I like Spotify Wrapped. I have enjoyed the fun graphics and data breakdown since its inception and sharing it, along with seeing everyone else’s on social media, is a fun way to cap off the year.
However, knowing your data is being collected and is going to be packaged up into a graphic you’re going to want to share can skew your listening habits. At least it does for me.
The same goes for other streaming data-collectors like Last.fm. There have been times I have gone out of my way to not listen to something or stream it on a different platform so that it wouldn’t count as a scrobble. If you’re not insecure about any of the music you listen to, this may be a non-issue for you, but I know that I, and many others, are insecure about listening to certain artists, bands or genres.
These fun ways to track your data and find out interesting facts about the music you listen to (like, for instance, last year one of my top genres was Weirdcore), should be lighthearted and fun. But, with the increasing pressure to share your Spotify Wrapped or follow your friends on Last.fm, the music we listen to has become a performance for others.
Obviously, the competitiveness of music-listening has been around for ages, and didn’t begin with these stream-collecting platforms: but it has increased my personal awareness that every part of myself, even the music I listen to, can be curated as a performance for others rather than for my own personal enjoyment.
In 2022, here’s to listening to what we want, when we want, even if it involves Glee Cast being in your top five artists.
Listen to the music that fuels your fire,