By Ashley Aron
If you took your iPhone and hopped in a time machine back to the 80s, music fans would take one look at a Twitter feed and would assume you were an alien. The concept of being up-to-date on an artist’s every recording session, lunch break, or trip to GoodWill was probably as foreign as it was intriguing. Flash-forward to 2012: what exactly are the pros and cons of all the outlets that fans and artists now use to connect with each other?
When I signed up for Twitter it wasn’t because I had anything interesting to say, but so I could follow one of my favorite bands, Before Their Eyes, on their individual accounts. I got sucked into the web of band members that Before Their Eyes would constantly tag in their posts and, now, my Twitter feed consists almost solely of bands, music business publications, music industry leaders, and my personal friends. A band member or artist with a moderate following realizes all eyes are on them whenever they tweet an update. Most use this to their advantage by promoting their craft as well as giving fans a look into their personal lives, such as posting about a new tattoo or a day at the beach with their dog. This gives the artist a personality beyond their music and creates a well-rounded image for the public to latch on to.
However, there’s also the dark side of broadcasting such a massive amount of information that all of your fans can access with an iPhone at any time of day. Every person who follows your content knows where you are or what you’re doing as soon as you post it. For example, there was an instance where All Time Low fans crashed a wedding just to get pictures with the band. They were able to gain enough information from online content posted by the band members to hunt them down and find them at this wedding.
While every fan may not be this crazy, enough certainly do exist. In this sense, constant tweets about a favorite local Mexican spot may make for a fun Instagram post, but can also lead to a social media-savvy fan stalking you just to take a picture mid-burrito. Artists and regular users alike must keep in mind the balance between keeping fans updated and posting personal information that could violate their privacy to an extreme.