Music Social Insecurity

from the people-worry-too-much dept

R Dickson writes in with a link to an article talking about the social impact of music sharing, asking what would someone think if they were able to look at what music you listen to. He also wonders whether or not the government could use that to try to “classify” you. The article itself talks about the concept of “playlistism”, where someone is discriminated against due to the sort of music they have in their shared music folder. I’m reminded of the line from one of the music snobs in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, when he says something to the effect of “you should be judged not on what you are like, but what you like.” Apparently some folks are changing their listening habits just to change the impression they give people. Of course, I don’t think this is all that different from life prior to music sharing. I remember a friend of mine going through my music collection when I was in junior high or so, and telling me what was okay to keep and what needed to be ditched. A lot of folks end up listening to what their friends listen to anyway, so this is just expanding the ability to do that. As someone who seems to listen to a lot of music that not many others listen to, I really have no problem having people know what I listen to – and I’d bet that anyone who went through just my music collection would have a hard time guessing the type of person I am.

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Comments on “Music Social Insecurity”

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frankiejr (user link) says:


when i used to download a lot, i’d grab everything and anything i could get my hands on. a bunch of the stuff i have is crap, but i keep it. why? because there’s no shortage of disk space here.

if someone was to look at my music collection, they’d find Ani Difranco flanked by Avril Lavigne, They Might Be Giants holding hands with Tupac, and Weezer in bed with Whitesnake.

so i agree with you, Mike. if someone went through my music collection they’d have a hard time guessing what type of person i am.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Actually, nope. It’s the reverse. I just checked (on the movie version). The whole point is to show how shallow they’re being in the story, saying that what books, music, etc. you like is much more important than anything else about your personality. I’d look it up in the book as well, but don’t have the time right now.

steve says:

No Subject Given

In my experience surfing other people’s collections, they are always more diverse than I would have expected. The same guy who has a hard drive mostly loaded with Screeching Weasel will also have a smattering of Abba and a couple Sinatra tunes. I thought it was enlightening that people weren’t as stereotyped as I would have expected.

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