In defense of Facebook ‘10 Concerts’ posts

Over the last few days, Facebook users have been collectively celebrating their concert lives with posts listing nine concerts attended—and one not—filling up feeds.

And inevitably, there has been a backlash.

Not only are anti- posts popping up, but even some folks with bigger pulpits than just their friends list have blasted the innocuous viral activity.

CNN’s AJ Willingham chimed in with a particularly condescending story. “Not to be rude, but who cares?” she asks right off the top and, later, labels being able to make such a list as “a weird level of privilege.”

While a Facebook feed filled with nothing but concert lists may be as mildly annoying as post after post of photos of what your friends ate for lunch, here’s my advice for Willingham and anyone else hostile to this harmless game.

  1. Why yuck people’s yum? Ask yourself "Why am I so bugged by the good times being recounted by my friends?"
  2. Trim your friends list. If you can’t take pleasure in the joy your friends feel about their lives, perhaps you have too many folks in your feed that you really don't care all that much about. Thinning the herd is easy.
  3. Think of it as a celebration, not as bragging. I haven’t seen one post that felt like someone’s concert experiences were being rubbed in my face. Instead, I saw people celebrating the fact that they’ve had the chance to witness so much musical talent. 
  4. Go beyond the post. After many of these, you’ll see friends of that friend responding—whether guessing which is the fake or sharing experiences either of that same event or of others by the same act. These are human beings connecting over their shared love of music. Why throw a bucket of water on that? One of the biggest benefits of Facebook is that it can actually foster interaction between human beings.
  5. Expand your musical horizons. If you think the only valid live music has a high ticket price, then you aren’t taking advantage of wonderful music available at low or no cost. Summer’s coming. Check out the free concerts wherever you are. For starters, here is the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s lineup of free performances this summer.
  6. Ask yourself "Is this any more privileged than posting vacation photos or places you’ve dined?" If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, you know that a high percentage is posts of things you’ve done, places you’ve been, and things you’ve eaten. On CNN scribe AJ Willingham’s public page, there’s a photo of her at a soccer match and another at a football game. I’m guessing those tickets cost more than a concert at the Vogue.
  7. Relax and enjoy the game. Part of the kick of these is the guessing process. So much of Facebook is dominated by quizzes and alleged polls that have zero to do with the real world and anyone you actually know (i.e. Which Harry Potter character are you?). Here’s a post that isn’t just out there to collect your personal data to resell to the highest bidder.
  8. Learn to scroll. Overwhelmed by these posts? Scroll past them. It’s easy.
  9. If none of these help, then log out. This will all be over in a few days.
  10. This is the fake one.

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