One of the advantages of not using social media is you get to make up your own mind. I’m easily influenced, and my opinion’s are swayed by others, and if you’re like me, silencing all the extra reviews, previews, commentary and plain trolling helps you enjoy the things you enjoy much more.
Before I went to Splendour in the Grass in 2008, a lot of people were saying on Facebook that the festival wasn’t as cool as it used to be. And my opinion of the festival wasn’t tarnished, but I was aware of those comments and I did look at it through the viewpoint of ‘What are those people talking about? They’re wrong.’
Which is negativity.
Even though its just voices on the internet, I was judging those people. Which isn’t virtuous, and puts me in a mind state I don’t want to be in.
Now, if I were to go to that festival again this year, I’d have no idea what people are saying about it. Whether it’s cooler now, whether it’s better now, whether it’s worse now, whether the people that go now are pretentious, whether the people who go now have much better hygiene, whether the people who go now are older, younger, whatever.
And it goes for anything. Anything you read, watch or listen to, if you have social media, before you even see, watch, or do that thing yourself, you already have a cacophony of opinions for and against laying dormant inside your head.
I went to my first ever Metal show 2 months ago. The Amity Affliction, here on the Sunshine Coast. I never liked Metal before but I liked a few of their songs. And when you’re getting into something new, it’s tempting to see what other people are saying about it. But I had no idea whether people think they’re lame, whether they think they’re the greatest band in Australian Metal history, whether one type of Amity Affliction fans hate another type of Amity Affliction fans, whether the old fans hate the new fans, whether the new fans hate the band’s old music or vice versa. I didn’t care. I went to it because I like some of their music and that’s it. And it was one of the most fun gigs I’ve been to.
We’re all influenced by negativity (some people more than others), but avoiding the bitching, complaining – or even conversely, the biassed praise and exaltation – lets us make up our own mind. Steer your own ship, and avoid the sirens that will lead you towards the rocks.