John Mayer: “Manage the Temptation to Publish Yourself”

August 2, 2011

Mayer realized that pouring creativity into smaller, less important, promotional outlets like tweets not only distracted him from focusing on more critical endeavors like his career, it also narrowed his mental capacity for music and writing intelligent songs.

"The tweets are getting shorter, but the songs are still 4 minutes long. You’re coming up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still 4 minutes long...I realized about a year ago that I couldn’t have a complete thought anymore. And I was a tweetaholic. I had four million Twitter followers, and I was always writing on it. And I stopped using Twitter as an outlet and I started using Twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song."

Related reading: Facebook and Twitter are creating a vain generation of self-obsessed people with child-like need for feedback, warns top scientist.

Also somewhat related: We share too much, and it’s stifling innovation.

Sounds like Nicholas Carr’s “Shallows.” On the public communication pendulum, I think tweeting is too far. Blogging a few paragraphs is probably a better use of the reader’s time. If the blogosphere is like a convention of opinions and ideas, tweeting is like shouting in a crowded bar.
As far as John Mayer is concerned, most popular songs have three verses and a refrain. That’s not very different from the aforementioned blog post length.

kpdriscoll [+1]
Aug 2 11 at 10:22 am

Here I was feeling guilty for not being a more pro-active Tweeter.

This puts my mind a little bit more at ease.

Blogging has been a great way for me to get the creative juices flowing, be it through reading and/or writing.

I also really like the Google+ community for conversations – less restrictive than a tweet, but somehow doing a similar job.

Meggin [+10]
Aug 2 11 at 11:03 am

Ha! Funny.
Here I was thinking of recommending the same to John Mayer, the last time I heard a John Mayer song.

Oh irony… how I love you so. ^_^

Aug 7 11 at 1:52 pm

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