Why social media might be bad for musicians’ psychological health

The always-on culture of social media and its increasing demands for musicians’ time may be bad for their psychological health, according to Cooking Vinyl owner Martin Goldschmidt.

“One of the big changes that has happened is that artists have to be incredibly engaged in social media – and this has been a massive [shift] for artists over the last 10 years,” he said, speaking on a The Future of the Music Industry panel at the BIME conference in Bilbao.

“They have to be on several social media platforms and I am just wondering if the next stage is if they are going to have to visually record part of the recording process. Not only will you be able to stream the new release, but you can also see it in VR.”

Goldschmidt was backed up by Gerhard Behles, CEO of Ableton, who was speaking on the same panel.

“An artist 30 years ago was very proficient in one facility or two; they might have been a fantastic writer and play an instrument very well,” said Behles. “Most of the people we deal with now have to be proficient at writing, performing, recording [and so on]. That is just going to expand. Now they have to be really good with their social channels. I wonder what kind of personality can survive that.”

Goldschmidt added: “In the 1980s, fan engagement was shagging groupies and scoring drugs from the front row of a gig. Now it’s horrendous what an artist has to do. The pressure that is put on an artist when they are 24/7 exposed to social media and the internet; that is massive psychologically and it causes massive psychological problems, actually. And it is going to get worse because of VR and the way that things are going.”