I just removed all my ‘likes’ and ‘views’ from all my videos.
This week I moved platforms from Vimeo to Youtube and in doing so removed tens of thousands of ‘likes’ and ‘views’ from my all my video clips on my website. All the marketing effort over the last four years, pointing listeners to my website and Vimeo videos (with thousands upon thousands of views), GONESKY.
Because in the sentiment of Mark Manson, I don’t give too many fucks.
Don’t get me wrong, I am deeply affectionate of those who ‘like’ my music’- but I also know, it’s not really any of my business whether you like it or not, and your likes are more reflective of your own emotional state as opposed to mine. It begs the question, “Then, why release art at all?” or “Why release anything at all?” If we are not looking for the feedback in ‘likes’ and ‘views’, why not keep the things we make to ourselves – why share it? It’s a question that frequently comes up for me as an artist.
Even by writing this blog, there is inference that I still want people to know “I DELETED ALL MY LIKES” – “DIDN’T YOU KNOW? I WAS WAAAAAY, MORE POPULAR WHEN I WAS ON VIMEO EVEN THOUGH YOUTUBE LOOKS A LITTE DIRE IN COMPARISON RIGHT NOW!”
Why is it important? We all know the dopamine hit you get from recognition on social media – it’s well documented and a quick look at Google Scholar will cite many a psychologist explaining the addictive affect on our brains, similar to taking chemical substances, or having sex. So if we have awareness of this phenomenon – the phenomenon to ‘be liked’, can we take a step back and be brave enough to remove our likes and views and see whether people still actually like us? Will they still listen to our music and like our videos if it appears not many others do, or are the listeners themselves too concerned for how many views something has had; ya know – the herd mentality; or what others have to say about a piece of media, before actually purely curating their own opinion?
I would imagine not many are brave enough to consult their blindfolded opinion, without first checking with their peers whether the group liked it first. It’s normal.