Social Media: Help or Hindrance?
Earlier this week whilst aimlessly scrolling on Instagram I saw that Low Steppa had posted a ‘quote post’. We’d all be lying if we said we haven’t ever rolled our eyes at someone posting a generic quote that seems to serve no purpose other than to remind us to unfriend them. However, this one was definitely worth the share. The quote read ‘When the phone was tied with a wire – human’s were free’.
My immediate thought was ‘TOO FUCKING RIGHT’, but this got me thinking.
As a DJ in the 21st Century, our ability and potential is both helped and hindered by social media. Everything at the tip of our fingers and all that jazz. We can share our mixes instantly across several platforms, pay to promote them straight onto the feeds of people who once like a page called ‘Techno is my religion’ – never having to open our mouths, or crack a smile or engage with people on a human level. Equally, we can engage with the people following our music, promoters, potential bookers, and let them know instantly (and for free) when our next gigs are, what mixes we’ve got out, ask them questions about the tracks we are working on.
We’ve all seen the posts flying about that everything on social media isn’t real, likes mean nothing, friend count doesn’t mean you’ve got any real friends and so on. I 100% agree that social media is just a playground where you can show off the bits you want to about yourself; I’m happy to admit that I am not going to write a status saying I’ve recorded a certain guest mix 80000 times already before finally being OK with the mix I eventually send off. Nobody wants what they perceive as their own failings banned about for the world to see. Instinctively, we crave acceptance and won’t jeopardise that goal for anything, even honesty and integrity and genuine human interaction.
I’d be lying if I said social media hadn’t had an effect on my mental health. It is so easy to get swept up in the wrong things when trying to forge your way as a DJ in 2019. I’ve put measures in place in my own life to help me cope with the pressures of social media and to keep the negative aspects at bay.
- Buy an alarm clock: don’t take your phone to bed at night. Plug it in on the other side of your bedroom to charge or in another room if possible. Don’t use the excuse I need it for my alarm. You can buy a cheap alarm clock. As nocturnal beings anyway, I’m sure a lot of DJs / industry professionals struggle with sleeping. If you can’t sleep and your phone is on the other side of the room, the temptation to pick it up and check Facebook becomes a more conscious decision.
- Turn off your Social Media notifications: This is something that I have only put into practice this year and I cannot stress the benefits enough. I still have my Whatsapp and Message notifications switched on but the rest of my social media accounts I don’t. This has made me become more conscious about when I do an do not click onto the apps. Instead of being on instagram every five minutes because someone in the middle-east had commented something random af on one of my photos and then getting sucked into the ‘everyone’s smashing it and i’m not mind set’ (don’t lie – we’ve all been there!); I have a healthier relationship with social media. Linking back to my previous REETA RANT, this has allowed me to switch off better.
- Follow people who inspire you: WOW! That literally sounds like one of those bullshit quotes I’ve just slagged off but it’s true. Your social media is yours. It’s no-onelses. You wouldn’t invite someone who’s not your cup of tea round to your house, so why are you following them on Instagram? Just because people work in the same industry as you doesn’t mean automatically they are good for you to follow. God knows I’ve been added and added myself, people who work within music on Facebook, seen their opinions on things like abortion and immediately unfriended them.
- BE FUCKING KIND: I’m literally hammering the cliches here but fuck it. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Don’t be underhand or sly. There’s literally enough room for 8 billion people on this earth who are all unique in their own ways, there’s room for you and other DJ / Producers. It’s not a competition. We all have a passion and love for music. We all bring our own styles and ways of doing things. Help each other out where you can, share peoples mixes. Listen to them. Turn up at other DJs gigs and dance. If you’re on after the warm up dj, show up for their slot to support them. You literally don’t know what people are going through. God knows I’ve turned up to gigs and probably acted like a miserable twat but because I’d had a shit day with my head and it had taken every bone in my body to fight and not flight. Being nice can go along fucking way and it really doesn’t cost anything.