We live in a world of endless curation; this is MADE FOR YOU. No proactivity needed. Leave your thinking at the door. We have already done it for you so you don’t have to use that precious brain power. Whether it’s Facebook and Instagram using algorithmic prioritization (as explained in the social dilemma) or its Spotify showing you the music you ought to listen to, we are more and more at the behest of our platforms’ recommendation engines. This new normal is quite the contrast to when we were growing up and you had to seek out new music (waiting on Tuesday for that album to drop!) or you had to ring a peripheral friend to see how their summer went. That’s not the case anymore. Now our platforms have done the work for us and show us all that we need to know. Spotify is one step ahead - for better or for worse. Spotify knows your preferences. Spotify knows your tonal taste buds.
There’s power in discovery though - real discovery, not curated discovery. So that’s why when I head over to Cool Hunting and they have a “Listen Up” section, I get to play explorer. I play the songs, I read the descriptions and if I love it and feel inspired by the background, then I’ll toss it on one of my Spotify playlists for safe keeping. This process feels a little bit like traveling - collecting unique memorabilia of the places abound. The music tends to be global in nature and so when I find a Japanese electric track and I read about the artists’ motivations, I feel like I’m teleporting to a sweaty Saturday night at a club in Tokyo. If Spotify is home base, then Coolhunting is a quick weekend road trip where you rave to your friends about what you unexpectedly stumbled upon.
So much in life right now is preciously planned out for us despite the window dressing of serendipity. It’s important to use the internet sometimes like a backpacking trip - venture to places less known, learn new things and explore for yourself versus the travel guide of our platforms doing the work for you.