I believe what aided to our love of so many artists of the past prior to the social media revolution was mystique. The inaccessibility to their lives and thoughts makes us wonder who these people really are aside from the work they give the world. It drives us crazy and in fact keeps some people employed. This is why we enjoy interviews and candid moments so much because they provide insight on the people we adore. With social media, however, the only thing that separates us from some of our favorite artist is 140 characters and BOOM! Any questions you may have can and probably will be answered. Now with being an artist there are certain images that you’d like to push to make sure people believe what you share. So are there do’s and don’ts to how artist should handle social media? Are there things artists shouldn’t say on social media?
As I worked my way through my thoughts on this article and after reading Talib Kweli’s piece on Ms. Hill, I swiftly realized that there is nothing that anyone should ever have to hold their tongues on when it pertains to themselves and their thoughts. Now of course if you are a representative of any other brand outside of your own, common sense would tell you to not engage in any dialogue that is contradictory and damaging to the public image of the entities you represent. Aside from that, speak your mind. I think we expect too much from artists and box them into microscopic versions of themselves that they’ve chosen to share with us. Artists are all human too and with that come flaws, contradictions, and views that may or may not be opposing to your own. Mystique is great but I think in these days and times a more humanistic approach is more appreciated. I mean someone who works a 9-5 can have just as many followers on Twitter as a national recording artist. It kind of levels the playing field of “importance”. Let’s level the playing field of expectation.
Social media has become everyone’s new diary. It has its pros and cons. For some, it is where they find and speak their greatest truths. Being able to connect with an infinite amount of people in seconds can be liberating when you have something you need to free from your conscious or mind. Whether it is personal or not shouldn’t matter. On the other hand, those who choose to share uninformed and/or flat out bullcrap on these platforms are usually almost always called out for it and dragged through the mud by people from all over. I still haven’t decided if this is a good thing or a great thing but thinning the line of accountability between celebrity and common folk is alright with me.
To me it is all a matter of what holds value to you and what are you willing to take to defend it. If anyone is truly a fan of your work they will ride with you through the good and the bad. And if you are an honest artist the work you’ve presented to the world will have already shown the world who you are so that there won’t be much to adjust to. And if you are an honest human you can appreciate the fact that social media does in fact give people the chance to let their hair down. Clock out of work and be who are. Speak your peace.
Do you agree? What are things you believe artists shouldn’t say on social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below!