By Brian Sacawa
I have a website. I have a blog. I tweet. I have also been spotted on delicious, Flickr, and MySpace. So I think it’s pretty obvious which side of the “whuffie” argument I come down on, and I have a theory about non-adopters. I think the anti-whuffies fall into two categories: the ‘scaredy cats’ and the ‘resisters’.
‘Scaredy cats’ refuse to engage with this technology not because they’re frightened of technology–quite the contrary, many of them use technology to make their living/art–but because they’re frightened that the transparency this brings to the creative process will allow others to steal their ideas. And since those idea poachers will likely be plugged into the latest social networking gimmick, they will be able to put the stolen ideas out there first and pass them off as their own.
‘Resisters’ are those who are probably sorry they didn’t adopt social networking applications early, either because they thought it wouldn’t last or because they didn’t want to be seen as jumping on the bandwagon. And now that these things have become ubiquitous, they continue to resist because they don’t want to be seen to have gone along just because many others have. They feel the need to separate themselves from the pack by being ‘different’ and not embracing these applications, stubbornly so, probably to the detriment of their careers. (N.B. Though I’ve personally embraced quite a few social networking applications, I am a Facebook resister partly for the reasons stated above and partly because I feel like my cobbled-together virtual existence is Facebook-y enough even though I’m not plugged into their network.)
To the ‘scaredy cats’, I say: Get over it. You have control over what you put out there. You can still conceal and manage the flow of your own information. (If you need help with this, look to the government for some strategies.) Maybe somebody will appropriate some of your ideas, but wouldn’t that be flattering?
To the ‘resisters’, I say: Get over it. Your peers in the musical community, and indeed all of America, will not think you are a sell-out easily swayed by the latest fads just because you start tweeting.