Can you exist if the Internet doesn't know it?

in #music5 months ago

I’m in the moment, can’t you see?

You’re supposed to read it in a throaty, Eastern-European voice. Don’t worry, I’ll link the song at the end of this.

Last night, I went to a music festival here in town. It was all rather lovely, it was in one of my favorite venues (it’s a small arena from Roman times, supposedly, with the open sky above). It was, largely, a great night, and we had a lot of fun. But there is one thing I just can’t understand at concerts, and I know I’ve written about it before, so this is a little different.


Nowadays, you can’t go to a concert without a hoard of arms shooting up at every goddamn song to record it, zoom-in on the musician for a billion photos, or of course, the ever popular live stream it. I always wonder why. What’s the point? What are they getting out of it?

Last night, I got to wondering -- would they even exist, if they didn’t have some sort of record of it? By they I mean the people. It’s the modern day philosopher’s dilemma –

If you do something cool (or even, you know, moderately average), but you don’t broadcast it to some network, or even record it at all, does it even happen, anymore?

That’s what these people are doing it for. Whether you’re sending a couple of snaps to someone on WhatsApp (therefore, a “private” conversation), or streaming it to your entire Instagram or TikTok following, that’s the message you’re essentially sending to the world. I exist. I am doing something of note. But then, you get all caught up in making a neat recording, and making sure your hand doesn’t shake too much, and what filter and hashtags you should use. You’re not, you know, in the moment.

There was a great contrast last night between the people in the audience, trapped in their little screens, and the lead singer on stage. He’s just this extraordinary artist. Really, he’s just a sight to behold, the way he moves with complete abandon. I've seen a lot of artists sort of doing what they think a rockstar should look like. You know, maintaining a visual, and that's alright. But not this guy. He's just feeling it in every bone, and he doesn't seem to give a fuck what you're seeing, or what you think. It’s clear to see this is someone deeply lost to the creative process, and powerfully involved in every song. He puts heart, sure, but lots of artists do that. This guy, he’s 100% in the moment, in the words he’s singing. It’s amazing. You just sit there, watching him transfixed. I do, at least. And it struck me, how present he was, and how out of it his audience was.

Because once you open your phone, you’re asking for some kind of validation. From your friend, in that Whatsapp conversation, from random people or some obscure crush who may or may not watch your live stream. From yourself, in the future. Because people will record bits of songs, and they always come out all out-of-pitch and jammed, don’t they? Besides, who sits around watching videos of things they did X months ago? I know I don’t. I lack the patience. I’m busy doing other shit.

So the chances, in actuality, of you actually looking at those videos again are fairly low, but if you do, you’ll look back and think “great times”. Only, were they, really? They might look like that, in retrospect, but in truth, you were far too busy with making a nice recording, to really notice what the times were like.


I don’t know, maybe I was just thinky. I tend to be. But I couldn’t help but get a sense of waste. There’s this new song this band’s doing about the Ukraine situation (poignant in a way, as they themselves are Moldavian). And it’s got a line that resonated last night ~

A lifetime, why should we wait,
If we can just die today?

Obviously, war is an extreme leap. But maybe it’s not. We are living in end-times. Crazy times. You don’t know that this might be the last concert you attend. A year from now, you might not be here to watch your stupid recording, or to connect to the Internet, to all those people it was so important to broadcast to that you would actually rob your self of the memory.

Even without the threat of war, life is short. Add the hectic times we’re living in now, and truly, anything could happen. And sure, if war, famine, or a nuclear disaster do strike, you’ll have bigger concerns than that one concert you didn’t really pay attention to. Except it’s not just the concert.

We take pictures of our loved ones, not to remember them by, as we used to once, but to “post them”. I understand it is a term the kids are using. Allegedly, if you’re serious about someone, you “post them”. And I see these pictures, and I know those people aren’t thinking how happy they are to have met each other. They’re thinking “do I look fat” and “will my ex see” and “what filter should I use, that I haven’t used in a while, so I don’t just look lame”.

We take pictures of the food we eat, but only when it’s arranged in fancy ways, and not necessarily the tastiest. But when famine strikes, I bet you you’ll remember that messy but delicious [insert your favorite food here] you made at home, or that someone dear to you prepared more than the fancy, pretentious restaurant crap. Except that, you didn’t take a picture of, because you’re not doing it for you, but for some imaginary audience in the sky.

Except it’s true, you’ll find, nobody is watching you. They, also, are thinking what hashtags to use. If they do happen to notice you, it’ll typically be to compare you to their own life. Are you posting cooler vacation pics? Do they look happier and more in love with their partner than you do with yours? If not, why not?

I’m beginning to wonder, if we do avoid genuine disaster, if there won’t come a time, somewhere in the very near future, where people who don’t post every stupid instant of their lives even exist at all. I mean, see, even I did it. Now you know I went to the concert. I even took out my phone to take that pic above. Ergo, I must exist.

But if I hadn’t written this post, would it still have happened?

told you I’d link it. This song actually captures that feeling of falseness perfectly, of becoming so caught up in appearances that you forego your true self. So go on, do a twirl, as the song goes. Do ten, but make sure you capture at least three on camera, so you have options. So that the world knows about you.


