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Your friends have seen a lot of bands, if you haven’t noticed.
It’s hard to remember the last Facebook meme-chain letter hybrid that has hit our timelines as hard as this current “10 Bands I Have Seen (one of them is a lie)” business. Of course, people have a lot of feelings about it.
1. Not to be rude but, who cares?
Listen, it’s your Facebook page. You can post whatever you want, and you shouldn’t care about an article dragging this meme if you’re into it.
That fact aside, like, what’s the deal? Who is this for? You cannot, in good conscience, try to convince anyone that you care enough about your Facebook friends’ music tastes that you would willingly read through a big ol’ list of concerts. No one – really, no one – sees this meme and thinks, “Oh, goody! I’ve always wanted to pore through the curriculum musicora of that guy from my rec basketball league.”
2. If you really want people to care, just make a better list.
Hit us up with “10 New Things I Tried that Year I Went to Bonnaroo,” and we’re all ears.
3. Why does one of them have to be a lie?
Is this a test? Are we supposed to synthesize a comprehensive portrait of your life experiences and then single out the one that doesn’t belong? Is it just a way for people to see how good they are at lying? Is “10 Bands I’ve Seen” really that less boring?
If you’re going to lie about one, may we recommend just making a list of absurd real band names like “The Squirrel Nut Zippers” and the “Flying Burrito Brothers,” and just slipping in a fake one, like “The TurdHerders.” See who’s really paying attention.
4. Making fun of a Facebook meme is always the next Facebook meme
This little exercise hasn’t been popular for more than, what, a few days? We reached out to Facebook to try to find exactly when this madness started. A little forensics, if you will. We’re still waiting to hear back.
But already, people are making fun of it.
There are also dozens of posts going around titled “10 Things I Don’t Care About (1 is not a lie).” You can guess what they contain.
This is, of course, the most natural and predictable next step in the life cycle of a Facebook meme. Next we’ll have the latecomers, the Facebook aunts who sometime next week, will slap up their own version and preface it with “Okay, I’m gonna do this!”
5. People who qualify their lists with ‘Okay, I’m gonna do this!’ are the best
“Okay, I’ll bite.”
“Might as well give it a go.”
“Since everyone’s doing this…”
YOU KNOW what you are doing! You are entirely aware that this is a weird thing to be doing and you are giving yourself license to do it anyway! Are you aware that you don’t, in fact, need to justify it? That Facebook is a free platform and as long as you are not nude or violent you can pretty much do whatever you want?
If you’re going to post your favorite live acts (and one is a lie!), don’t make it seem like there was some crushing social pressure to do it, or that at the conclusion of some strenuous mental debate you have decided to participate. Just do it!
6. There’s a weird level of privilege to all of this
Live shows are expensive, man! Does the average person really have that many to choose from that they can make this long of a list? The most realistic person’s live music act list would be like
- My daughter’s band recital
- The house band at my favorite bar
- My favorite band, several times, because if I’m going to go through the effort of seeing a band I better love them
- Some locally famous band, out of sheer convenience
- The church choir at Easter
- The guy who sang the national anthem at the ballgame
- The ice cream truck
- My friend’s favorite band, which she dragged me to the next state over to see
- Whoever was playing at the county fair last year
- My spouse in the shower
And what’s wrong with that? Nothing.
7. Oh great, now there are variations
If you missed the first wave and don’t want to be bringing up the back with the Facebook aunts, sit tight. We’ve already seen variations like “10 Places I’ve Been” and “10 Books I’ve Finished.” Assumedly, one is a lie.
8. Actually, those are way better lists
Okay. Maybe one of the reasons that people are cranky about this particular meme is that live shows are, by nature, not widely shared experiences. A billion people can read “The Help,” but only a few thousand people go to see any particular show and even the top acts only net seven figure attendances over DECADES. So the fact that you saw “Heart” live in 1990 means jack to basically anyone. You might as well just say “I like ‘Heart.’”
To be clear, listing places you’ve been and books you’ve read is the same type of self-serving identity-building as this “10 bands” stuff, but at least it’s more ~ relatable ~.
9. Maybe we’re reading this all wrong
Wait. We’re laboring under the assumption that people are posting this for the benefit of other people, when common Facebook logic tells us the opposite. Like we said before, social media is all about identity building, and spouting out itemized lists is one of the most well-trodden and effective ways to do this.
Making a list of favorite live acts is especially engaging – for the maker. It forces you to untangle your memories, combing through the seasons and phases of life to pinpoint exact moments of pleasure. Then, like a dutiful participant in the world’s biggest self-actualization seminar, you share your results with the class.
10. Still though. Why?
It’s a question that may never be answered.