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It feels like being a fan just isn't a thing anymore. I feel like devoted fans are a thing of the past. I was lucky enough to grow up in a generation where dedication to an artist still meant something, and here is why that, to me, was a blessing.
I grew up in a boring small town where nothing ever happened. I wasn't a very happy kid and I needed something to help me feel alive. I needed something to escape the harsh reality of being a teenager. Music was it for me, being a fan saved me.
Back in the day, I remember waking up at 6 AM, just to see that two minute interview that Simple Plan were doing on a boring morning show. I had to handwrite letters to fan clubs, most of which I'm still not sure ever made it to their destination. I remember wanting to see My Chemical Romance's new videoclip and I had to watch MTV an entire morning hoping the video would play. I remember when Good Charlotte's album came out, I went to the record store, bought the album, opened it up, listened to it in its entirety as I was reading the lyric booklet, learning it all by heart. I read all the thank you notes in the end, hoping they'd be thanking their fans. I remember wanting to meet Fall Out Boy and I had to wait hours and hours after the show, just hoping they'd come out and be nice enough to take two minutes to talk to me or give me an autograph. I remember ripping off pages of magazines to get the posters of Green Day and stick them on my bedroom walls. I was so consumed with my favorite artists that it took my mind off my teenage angst for a while. Listening to the lyrics, I felt like someone out there understood me. Meeting the other fans at the show assured me I wasn't alone. Being a fan meant something. Being a fan meant being dedicated
Now, it's all different. People can interact with their idols on social media, as they please. A couple clicks and they can access their favorite band as easily as they can call their best friend. They see their favorite singers everyday life in their Instagram stories. There is no more mystery. They pay hundreds of dollars to meet them, making the experience very unpersonal. They can watch the videos on YouTube, and listen to the songs on Spotify. If they wanna see their favorite artists, they can just type their name online, and there they have it, every single picture, interview and song available right in the comfort of their own home. Record sales have decreased, because everything is available for free now. Tickets for shows have increased in price by hundreds of dollars and shows rarely sell out. It feels like we just don't dedicate ourselves to the artists we love anymore, because we've become lazy.
Having everything when we want it as we want it on our phones and computers has made us sluggish. It has robbed people of creating unforgettable memories, it's robbed teenagers of incredible experiences. Going to shows as a teenager was the best thing I've ever done for myself. It made me grow as a person, helped me meet new friends and understand new things. The feeling I got when I heard the first notes to my favorite songs being played live is surreal. Every teen should live that at least once in a lifetime. Everyone should have the pleasure of being dedicated to an artist and creating memories that last forever. It seems like being a devoted fan is a thing of the past, but should be back in style. We won't remember Twitter replies in 20 years, but we will remember mind blowing shows we went to.