Walking out of my last class of the semester Thursday evening, I pulled out my phone to check Snapchat. I had missed Modstock, and was eager to see what my friends had worn, what the show was like, and how much fun everyone had at the annually anticipated event. Videos of screaming, dancing, and brightly colored clothing filled my feed—it seemed that everyone I knew had documented their experience in some way via social media.
We live in a digital age—this isn’t new information. However, technology, and social media in particular, have struck a dichotomy: the tension between feeling FOMO (fear of missing out) due to the sharing of “just how much fun you’re having” on these platforms and the realization that I experienced the concert just as most of my peers did - through our phones.
It seems that documenting the concert has taken precedence over enjoying the concert. Events such as Modstock are dominated by the desire to get the most ~lit~ Snapchat stories and to take as many photos as possible. The quality of the time being had is measured by the representation of the time being had, i.e. whether or not one got the perfect Instagram post.
This trend is not exclusive to Modstock or BC students. Instead, it affects anyone with a smart phone. There is nothing wrong with wanting photos to remember the fun times and good music. However, it is troublesome when an entire event is experienced through a lens. What is the point of going to a concert if the entire thing is going to be viewed through your iPhone screen? Sure, you want the videos to watch later, but most artists have live performance videos accessible on YouTube.
Particularly as the semester comes to a close, there is pressure to remember every moment and treasure all of the good times spent with great friends. It seems, though, that more effort is being spent on that act of preservation than on the actual memories being created. Granted, many people will not remember Modstock for other reasons, and photos may help piece together the event, but it would behoove those sober enough to try and enjoy live music presently, not retrospectively. In fact, the event itself pays homage to a time before Snap Stories, Instagram photos, and smart phones. A time when concerts were enjoyed through one’s eyes, not camera lense.
How was Modstock? It sure looked fun. Photos of friends sitting on people’s shoulders, dancing to the music, and enjoying the good weather reflect an event worth remembering. Regardless of whether the event was as fun as it looked, the photos and videos will live on.