I will say right off of the bat that I was really disappointed when I read this morning that Trent Reznor is taking an indefinite break from social media after seeing it become polluted by some of the worst kind of people he had ever come across in his life. While blog posts around Reznor’s writing on the NIN.com community pages referred to social media in general Trent didn’t seem to make such a wide ranging statement.
From what I have read and tried to understand, Reznor seemed to be specifically targeting Twitter as the showcase of where social media was going off the rails. At first it was a way for him to find an equal footing with his, and Nine Inch Nails, fans and in turn for them to gain a new understanding of the band.
When Twitter made it’s way to my radar I looked at it as a curiosity, then started experimenting. I thought it through and in light of where I was / am in my career I decided to lower the curtain a bit and let you see more of my personality. I watched some of you get more engaged because you started to realize there’s a person (flaws and all) back there, and I watched some of you recoil in horror because I’m not what you projected on me. All expected. I’m not as concerned about “breaking” your idea of NIN at this point. It is what it is and I am what I am. The relationship between artist and fan is changing if you haven’t noticed, along with the way we consume and experience music and even communicate since the internet arrived.
However as with all cool and interesting things it wasn’t long before it experience became distracted by people who wanted to tear down the band and Reznor
Back to Twitter. I approached that as a place to be less formal and more off-the-cuff, honest and “human”. I was not expecting to broadcast details of my love life there, but it happened because I’m in love and it’s all I think about and that’s that. If this has bummed you out or destroyed what you’ve projected on me, fair enough – it’s probably time for you to leave. You are right, I’m not the same person I was in 1994 (and I’m happy about that). Are you?
Looks like the Metal Sludge contingency has discover Twitter! Finally! For those of you that don’t know what this is, please let me explain. Metal Sludge is the home of the absolutely worst people I’ve ever come across. It’s populated mainly by unattractive plump females who publicly fantasize about having sex with guys in bands. Kind of like a role-playing game where people NOBODY will fuck make up stories about their incredible sexual encounters with people they WISH they could fuck. It would be kind of funny in a sad and pathetic way except the fun doesn’t stop there – hate and good old-fashioned outright blatant racism are also encouraged to spice things up and remind you how truly ugly these scourges are. TRULY ugly on the inside (the outside is obvious).
Cutter’s tip for my friends there: remember to cut along the length of vein, not across. Bigger payoff. So when you see the new accounts that pop up daily on Twitter spewing exactly the kind of thing I just discussed, usually from picture-less creatively named profiles, spewing hate at Mariqueen and I, take a moment to visualize the sad couple people behind them.
As sad as this is Trent is making exactly the same mistake that just about everyone makes with it comes to Social Media. The common misconception is that tools like Twitter, Friendfeed or even Facebook is what Social Media is all about and in my opinion this couldn’t be further from the truth. Social Media doesn’t need Twitter or Facebook to be relevant. We could use – and have used things like IM, IRC or even web forums.
It really sucks that Trent has been haunted by this dregs of humanity and that he feels that it time to take a break from Twitter. That doesn’t mean though that he will be abandoning Social Media for one simple reason – he and NIN have built their current business model around the concept of Social Media.
This is just another case of where the idea and philosophies of something have been destroyed by the misuse of the tools we use to be a part of that movement. As much as the believers and proponents of Social Media might like to think otherwise the fact is that Social Media isn’t immune from this type of destructive behavior. If anything with the increasing push into a real-time Web we will only see the speed by which this type of behavior happens.
Think not? Then just think back to even this past week to the explosive bullshit that happened after the Laporte and Arrington had their blowup.
I don’t blame Trent for wanting to walk away from Twitter but that doesn’t mean that he has walked away from Social Media because for him that would just be a bad business decision and he’s not that stupid.