Bye Bye Social Media
Posted on August 13, 2018 in music, Music Business, Opinions, Updates
Yep, you heard me right, I said, “Bye Bye!”
I am making some deliberate hard-lined decisions regarding my use of social media as a musician. These may not be permanent changes, but they are changes that are deeply meaningful to me at this development of my career.
Now I want you to know, that I’m not some old fogey that just doesn’t “’get it” when it comes to social media. I’ve been rockin’ social media for as long as the concept has been around. Back when I was just out of college, between college and grad-school, I joined up on a site called College Club. It was an early concept networking community where college students could interact with other college students in similar areas of interest. Then while I was living in Kentucky, Myspace and Facebook came onto the scene. I had a raging cool Myspace site! And yes, I had some friend drama develop over my main page “top ten” friends. That’s how you know I was the real deal. And I actually had to fib on my student status in order to get approved for Facebook. Back in those days you had to qualify for Facebook membership with a legitimate school-related e-mail address. Now admittedly I never really got into Instagram and Snapchat. I did have an active Twitter account prior to my musical career, back when I thought I had something important to say to the world. But those things dropped out of my life when I stopped using a Smart Phone.
You probably don’t know this about me, so I’m going to get a little bi real with you right now. I was born into the wrong century. I can’t prove this. But I think God zoned out and accidentally popped me into existence a generation or two too late. Hey, it’s okay God, better late than never. But I’m a soul who longs for simpler times, and I have been that way for a long time. Part of me relishes living in a home with no central heat or air-conditioning (I’m a Texan and trust me, I have these things in my home! I’m a dreamer but I’m not mad). I like to read good smelling hard-covered old books. If you don’t know what a good smelling book smells like, then you need to read more. I do most of my writing on a 1950’s era manual typewriter. I install the new ink ribbons myself. One of my favorite past-times is smoking one of my many briar tobacco pipes while sipping a cup of coffee. I’m really not that old. I’m a little old. But I wish I was older, while still being young, if that makes any sense. I want the old days to be the new days. That’s just part of my personality, and truthfully, it’s a part that I like. So, it aint goin’ nowhere!
Despite all of this, I used to love being on social media, and I spent countless hours building myself up on Facebook and Twitter. Circumstances caused me to move away from Smart Phones into more basic stuff. And as I’ve done that, I’ve honestly enjoyed the direction of my life. When I go to restaurants, airports, or peruse the sidewalks of my small town, I become grateful that I’m not one of the Walking Dead who are buried in their Instagram feed. I enjoy the fact that, when I go to see some beautiful morsel of creation, that I don’t get distracted by snapping a quick selfie and seeing how fast I get to 50 likes on my post. I can be in the moment. I like that.
If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely one of my fans. And you might be saying to yourself, “this might not be good for his career”. And you might be right. But my life is about more than just my career. It’s about my creative energy, my time, and my peace of mind. I deem that social media robs me of all these things. So, I’m taking a leap of faith. I’m going to trust that the gains will outweigh the losses. Numerous musician DIY sites and blogs recommend spending a significant amount of time building up and developing your social media following. I have worked hard on that. It’s like having a second part-time job. But here’s the deal, It’s not a part-time job that I want. I want to be a full-time musician! Social media doesn’t make me a better musician. I honestly don’t think it even makes me more likeable to my fans. Why? Because it isn’t really me anyways. It’s just the part of me that social media wants you to see. From a philosophical standpoint, and I am kind of a philosophical guy, I really don’t think social media has done much to improve our society. And I’m quite convinced it has not done much to improve our spirits. It seems to have made us meaner, more sensitive, more dramatic, more fearful, more comparative, and definitely more distracted. I don’t want that in my life, and I don’t want it knocking me off-track in my music.
So here are the ground-rules for those of you who are paying attention:
- No more Instagram, and no more Twitter. Both accounts are gone.
- I will not be launching any new social media platforms either, such as SnapChat
- I will continue to use Facebook simply because I use it to advertise upcoming shows, and some of my venue contacts communicate with me primarily via Facebook.
- My primary way of communicating with my fanbase will be through monthly e-mail newsletters. So please sign up!
- I will focus my efforts on career-enhancing social media platforms such as Spotify, so please follow me on Spotify!
Will this crash my career? Well, since it wasn’t boosting my career in the first place, I doubt that it has the power to crash it. I’m not saying this decision is eternal. But, for now, you will not see Brent Ryan on social media. Life is too good to waste it in the unreal. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about!
I can’t express my appreciation enough for the loyalty of my fans, and those who have taken the time to come out to a show and listen to the music that I perform and write. As a performer, I’m not going anywhere, and this career is getting more fun and exciting by the day. So, stick around with me. I’m glad to have you along for the ride!