In the past months, the internet has been the best club the world has ever known. Whether in the form of a proper, full-length concert, an evening with friends or a digital tour, life streaming has succeeded in satisfying the audience’s hunger for culture, at least to a degree. Yet, there’s a pattern of people stating that: “it isn’t the same”. And though the medium is undoubtedly part of the issue, it might be just a little bit our fault too.
“The 7 Deadly Sins of Live Streaming” is a two-part series about the things that ruin the digital concert experience. Bare in mind, we promoters are viewers too, and we are guilty of some of those transgressions ourselves. So don’t take it the wrong way. Rather come along for the ride and laugh with us.
1. Get distracted by your news feed
Of course. Whenever you’re on Facebook, you gotta keep scrolling. I know, I know, you can’t help it. Hell, I can’t help it sometimes. But guess what – that’s the best way to exit the live stream without you even noticing you’ve browsed away. What a shame!
2. Spamming in the comment section
Now, some things are just a matter of bad taste. Going out of your way to join a life stream just to bombard the comments with your latest penis-extending cure-all or to spread your weird offensive prejudice? That’s just silly. Ever heard of content moderation?
3. Every day a concert, all free of charge
The Berlin problem of it all: Choose your entertainment from a menu á la carte and make sure you’re on the guest list. Every single day! Except the guest list is now called “watch and don’t bother to donate”. C’MON! At least some of the people you watch must deserve your monetary attention.
4. Don’t like, don’t comment, don’t engage
Okay, okay, let’s slow down a bit. Nobody should feel pressured to give away their hard-earned money to anybody. BUT! Here’s your official Gibelin-stamped pressure to engage with content on social media. Not only is this the place and time for your constructive feedback, but it’s also a way to inform the algorithm-gods of the net that something cool is happening beneath their virtual sun. So, give a like or an angry face, or whatever, and leave a comment, even if only to tag your friend who might enjoy themselves more than you.
5. Forget about a streaming you’re totally interested in
Remember that super amazing event last week that you totally wanted to attend, but then forgot about? Sure, you could watch it anytime, it’s recorded and online forever. WRONG! First, some live streams do disappear, and second, you probably won’t watch it anyway because that’s how much you cared in the first place. And, of course, if you aren’t there for the live show, you can’t ask a question and can’t request a song to be played. At least leave an apology like.
6. Don’t share the experience with anyone
The worst part about online concerts is that you enjoy them all alone. Oh, really? Did you even think about inviting your friends to join you in this virtual experience? “But they’ll see it anyway…” So what if they do? Would that make you less lonely? Social distancing is not about being antisocial, it’s about being social from a distance. You don’t get to complain that you were alone if you haven’t asked anyone to be with you.
7. Do the dishes, iron your clothes, multitask yourself to death
And so we reach the final point. If only I could get a coin for every person who told me that they do stuff around their home while “attending” a concert… Ever heard of radio, Spotify or live-in-concert-DVDs? The experience of an online stream could never be the same as in a live concert as long as you don’t act the same. Can you imagine doing the dishes at a concert for which you moved your ass all the way to the venue? I mean, it’s rude. Mindfulness is the key to a healthier life, and appreciating the people who make you sing along, or dance, or smile is the key to a healthier society. So please, try doing things one at a time. I trust that you can do it, at least once in a while.
To be continued…