I recently went to an Open Mic event here in Vienna. It was the second time I watched something like that. Looking at all the different people on the stage I started thinking. And finally came to a rather unpleasant conclusion.
While it is a wonderful thing that there is platform like Open Mic grating everybody a chance to share their thoughts and talents with the world it is also a reflection of today’s society. The one rule of Open Mic is that nobody gets criticised for what they do no matter how bad they are. It may be good not to have to fear being booed off the staged but criticism helps to develop. With the rise of the internet everybody got a chance to share their stuff and connect with people sharing their opinion. But this also means that people don’t have to accept any form of criticism anymore. If somebody doesn’t like what they do, they go on find other people who do. We’ve reached a point where people can share their every thought with the entire world – whether anybody cares or not. People live in a bubble, containing their own world and bouncing off anything that is outside the comfort zone. Not having to deal with any other opinions leaves us with a generation of self-centered egoists.
The two Open Mic nights I’ve been to kind of reflected this impression. Some people were incredibly talented and it’s a pleasure to listen to them. But there are also people who are not that gifted. Of course those people also deserve to enjoy making music, but maybe somebody should tell them that they are not so talented. I believe that criticism is a necessary tool to develop and improve. Not having to deal with any negative opinion leaves people with the impression that they are awesome in what they do. Therefore, they don’t need to see a need to get better or move on. Being criticised would help but nowadays people seem to react allergic to that. It is something outside their comfort zone, something they don’t have to deal with and can avoid.
If somebody dares to criticise, well just delete the person on Facebook and continue thinking how awesome you are.