Group Chats & Internet Friends: How Social Media Impacts Music
By Kariann Tan
It’s no secret that music has been one of the largest driving forces behind social media and pop culture today. In fact, it is largely due to this social media culture that underground indie bands can achieve such status and popularity - through the word of mouth phenomenon.
Ever heard of a song that you couldn’t get out of your head but you feel like your school friends might not dig it as much as you do? Just by going on Twitter, you will easily be able to find others that are into that particular song/artist as you. From there on, you can find yourself joining group chats, getting to know people who are probably miles away from you, so on and so forth. It may sound a little creepy to someone who hasn’t experienced it, I know. But in this day and age, it’s pretty easy to discern the sketchy and genuine conversations.
So, how are group chats and the internet culture important in spreading the word within the music scene today? Firstly, the more group messages and “networks” that are made focused on a specific artist, the bigger and stronger that artists’ fan base grows. And the plus side for the fans themselves is that you’re meeting people who share your interest. Generally, it’s a win-win situation for the artists and the people.
From there on, a particular culture within these fan bases develop. The fans, dubbed ‘stans,’ share inside jokes and terms to commemorate an event, or an important person in these fan bases. An numerous array of group chats involving internet friends result in meetups at concerts or anywhere else. As a result, friendships evolve and connections are made.
I get it, it’s kind of hard to picture this if you’re looking from the outside in. I sought out a couple of people to help paint a picture of how internet culture plays a big part within the music scene.
“The internet culture has definitely influenced my favorite bands and artists for me,” shared a Heart Eyes writer Hope Delongchamp (and a friend that I met over the internet, as a matter of fact!) “Previously, music wasn’t even an interest of mine but once I fell into a community with like-minded interests, I fell in love.”
When asked about a memorable moment with her Internet friends, she states that “being able to communicate with Internet friends and being to dissect an album from a song’s lyrics to a key change made for a very memorable moment with me and my internet friends.”
Camryn, another writer for Heart Eyes, shares the same sentiment. “I’ve always been in the indie scene but I feel like social medias/group chats have gotten me more into [more bands, such as…] COIN.” (That, I can personally vouch for as well.)
Because the social media presence of artists so predominantly dictates their success lately, popular and growing artists are encouraged to adapt and use this to the best of their abilities. Bands like Hippo Campus, COIN and PVRIS play to this essentially free advertising having an aesthetic-styled feed on their Instagram/Twitter/etc., theoretically “branding” themselves. Artists change their profile pictures and headers to fit their music era.
As this is the case, one cannot deny the importance of social media culture having been so integrated into the music scene. If you have been reading this and have been previously reluctant to try to get yourself into these online fan bases - fear not! It’s not as scary or exclusive as you think it is, and it will definitely result in new friends and treasured memories