Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Is technology impairing musicians people skills?


Jason Hoyt

Recommended Posts

I was listening to a discussion on NPR today (Odyssey), that discussed the ever-blurring line between humanity and technology... Does anyone feel that the constant tecno-adaptations we use in our daily lives, are diminishing our face to face people skills? Musicians are in the habit of entertaining, so a certain amount of social aptitude seems necessary, and almost pivotal. I think the constant influx of communication technology is taking away from our ability to interact on a personal level. Anyone agree?

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 18
  • Created
  • Last Reply

tough one.

on one hand, yes: people get caught up in their toys, and spend time hanging out on forums and chats. ;)

on the other hand, people spend time hanging out in forums and chats where they meet many more people from diverse places and ways of life...

I expect that this was said when radio was developed and cars, and movie theatres, and...

it's a stage, we'll get through it. more people know more people than ever before.

:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, maybe it's my "introvert" personality speaking, but I happen to think that posting on this forum is a example of "personal communication". I think of the discussions I've read and responded to in this "electronic" conversation, and I am humbled to realize that I would not be able to interface with any of you, except through this medium. Where else could I ask a silly question like "What string should I use?", and have people like Greenboy, dbb, "bassape (I remember your old name),jeremyc and a host of others tell me where to get off (Use the search function, dummy!) I mean, this interaction is incredible. :D

 

I respond to a pollster occastionally, and they always ask this question: " Do you feel you are overwhelmed with information or do you like having it available?" I love that it's available, and interactive to boot.

 

Great thread, Jason....

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with you Jason, but I also think that in some ways it makes it easier for me to express what I truly feel instead of what I think the other person wants to hear.

 

I'm an introverted kinda person (like randy) and talking face to face is difficult for me. Ive solved MANY problems by writing emails and letting off steam.. its seems its a little less offensive and I dont feel threatened.

 

boy oh boy

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm gonna have to say that technology does not affect our communication skills. I believe it's more over an individual's personality. I am not a "social" person by nature. I'm the guy at the party that sits back, relaxes, takes it all in, listens etc. Whereas my wife is a "social butterfly"; she will talk to anyone who will talk back. The singer in my band is a total ham. He will sing and play guitar, get the crowd into it etc. And he's that way by nature. Not because modern musical equipment, conveniences, etc. made him that way.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience musicians are no better of social communicators in ordinary circumstances than anybody else. In fact, because of the ritual methods considered communication by many of them (stage, lights, songs, adulation), some may be less practiced than people from other walks of life.

 

I think this was something people talked about when I first got on BBSes way back at the tail end of the eighties, and on GEnie, and then the "commercialized" internet. I thought it was just people exercising their pop psychology muscles then, and I probably haven't changed my view on that much at all.

 

I've noticed that people tend to be either vapid, unimaginative, challenging, imaginative, supportive, ideas-oriented, or "how about that weather" types in meatworld or on the net. The net is just the new telephone, newspaper, and barber shop beauty parlor. And people are people.

 

But then, I've been reading SF since I could read - why, I knew who Phillip K was at least ten years before he was the feeding ground for movie makers who wanted to stretch beyond Scary Alien themes ; }

 

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    do androids dream of poor latency and bad connections?

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think just it's just another dimension

in which to express the human condition -

some folks will use it to "hide from life"

but they were most likely doing that before

anyway :D

Me-I am waiting for "the Metaverse"

like in Neal Stephensons "Snow Crash".

Avatars on a whole new level :P

 

My 8 yr old son goes online and "plays" with kids

all over the U.S. in Starcraft battles

( supervised of course) I an tickled to read

the stuff in the chat boxes about girls and

school and...parents ;)

if it ain't broke don't fix it...

unless you need the overtime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

groucho,

 

Neal Stephenson is just one of the bright stars in the cyberpunk firmament doing the metaverse concept. If you want to follow out the gleefully absurd connections Snow Crash embodies, see theoretical mathematician / software engineer Rudy Rucker's *WARE (SOFTWARE, WETWARE, FREEWARE, REALWARE) series. For the slighly less whimsical side, check out Tad William's OTHERLAND.

 

What these guys and their antecedents and peers write makes any internet social trends of the day seem inconsequential and rather quaint.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by greenboy:

I've noticed that people tend to be either vapid, unimaginative, challenging, imaginative, supportive, ideas-oriented, or "how about that weather" types in meatworld or on the net. The net is just the new telephone, newspaper, and barber shop beauty parlor. And people are people.

I tend to think that people who are introverted by nature communicate better on the net than they do in person. If only because it is easier to hide their issues and be bolder than is their norm. So in this respect I think that technology is a boon to many people.

 

The other side of the coin is that people who rely heavily on the technology to reach out are in fact risking isolating themselves from real world relationships. There is a fair amount of emotional quotience that has to relied upon to balance that out. Much the same way other problems you may experience need some level of maturity to prevent you from being out of balance.

 

I voted that musicians are communicating better and that was because the net allows me to explore other ideas that I probably wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. So overall I think that technology is a big help.

 

If there is a detraction to the technology it is that anyone can have a soapbox and that means the signal to noise ratio is low. Well that and tab :)

 

Dan

There is a rip in the space-time continuim and it rings at B flat.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to another addition of Deep Thoughts, with host Jason....Great thread!

