Swipe, scroll, happy face, click, play, skip, like, next, sad face, charge, repeat.
Technology has made us fickle. From bands to partners, we can find new love at the tips of our thumbs in an instant. This super fast-paced world we live vicariously though our phones may well provide (shallow) entertainment, but it’s also responsible for the demise of music’s value. Thumbs have taken over and are taking music down one swipe at a time.
The younger generation consume and discard music like litter. There’s no respect for how it was created or how to look after it. The devaluation of creativity is inevitable when people have so little respect for their own destiny. People are forgetting to live their real lives because the digital window of other people’s is getting bigger.
Handsets, speakers, amps, hardware, software, upgrades, stuff. But hang on – aren’t we forgetting something here? Isn’t the point of all these products the music? It seems as though Gen Y sees music as more disposable than condoms. Music has been cheapened by the way we consume it. Fast food, fast music.
There’s a worrying trend that young people consider music as less important than the hardware they play it on. Richard Russell of XL Recordings says music is seen by tech companies as ‘old crap that goes inside expensive items.’ A crushing truth. It’s time for our tech-obsessed cultures re-learn what it means to be human.
Times change, and attitudes follow suit. But respect should be constant. Music is not just some ol’ fluff to fill gaps in your self-produced micro boredom and social media drip feed.
I remember my Dad’s vinyl collection, how petrified I used to be to put a needle on a record in case I scratched it. Vinyl required the delicate touch – it was precious, just like the sounds ingrained in its grooves. Tapes could be chewed up. CD’s could be scuffed. All of these could be lent to your mate never to be returned. There was danger involved. There was love. There was magic.
But rapidly shifting technology has changed things, made everything safe, scratch-proof. (Apart from the fact music can be stolen from digital corner shops on every corner of the web) Files can’t be worn out from being loved too much. And they don’t need taking care of. But they still contain the same magic, the art that someone created with heart and soul. Music is still the same, the key to your memories and the dictator of your moods, so where is the love?
Gone are the days of diving straight for someone’s CD / record collection when popping round theirs’ for dinner. The joy of sifting through other people’s album choices was like a doorway into their psyche. (Or a sign they needed help if there were too many Now That’s Why I Call Music’s on their dusty shelves.) Now you simply get to see what band’s they’ve ‘liked’ on facebook. Where’s the unity in that?
Technology is amazing, but what is more amazing is the human ability to create something that connects with the soul and brings people together. And unless we’re talking The Matrix, that’s something technology can never do. Ladies and gentleman, put the thumbs down. Live your real life and love music with the respect it deserves.