to upload them to some social media site. And she did this a lot. Like, a lot. Literally every five minutes. I’d bet my life savings that she spent well over half the night tapping away on her screen captioning her latest snaps.
Is that worth it? You’re at a live show and, in that once-in-a-lifetime moment, you’d rather pay attention to social media than what is happening right now, right in front of you. That just baffles me. Can sharing that photo not wait until the train ride home? Is letting everyone know that you’re having a super-awesome time more important than actually having a super-awesome time? Far be it for me to dictate how others should enjoy themselves, of course, but for someone whose social life mostly revolves around live music, I just think it’s a massive waste for someone to be glued to their phones the entire time. Do they even know what they’re missing out on?!
If you’re a social media mogul who loves the buzz of being an online presence, that’s awesome. But if you’re coming to a gig, maybe leave Snapchat outside the venue.