Let me first start off by saying I've thoroughly enjoyed writing these blogs thus far. I have an analytics page that tells me that y'all are actually reading these, which is pretty cool. Thanks for that.
It has been such a nice response because I have to be honest; I really, really don't like social media. It doesn't come natural to me. It just doesn't. As much as I know it can be an awesome use for self-promotion, it takes a lot of reminders to keep me on top of it. Just ask my wife.
The other problem I have with it is that it can be one of the most divisive things I've ever witnessed in my 28 years on planet earth. I think that’s why I enjoy having this blog. I enjoy writing to simply write, as opposed to writing to respond. It gets exhausting, and there came a time when I stopped engaging in social media discussions all together. I enjoy having meaningful conversations about important things. If we ever meet (or have met) you will probably learn very quickly that I don't like small talk. Let's get deep, get to really know each other, find out how to meet in the middle on a topic we don't agree on. Through social media these conversations got me nowhere. Everything is somehow blown out of proportion, while only using a few words to do it. Just a few words, true or not, can strike up a social media mob out for digital blood. It's asinine. No real (or very few) conversations come of it.
It’s too damn easy to think that no one is happy and everybody hates each other. We like to think that it's "us vs. them", but in reality many of us fall into the middle on hot topics discussed. Have empathy. Listen instead of talk. Most importantly, get out from behind the screen and have real conversations with your neighbors, co-workers, or people You sit next to on the bus.
Most recently, some high school kids went through something unimaginable, got pissed, and decided to try and do something about it. One in particular has been made into a celebrity, and now everybody critiques his every move. Let's take a step back and evaluate this. He's a teenager, yet he's putting himself out there for something he believes in because of the specific experiences he has gone through. If you disagree with his stance on guns, thats fine, but at least take a second and admire his courage, while also having a little grace for whatever slip-ups he might have. After all, he's still a kid. If everything I said when I was 17 was documented for the world to see on such a large scale people would probably hate me to. Thank God I escaped that mess.
People get "outraged" over some hot-button topic, tweet about it, then continue playing their video game like nothing happened. Thats not real outrage, it's a waste of time and rarely any real change comes of it. Real outrage is teachers marching in Oklahoma, or Black Lives Matter. Real outrage is Standing Rock, or the Bundy Standoff. The Civil Rights Movement, or the American Revolution. Even simply volunteering in your community to support your neighbors. Can some of these movements start from social media? Sure, but they don't end with social media. Do you get the picture?
Now I'm also aware that social media helps bring awareness to some serious causes, and also plays a major role for independent artists living off of pennies. It's a necessary evil that we're stuck with. I know I'm venting, but hear me out. In reality, those bands that constantly post cool pictures of themselves are most likely homesick and sleeping on stranger's floors. That world traveler you follow and envy that doesn't have to hold a real job? He or she could be living off of handouts that most of us don't have the luxury to have. Self-promotion is a weird thing, and I absolutely hate it. I simply love to write music, meet people, and stand on a stage.
This is my relationship with social media, but I'm learning how to use it with clarity. I want to connect with y'all in a real way through it. Hopefully this blog helps us along that journey. I use it to promote my music, but I want y'all to get to know me. For every cool picture you see of me, just know that I have to hold a very un-flattering day job to be able to afford to travel. For every one cool picture you see of me, there are weeks worth of hard manual labor in between. Don't support independent musicians because you think they're above you, support us because we're one of you.