Jahan Yousaf took to social media this evening (March 5) to announce that she would no longer be posting on her Twitter and Instagram accounts. Initial reactions left the Twitter world all but furious that she could ever abandon her Krew, but after reading her truly moving explanation on Tumblr, a movement to take similar measures regarding social media may have just shifted into action. Ironically, all we can think about now is how we wish Jahan would retweet this post.
Jahan announced this evening that she will no longer post to Tumbler, Instagram and Twitter accounts. After reading her explanation on why she decided to take these extreme measures and leave her online fans hanging; you quickly realize that we can all forgive her and maybe make some changes in our lives as well.
At the last boom of the encore, the house lights turn on. I’m scanning the crowd, full of half naked bodies and sweaty faces. I see hand-painted signs that say ‘KREWELLA GET ME WET’…’I DROVE 5 HOURS TO SEE YOU’…and my favorite is usually ‘IS YOUR PUSSY WET?’ 4,000 pairs of eyes stare back at me as mascara is running down my cheeks and wet strands of hair are glued to my face. I’m spewing some nonsense over the mic but I can’t hear myself because they are shouting so loud. I’m walking like I have a stick up my butt since my pants are so soaked. I jump over the fence and reach out to as many waving hands as possible and you guys pull me in with such force.Damn I love you guys. Playing shows and seeing your excitement for our music gives me an overwhelming feeling of warmth through my body. That’s a REAL, mutual understanding of each other right there. And I’m finding this is far more authentic than anything we could find online. This is a human bond. And this is the relationship I want to have with our fans. Not a one-way street with me on a pedestal while everyone is watching in the sidelines while I’m in their timelines, but a genuinely connected relationship where I deliver my best music work and performance- because that’s what you deserve as our investors of support, energy, and love.That being said I will no longer be maintaining/checking my personal social media accounts Twitter and Instagram – only sharing my writing once in a while via Tumblr. I love technology and I know that social media deserves so much credit for the growth of our group. I’ve watched you guys nurture your own global network to spread the word about us. It makes me so proud to know that we have such a unique fan base unlike any other. It’s quite powerful enough to call an online movement. But lately I’ve been thinking about how I want to distribute my time and creative effort, and what kind of example I set for the small city of online followers you guys have given me. People tend to equate the virtual currency such as followers and ‘likes’ with success, and the blue checkmark as legitimacy. And we all work so hard to achieve an elevated status online..but does that really make us happy in reality, or is it just an illusion and impostor for connectivity?For those of you who followed me a year ago, you might have noticed I was responding to tweets daily and posting pictures of my experiences a few times a week. I was quite the social media hustler. Before I could barely open my eyes in the morning I would check my twitter to see if anything happened while I was sleeping. And then the cycle would continue every few hours after that, responding to fans and ‘checking to if anything happened.’
But that’s the worst way to start the morning. You basically set yourself for dicking around throughout the day. How could I possibly call myself a dedicated artist if my flow of thoughts and ideas are fragmented and intercepted by the urge to refresh my feed or prove what I did that day? And what was I checking for? Why do we all post thoughts, photos, and maintain our profiles online? Acceptance. It all boils down to the fundamental human need – acceptance and sense of belonging. Maybe we feel unworthy in reality…insecure in our relationship…alone even though we are surrounded by others…or bored and can’t focus on our craft. So, we construct an identity online that supplements the emptiness. With every retweet we feel validated; every unknown follower a friend. It’s reassurance that somebody thinks you’re attractive online or values your clever tweet enough to share it. Neurochemicals of happiness are triggered in the brain, and that makes us feel high…to the point where we want hits of it several times a day. And that’s what leads to the compulsive need to post and refresh.
In today’s society we have been coddled into thinking we are in control of our media consumption and that we are ‘active’ consumers just because we create our own profiles, go shopping online, respond to tweets, etc. But most of the time we are just lurking…browsing…stalking. That is not active. I think we have abandoned our wisdom..the wisdom to judge character and motives in people, and instead of following our gut and listening to our animal instincts, we are blinded by the portraits people paint of themselves online. We abandoned the wisdom to look away from the screen and genuinely listen to the person talking in the driver’s seat…or look out the window daydream…to patiently wait in line and think…how can we ever contemplate our passions if we are always trying to fill the empty space with a sense of feeling ‘busy’ by refreshing a twitter feed or comment stream? Why can’t we just enjoy the silence?Are you a voyeur or a creator? Slave or a master? Artist or a lurker?I didn’t start Krewella to be an internet socialite. I didn’t start making music to have an image. Everything else followed. I didn’t start this shit for the charts, numbers, and ratings. When all that jazz starts clouding creative thoughts, the artistic vision becomes unclear and polluted. I started Krewella because making music is straight up fun and cathartic, it was an escape, and writing sometimes is the only way I can harness my thoughts into something meaningful when I cannot express them verbally. Moving forward all I want to give you is my writing, music, creative entertainment, and visual art. And I hope I can get you to THINK.I hope you understand that the decision to leave my personal social media is not out of a lack of appreciation for our beloved fans or desire to cut off communication with you guys. It’s not me thinking I’m ‘above’ social media, or over a trend. Like I said before, social media was and still is integral to our ability to reach endless corners of the world. And what I have to say is by no means a representation of krewella since I cannot speak for my team.But for my individual presence online, I’d rather remain silent in a system where people are hustling to fit in and bowing down to those with an elevated online status. Sure, maybe I’m trying to prove a point. I might be voicing a very unpopular opinion, but I’d rather stay true to myself than be a people-pleaser and act based on ‘likes.’ Perception IS reality, and if we can see through the illusion then maybe we can become more authentic human beings. I hope you can ponder your existence online and if that means anything in reality, or harness your existence online to be revolutionary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFS6cP9auDc&feature=youtu.be.I hope you can live outside the screen, find comfort in solitude, pursue your deepest passions with focus, and enjoy the silence.Also I hope you can make it to a show and experience something I could never offer you over the internet.All love to you guys,jahan