Originally published with Pitchfork on July 7, 2016.
Here’s a fun game to play the next time you’re at a live show: As the musicians begin playing, resist the urge to pull out your phone and document the moment rather than living it. While not every audience member defaults to this mode, a sizable portion will because phones and concerts—hell, phones and practically all experiences—now go hand in hand.
I’ve been guilty of it—we’ve all been guilty of it. Every picture or video I captured on my phone served as a stamp in my proverbial concert passport, something I could carry with me and recall at any moment. I just needed one good shot to prove I’d been there, to serve as a concrete reminder beyond a ticket stub or a t-shirt that I came, I saw, I listened. But more than serving my own mnemonic needs, photos helped me cultivate a social media identity. ‘Hey Facebook, I just got bumped to the front row at Ryan Adams!’ ‘Hey Instagram, here’s Future looking—wait for it—futuristic!’ Ugh.
[Full article available at Pitchfork.]