 

I think it partially has to do with what you need to communicate. If you just need to check to make sure you have time and place for a gig, emails are very helpful because both people can avoid being 'bothered'. You just say something like ' Is it 9:30 Saterday at Joe's Keg?' (this is just a musician realted ex., same applies for everything else though). I prefer to contact by email for small information related things like the above. However, when it comes to friendly talking/socializing/getting to know someone, the web falls way short. I think it is very impersonal and lacks the substance of a real conversation (ex: we have to use smilie faces to indicate emotions). Every hear that 90% of communication is visual? I miss that 90% when trying to get to know somebody, but I do enjoy being able to communicate with people like all of you, who I wouldn't be able to normally. I guess you just have to balance things.

BNC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think all of this communication technology makes people skills more of a priority, not less.

 

Unfortunately, most people don't know how to use the technology effectively, and so you get lots of rambling calls yelled through a cellphone and even more msipeld emails.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that doesn't seem much different on a mailing list or web forum, and at a booth in a restaurant, is the PERSONAL RANT ; }

 

Mine, today: Over the course of participating here, I've gotten a few wheelbarrows full of email and PMs asking for gear recommendations, solutions to problems, further technical info, etc. Some of these seemed to require thought {!}, careful writing tailored to the persons' levels of experience, step-by-step organization, etc.

 

So I thought and typed.

 

But I saw quite a bit about people skills here. Some of the correspondents have become friends and people I've talked on the phone with, and some are people I'd like to think I helped or educated or inspired or whatever. But I'll never know for sure because they seemed to not have familiarity with two words: THANK YOU, after I had spent hundreds on them.

 

For shame, you shoudl know that everybody likes to feel appreciated, not taken for granted.

 

Even me.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This might be relevant to the topic (and please bear with my poor english writing...)

 

A year ago, I saw a presentation about a study measuring the effect of being on-line on what sociologists nowadays call "social capital" (which in my view is a conceptual oxymoron, but that is another discussion). Anyway, if I remember correctly, the study went like this : about seven years ago, the promoter of a new housing development equipped the houses he was selling with a very fast "state-of the art" Internet connection. In fact, he was marketing this as some kind of "wired community". For some reasons, he could not deliver on his promise and only about half of the houses he built and sold were actually connected.

 

So a guy rented the basement in one of the wired houses, lived there for a year, and did his PhD thesis by observing the differences in the accumulation and distribution of social capital between the wired and the non-wired people. It is exceptional that a sociologist can conduct this kind of research in such a quasi-perfect experimental setting.

 

Among many other things, he observed that people who were connected interacted more often and more closely with their neighbors. For example, they knew the names of more of their neighbors (and they were on a first name basis with more of them), they were saluting more of them when taking a walk - or at the supermarket (etc), and they were visiting and inviting each others more often. Another interesting thing was that the wired people had a network, within the community, that was spatially more expanded: they were hanging out with people living at some distance from their own house, as opposed to the non-wired people who basically connected with their immediate neighbors. There was many other findings, but I don't have my notes here...

 

Anyway, this tends to demonstrate (or strongly illustrates) that technology, per se, is not a factor in diminishing the ability to interact with each others. It might even enhance this ability. Although I am not as convinced of this as the author was, but, hey, he did the study and I am only trying to report bits of it....

 

The ending of the story is kind of ironic though (or maybe not) : the "experiment" ended when the promoter ceased to provide the high-speed Internet connexions, mainly because the non-connected people began organizing themselves (using dial-up connexions to the Net)to force him to deliver the high-spped Internet connexions he promised in the first place. So, he pulled the plug.

 

And the guy who made the study is now teaching at Harvard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by greenboy:

But I'll never know for sure because they seemed to not have familiarity with two words: THANK YOU, after I had spent hundreds on them.

 

For shame, you shoudl know that everybody likes to feel appreciated, not taken for granted.

 

Even me.

Amen and well said.

 

Dan

There is a rip in the space-time continuim and it rings at B flat.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by GB: But I'll never know for sure because they seemed to not have familiarity with two words: THANK YOU, after I had spent hundreds on them.

My bad... THANK YOU! ;):D All great observations here, most of which I agree with to some extent... What I'm surprised to see remain absent from the thread though, is the effects of these mediums on younger people whos communication skills are still forming... :confused:

I feel like the internet should have a big social billboard that says "Results may vary"... If people can use it to help break through some social ineptitudes, great! But if it becomes a crutch, and retards personal growth, it can only create bigger problems for that individual down the road. :eek:

GB's is right about this conversation being discussed since the inception of interactive technology, but until now nothing has been as easy to use, or as accessable , as the internet.

Jeremy is definitely correct to some extent as well (how else would he know how to explain sliding harmonics so well ;) ), and I am definitely greatfull for the abundunce of information available here from so many talented and nice people (Again, thank you GB)... I just think of how greatfull I am that my parents never let me watch TV all day. They made me go DO something... I hope other people are doing the same to thier kids... I know some of the musicians in my personal genre are beyond help... It's okay though, I am fluent in the Bong, Beer, and Grunt dialects... :thu:

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason, as I recall you have never been less than demonstrative in email or PM. And I'm used to being snubbed here on the forum ; }

 

Funny you should mention TV. I was about to say that young people are probably learning a hell of a lot about soundbites and short attention spans there, and emphasis on the shallow - or the clever but vacuous.

 

On forums, as it is in any roundtable in meatworld, the tone that is maintained has more to do with the style of discourse. There are areas of the internet where low-quality flaming is the norm (they need to buy their propane from Hank Hill), and areas where the set example is better, and in general followed, if not enforced.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...