the opinion machine

this morning at breakfast, i pondered the giant opinion machine that is the internet.

while sipping my coffee, i considered the impact it has had upon my relationship with experiencing new art, specifically music...

i was listening to a new song when a stream of dialogue entered my head. the conversation was an endless flow of voices questioning, justifying, persuading, arguing, judging, commenting, deciding, and analyzing. it was my own personal collection of imagined status updates, tweets, and posts regarding this song.

somehow, in between bites of cereal, i heard this discussion quite clearly and decided it had to stop.

i closed my eyes and imagined myself back in my childhood bedroom listening to my very first cassette tape...

i was in the third grade. using carefully saved coins, i bought the album at kmart from the bargain music bin. the cover art was the deciding factor. purple music notes playing on a stand mixer? sold.

when i was young, i loved listening to new music by myself in my bedroom. i usually had absolutely no idea what anyone else thought about it. i was geeky, clueless, and lacked MTV. i just loved what i loved, freely and with no judgment. listening to music alone in my room transported me through landscapes of feeling. it allowed me to have a personal response to music without regard for everyone else's opinions constantly pouring in on me.

this morning, i touched that time again. in my heart i felt that freedom. it was delicious. there were no itunes reviews, no snarky facebook comments, no tweets containing commentary, no posts proclaiming yay or nay, no articles with critical reviews.

it was just me and a new song over a morning meal. i felt the freedom to love without boundaries, a cherished childhood space that i adore and miss.

i plan to cultivate this experience more thoughtfully now that i have noticed its absence...


Heidi pumpkin pie said...

you must be inside my brain!
this post is so close to my heart.

I have been looking up old music I used to love in 2000-2004. Some of it is totally embarrassing, but I still love it so much and not just for its sentimental value.

Being "uncool" makes you super cool in my book, and I think that you should always always always love without boundaries.

Monica said...


ahh, yes, the times when incessant feedback was just not available. private geekiness is underrated.

keishua said...

I've been doing that lately. Just putting on albums and listening to them. I am discovering a) I have a lot of music b) I was in a musical rut. I think that I will continue to push my box. It's fun!

ALFIE said...

LOVE this post! you know i wholeheartedly agree. when you tune out what everybody else is thinking, you can hear the desires of your own heart. and sometimes--- that's the only thing you need to hear!

keep jamming to the music that makes YOUR heart sing!

diane said...

heidi...thank you for the sweet words, my dear! i really liked that you said "i still love it so much and not just for its sentimental value." thoughtfully said and quite true for me too.

monica...hello! welcome to the inn. your blog is beautiful and i look forward to spending more time exploring it. regarding your comment: too bad private geekiness is underrated, because i have reached an astounding level of expertise in it. :D

keishua...hi! lovely to meet you. i frequently get in a musical rut too. it feels so good to have fresh new tunes to love. or to revisit old loves. very inspiring.

alfie...i absolutely will! so eloquently stated by you, as always. you are a genuine and poetic friend indeed. thank you! xo

quiverfull said...

mary oliver is amazing. i love this quote by her.
and it is so necessary for us to ... get slow. to unplug. to be quiet and real.

to rediscover life, daily.

thanks for the reminder. :)

nikkibit said...

Great post!
I remember sitting in my room waiting for a favorite song to come on the radio so I could record it on a tape. Music used to be so personal, and nowadays you usually see 10 reviews on an album before you even get to hear the single! Sometimes I forget how I used to relate to music, and it's nice to have a reminder of how it should be.

diane said...

heidi...i love that you said "i still love it so much and not just for its sentimental value." beautiful + true, my friend.

monica...welcome to the inn! i wish private geekiness was not underrated, because i have reached an astounding level of expertise in it. :)

keishua...lovely to have you as a guest here! i get into musical ruts too. it's so good to push through and find new or revisit old.

alfie...you're poetic, friend. always. i love the words you write. xo

shawnacy...i do so love mary oliver. thank you for reminding me to get slow, unplug, be quiet + real. excellent stuff for the soul.

nikki...oh, i loved recording songs from the radio with tapes! i would wait so patiently for my favorite tune + hope that the dj didn't talk too much so i could capture the beginning of the song. i think it's important to be aware of how technology has impacted us + our ability to have a personal, authentic aesthetic response.