Artist tantrums & echo chambers…

I’ve noticed in recent times an increasing number of tantrums and whining online on social media. Of course there will always be people complaining and moaning, but this seems to have reached an all time high. A lot of the clashes online exist where some artists believe they have a god given right for social media and the wider public to support their music, not appreciating that firstly social media platforms are not charities to support artists and secondly people have all manner of tastes in music. Its often a case of

“Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!”

Infamy, infamy, they all have it in for me!

There are many recent examples of persecution complexes where aspiring artists insist that anyone who may have a different view, is out to get them. This of course presupposes a level of importance that anyone would spnd the time and energy in such a scenario and in most instances these individuals are unknown as artists.

One of the reasons why they are mostly unknown is that they don’t have the communication and listening skills to realise that outside the echo chamber of a small group of super fans, they may learn something useful from engaging with the wider world and especially with other professionals. I am reminded of this classic Carry On 1960s clip seen below.

The poorly framed social media request

I fully appreciate that artists starting out need assistance and money can be tight, but how we frame requests for help can and will make a massive difference in the responses we get. Here is a classic case of how not to seek assistance and then to through a tantrum because others may disagree with you! The same artist has a number of services and products and describes themselves as “music producer, video director, composer, lyricist, multi-faceted musician,visionary artist” offering everything from badges to mediumship services! A cynical person might suggest that anyone with “second sight” may have spotted the car crash they were heading to online with such daft postings…

This aspiring artist posted on a number of social media forums that they wanted a roadie for a day’s work, but this would be unpaid, except perhaps for expenses that the artist may able to pay in a few week’s time. Unsurprisingly many online pointed out that it would be standard to at least pay minimum wage, especially as the artist also added a number of stipulations to the request. The ad was framed as “artist hiring” which would have got a few people’s backs up as “hiring” normally means some form of payment, even at a basic level…

Somebody commented that its not reasonable to expect somebody to work for a full day with no pay whatsoever and the artist threw a tantrum at such a suggestion. The thread was then picked up and posted on Reddit as seen below with a huge amount of replies, none in the artist’s favour!

The problem with super fan echo chambers

I don’t doubt the good intentions of the person making the request, and appreciate that they are financially struggling to the extent that they are also pleading for contributions for a new speaker to replace one that is broken.

The problem here in my view is that they don’t appreciate that their tone and skills in communications is really dreadful and it creates a terrible (I assume unintentional) image that would not encourage financial or create assistance.

The idea that people have the enthusiasm, motivation and time to “destroy” this person’s career is in my view a bit of a stretch on so many levels. The same person also called challenges to their posts online “hate speech” which should be reported to the police. Of course this is another example of artist tantrums with little or no awareness about what they are actually saying as “hate speech” as defined by the CPS is

public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as racereligionsex, or sexual orientation (= the fact of being gay, etc.)

Of course there was no “hate speech” in this instance just a person throwing a tantrum because they didn’t like the feedback they received to a very poorly framed post. One of the big problems with social media is that some artist super fans create an echo chamber that is not helpful to the artist and can create delusional beliefs.

I doubt if there would be a queue of individuals wanting to spend the day carrying musical equiptment for such a person and I would be surprised if the PayPay requests for financial assistance will be streaming in either. The admin person for the FB group where this all kicked off, politely pointed out that nobody had engaged in any harassment and the fact that this artist happened to be a woman had no bearing on what ensued. I am reminded of what an old boss of mind used to say about such characters who are always complaining

“They are well balenced, a chip on both shoulders”

The Streisand effect and final thoughts

Check here to read about “The Streisand effect” where an individual’s complaining only fans the flames and creates more of an issue. Of course in this instance Streisand is an established artist not somebody on the local pub circuit! In this situation threatening people on Reddit cranked the posts to over 400 in just 48 hours! A classic case of ‘stop digging” in such situations and insisting that you are being attacked or defamed! In the big scheme of things such behaviours always ensure that artists are not going to reach a wider audience as they don’t have the skills to connect with a wider public. There is in such instances always a hugely inflated sense of self importance that is often totally delusional. I fully applaud any artist trying to make a living especially in these tougher economic times, BUT some good manners and less aggressive tone will go a long way towards building supporters above and beyond the fans in the echo chamber.

I set up Green Eyed Records to encourage creativity through collaboration. That’s really how artists can best reach a wider audience, not by throwing tantrums online and insisting they are right on all matters.