“Hey Mark, how was Burning Man? Were you there when Skrillex and Diplo were booed off stage?”
This is how the vast majority of my conversations have started since I’ve been home after Burning Man. Despite Diplo setting the record straight last week and explaining that he and Skrillex weren’t “booed” off stage, many people still haven’t focused on what really went down. It seems like every single person who asked me about this “debacle” was not aware of the true circumstances of the event, and sadly most people won’t care.
Diplo made an extra-long announcement on Twitter to address the situation, saying “There was no booing .. No bad vibes ... Nothing about seth troxler was true either… Everyone on stage had a fun moment when we played a few tunes as we were Just killing time while the next dj was setting up.. We weren't kicked off or booed .. Jus wrapped our set up with an inside joke …”
But this isn’t the story that you’ve seen shared all over your Facebook feed, and this isn’t the story that every blogger has scrambled to cover.
If you think about it, the initial story that hit the interweb was perfect in terms of virality - it’s a common fact that any “shocking” story featuring hotly-debated “celebrities” will spread quicker and farther than any article denying a negative story, or even defending a positive one for that matter. “Diplo and Skrillex successfully play a range of diverse sets at Burning Man, and a couple Burners get slightly annoyed at the end of one of these sets” is not quite the article title you’d expect to see blasted all over the internet. But this is an issue that needs to change.
Considering Diplo's size and notoriety, it was pretty easy for people to ignore Diplo's statement about what happened at Burning Man (which was, in fact, pretty consistent with what I heard the day it happened). Even if people did read the retraction, it was still apparent that the general populous was latched onto the initial headlines and were brushing off the rebuttal like it didn't happen. People who happened to take their hate out on Burning Man, which is near impossible if you've ever attended, just searched for another reason to look down on Burners and the whole event in general.
This "infection" doesn't just happen with electronic music news either, but with all news, and this is a perfect example of the current tabloid climate that we’re in. Everyone loves a good scandal, and people love to point a finger at someone and say, "You messed up!" My question is: Why do people love a story that validates their negative perception of someone or something? Do you feel proving yourself just and superior to whomever you're putting down really worth the effort?
Honestly, it’s just as easy to take a story and put a positive spin on it as it is to throw a negative spin on it. As with all things in life, the more valiant option is always the former. Take Bassnectar’s recent comments regarding fake DJs as an example:
“As much as possible I want to focus on what I love about music, and less about what I dislike. My life has been so heavily impacted by music and I want to share and recreate those experiences for – and with – other people. I think there is a lack of authenticity in any form of mainstream culture including pop, celebrity, mass consumerism, and mass media. So instead of pointing out how dorky it is when some EDM DJ is faking it or making a mockery of it, I prefer to just play my heart out and focus on what I love. Hopefully other people do that also.”
There's no denying that negativity spreads like a disease. It's scary how easy it is to be a part of the group that latches onto these stories and helps seed them. However, wouldn't you feel happier using your time, your influence, and your audience to foster positivity in the scene around you? I mean, you probably won't get as many likes on that post, and you probably won't get as many retweets on it either. But I've always found it more rewarding to make 20 people smile, or give 15 people inspiration, rather than spread hatred to 50 people, or disrespect to 80 people.
It’s clear that this article won't get as many likes and shares as the original posts about the Burning Man incident, but all that I ask is that someone takes these ideas to heart and thinks again the next time they're considering sharing some needless negativity. If that happens, the message will spread, and there will be truly be less conflict in the world. Like many things in life, it's a domino effect, as positivity begets more positivity.
I challenge you, the next time you are about to post something negative, to reevaluate your reasons for doing so. Why are you really posting that? If it's just to get as many likes/retweets as possible, at the sake of introducing more negativity into the world, then maybe you should reconsider your goals. Look for another side of the story, try and find something positive to post, or start a meaningful discussion where respect is provided for all - you'll be surprised how far it goes.
Written by Subset