"One of things that was important on Dirty Jobs, and one of the few that I really insisted upon, was no second takes. The reason I did that wasn’t because I thought it would make the show better. I did it because I thought it would make the show more authentic.... The second [take] is always going to be a performance." Mike Rowe
When was the last time you were preparing to post something through social media and the lighting wasn't quite right, the pic wasn't of your "good side" or the perfect message to pair it with went through multiple rewrites all so you could show everyone how dramatic or awesome the scene was in front of you? I can think of many such instances I have done that. The "perfect" idea for a post came to mind but I couldn't get it to come out the way I wanted. So I retook the photo multiple times to best capture the scene (or show myself off) or belabored the message forever because I wanted it to be as funny or poignant as I felt it could be.
While there is nothing wrong with a well thought out message or diligently captured photo/video, there is a line out there somewhere when the sharing and curation of our lives online becomes more performance than accurate representation of our true selves.... perhaps this blog is guilty of that at times.
A book I'm reading at the moment, The Revenge of Analog, addresses the increasingly digital world we live in on many fronts. But one it focuses on a lot is the music industry and the seemingly impossible rebirth of vinyl records.
There are many things I'm excited to write about from this text but one I found valuable pairs well with Mike Rowe's comment. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters is discussing his 2011 garage-recorded, unrefined album, "Wasting Light". When talking about why the band settled on lower fidelity and more analog approach to recording and opting out of much of the editing technology the music industry has, Grohl said, "I don't want to know I can tune my voice, because I want to sound like me."
Having access to an endless array retakes or tweaking via technology offers the ability to hone/perfect but it also wipes away the originality, humanity and the imperfections that make us who we are. By using any and all tools at his disposal, the album would become less about what they created and more about what should be delivered to get good airplay and make money.
How often do I put my best/altered foot forward rather than the first one? How often am I brave enough to put my first take forward online and off to be the imperfect me rather than the curated and filtered me I want you to see?
Go Forth Boldly