The rewards earned on this comment will go directly to the people ( alexvan ) sharing the post on LeoThreads,LikeTu,dBuzz.

I am the opposite of the people you describe. I don't take my phone with me very many places, and I prefer to experience the moments rather than record them, which puts a barrier between me and the experience, if that makes sense. These phones are all part of the great dumbing down of the earth's human population. Put down your phones, they are your enemy's weapons.

Oh, I'm completely with you on the barrier thing. I think a lot of people are tricked into thinking oh, it's just a harmless pastime, but it actually takes you out of the real world in a very creepy way.
I love leaving the house without my phone. I used to do that often, while abroad, part to ditch the soul-sucker, and in part to see if I could figure out my way without a damned google maps. Some of the most fun memories of the past year :) Good to see you!! Hope you had a great weekend :)

I used to love finding my way places with maps, getting lost and learning about new places. So now I print out maps and directions to go to on road trips. If I stop to ask directions, it's hard to find someone who does not answer "I don't know, I just put it in my GPS." Folks are so content to let others do their thinking for them! We are on a fast track to losing the capability to think at all.

I did have a great weekend! I was in a play at a local community theater. I love the stage. Now I have more time for my garden, which is already producing food for me. There is so much to love doing without being attached to an electric device.

Yes! Completely. I love the idea of printing out directions as a sort of in-between solution. You've got part of the answer, but finite, so you also got to figure the rest out.

That's so cool about the play! Congrats! Theater is such a great outlet :)

I got the idea to make a post about it after leaving you this comment, so thanks for the inspiration.

Cool! I'd asked what it was about, but then went and read the post :D

It's good to be thinky! : )

We witnessed the funniest scene last night during a walk around the neighborhood. A twenty something girl was in a small field, dressed up like she was going out for the evening. She was attempting to fly a kite (one of those old fashioned ones that are nearly impossible to fly) while trying to film herself doing it. I would venture a guess that she was streaming it on TikTok.

You just have to laugh sometimes, or cry. You're 100% correct in that few people are paying attention anymore. That goes for -- driving, walking their dogs or their children in a stroller, at dinner, etc. Most people are either looking at their phones or on a call. Society is paying (and will continue pay) a high price for this.

If you're not tethered to your phone in public you are a minority and it feels like you're in a sea of robots who aren't even fully conscious.

sea of robots who aren't even fully conscious.

So accurate and recognizable it's sad. It's sad because at this point, I feel the only hope for many is to encounter something or someone, ironically, in their virtual world to shift their focus toward reality once more. Else they just keep going.

Yeah, these TikTok kids are funny, but also in a sad way. That they'd be willing to dance in public or do whatever for Internet "notoriety", but not for their soul, that's mad.

Augmented reality might be the answer, in a roundabout way. At least what people are immersed in now will be overlayed on top of "reality". We'll soon find out! Hopefully this puts an end to the mobile phone zombies! Lol.

I totally agree! So many of these kids will experience an existential crisis once they are forced to wake up. It will be very, "Truman Show-esque".

At the risk of sounding cliche here, the world is a place of such incomprehensible beauty, and we need a screen or a game to get us to look at it. Fucking hell.

A lot of people need the feeling that someone's watching, that this life is being recorded, acknowledged, preserved. We used to believe that God was watching us. He was omniscient of course, so like an invisible infinity of cameras and microphones capturing every sound and angle, he could lay out the seconds of our lives and review them at any time. (And maybe share them with us, in the afterlife?) Not only that, he could understand our subjective experience of every moment, where we struggled and where we flew, with the sensitivity of the ultimate novelist. It probably made life feel a lot less lonely.

We don't rely so much on God, anymore. So we have TikTok, and each other. But playing God is hard work. We make a shoddy mess of it (with crappy sound and camera angles) and it gets in the way of living.

That is such an unusual way of looking at things. I never thought of it like that, but yeah, now that you mention it...the need for someone unknown out there to keep an eye on us. You know, weird as it is, I think I preferred God.

And maybe share them with us, in the afterlife?

Don't know I'd like that. Imagine him going what the hell d'you do that for? didn't I teach you better? I know I did. Sent a bunch of medamn signs and everything. Don't do that. Jeez, you people. the rest of your eternity xD


Congratulations @honeydue! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain And have been rewarded with New badge(s)

You have been a buzzy bee and published a post every day of the week.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Check out our last posts:

Our Hive Power Delegations to the April PUM Winners
Feedback from the May Hive Power Up Day
The Hive Gamification Proposal
Support the HiveBuzz project. Vote for our proposal!

@enginewitty, the HiQ Smart Bot has recognized your request (2/4) and will start the voting trail.

In addition, @honeydue gets !PIZZA from @hiq.redaktion.

For further questions, check out or join our Discord. And don't forget to vote HiQs fucking Witness! 😻


$PIZZA slices delivered:
@hiq.smartbot(4/5) tipped @honeydue