May 12

It’s The New Thing!

FT4 comments • 1,637 views

It struck me this morning that it has been a while since I saw an article comparing social media to punk rock. This is a shame. For a time articles comparing social media to punk rock were one of the great growth areas in our dynamic knowledge economy, as the parallels were obvious. Both were about people doing stuff themselves and to hell with THE MAN, unless the man is Mark Zuckerberg. Also – Lurkers! The Lurkers! Need I say more?

But nothing lasts forever – in today’s disruptive environment you must ADAPT OR DIE, and this even goes for blog posts making vague comparisons between technology and music. If comparing social media to punk rock has run its course as a “meme” – to use a bit of socal media jargon – then something else must take its place.

Social media is all about sharing, a bit like hippies – NO WAIT that can’t be right, a bit like living in a squat and listening to Crass. So here are some social media and music articles you could go away and write yourselves: I’ve even included example sentences to get you started.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW NEW ROMANTICS: “Like the Blitz Kids of the 80s, today’s youth construct fleeting but highly visual images of themselves. Gary Kemp wore a curtain: his 21st century descendant simply ‘pins’ it on Pinterest.”

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW SHOEGAZE: “Kevin Shields took 30 years to update his status, today’s “scene that celebrates itself” do it every 30 minutes. Like shoegazers, they’re in love with otherworldly effects – but from Instagram filters, not guitar pedals.”

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW HIP-HOP: “Gen Y grew up with the idea of ‘sampling’ and now they apply it to every part of their rich media lives as they curate and ‘remix’ media. But instead of turning snippets of tracks into a beat today’s young people take a tiny loop of video and make an ‘animated gif’.”

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW DANCE MUSIC: “Today’s millennials are DJs, cutting and mixing seamlessly between platforms and screens as they try to ‘move the crowd’. But instead of hands in the air it’s “likes” and “Retweets” these social DJs crave.”

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW MOD: “Today’s mobile generation seek authentic social experiences, but instead of scooters they have iPhones, and rather than gathering in cafes or clubs they mark their territory with Foursquare check-ins”

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW INDIEPOP: “Today’s young creatives may have Tumblrs instead of fanzines but both rely on a ‘culture of making’ whose heartfelt honesty is a challenge to the old business models.”

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW CRUSTY: “These days it isn’t soap young people fear, it’s privacy. The layers of encrusted data their elders want to strip away are what defines their identity.”

Next: How Dubstep, Chillwave, Witch House, Vampire Weekend and Black Metal Are A Bit Like Facebook If You Think About It


  1. 1
    Jay @hautepop on 2 May 2012 #

    Terrifyingly, these already seem to have been written:

    Social media is the new Punk Rock

    Social media is the new Hip-Hop

    It’s also the new graffiti

  2. 2
    These Days Its on 3 May 2012 #

    Shoegaze? Since when did anybody on this side of the Atlantic call it shoegaze?

    In my day we called it shoegazING, young whippersnapper!

  3. 3
    JonnyB on 3 May 2012 #

    I do remember a long and rather rambling pub chat with Mike Troubled Diva about blogging, in which I likened the old ‘British Blogging Fraternity’ to the old British rock ‘n’ rollers. Looked back upon fondly, hardcore ‘keep the faith’ fans still meet up at Butlins once a year, although the rest of the world is utterly indifferent. We stand at the bar with Marty Wilde and Vince Eager, trying not to be resentful that the Beatles came along.

    As I said, it was a pub chat.

  4. 4
    punctum on 3 May 2012 #

    In which case The Church Of Me was Joe Harriott.

    Marty Wilde didn’t stand at any bar; he helped invent New Pop.

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