If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (and quite frankly, why wouldn’t you?) you know I am no stranger to posting, tweeting or updating my status. I seem to think every witty thought or observation that pops into my head is worthy of publication. This has only been exasperated of late because I fractured my tibia and have limited mobility. It seems the hour or so a day I usually spend running or cycling has been replaced with 140-character thoughts.
All that admitted to upfront, I want to publicly ask the members of my industry to stop tweeting and/or updating your Facebook page at a certain time: during events.
C’mon guys and gals. Shouldn’t we be focused on other things during those 5 hours? Selecting the next song . . . communicating with the banquet staff . . . checking in with our clients . . . perhaps even bopping around the dance floor and interacting with the crowd. These are all things that are far more important than telling your Facebook friends that you’re “Rockin’ Scott and Margaret’s wedding.” (Which reminds me I don’t think I’ve ever seen a DJ’s update: “Really struggling to get this crowd going” but that’s a thought for a future blog.) In that one moment when you turn your attention from the dance floor to your keyboard, you could miss the Best Man break dancing or the Bat Mitzvah Girl singing with her friends. Is your update really more important than that?
And for those of you who would say something along the lines of “I’m such a talented multi-tasker I can throw a great party, mix music and update my myriad of social media platforms all at the same time” I say: “Kudos to you Doctor Octopus.” But consider this: Have you ever been standing at a bar trying to order a drink and the bartender is texting on their cell phone? Happens to me all the time. It tells me that person would rather be anywhere else but here which, in this economy, is a shame because I’d bet there are plenty of out-of-work bartenders who would take their place in a heartbeat. Guess what – when we text or update our Facebook status’ during events, we tell the guests at the party the same thing. That this moment is not interesting enough and I need to contact the “outside world” right now. And that too is a shame because, in this economy, I’m sure there are plenty of DJs who would take your place and pay 100% attention to the event.
While the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending a full ban of any cell phone use while driving, I would like to humbly make a similar motion. No, it’s not dangerous to “text while mixing” or “update while DJing.” It’s just bad business. If you want to post a shot of your set up before the room opens up, awesome. If you need to Tweet during dinner that you just killed an 80’s set, fine. And by all means fill in your legions of followers after your event about the highlights and how much your clients loved you. But please, during the gig itself, while you are actually playing and mixing music and MCing, keep your thoughts to yourself. We can all wait.