Last week, we asked Phish fans to share if they do or do not use certain forms of social media while at a Phish show. The results of the survey are seen below:
Facebook - adding photo (s) - 44%
Facebook - status update (s) - 42%
Twitter - to find out what song they are/were playing - 35%
Twitter - tweeting just a few times a show – 35%
None - I do not use social media at all at a Phish show - 32%
Twitter - uploading a picture (s) - 28%
Facebook - commenting on status(es) and/or photo(s) - 24%
Twitter - responding to tweets - 20%
Twitter - tweeting a setlist (partial or full) - 18%
Facebook - checked in - 15%
FourSquare - checked in - 11%
Of course, this survey is not scientifically accurate. A small sample size (324 votes) does not indicate that this survey is 100% indicative of any given Phish crowd, but it does provide some insight into the frequency of use of social media at a given Phish show.
The most popular responses were using Facebook to add a photo or update status, something commonly seen by those on Couch Tour. Using Twitter to see what song was being played or tweeting a few times a show had an equal number of responses. Slightly fewer, but more than ¼ of respondents said that they uploaded a picture to Twitter during a show and slightly less than ¼ responded to Tweets or commented on Facebook statuses and photos.
Almost 1/3 noted that they do not use social media at all during a Phish show, which may wind up being a higher number, since social media (Facebook and Twitter) were the main ways in which fans were alerted to the survey, making the survey somewhat slanted towards those who are already using social media. If this survey had been sent out over email, there might be a higher number reporting they do not use social media at a show. Essentially, the outreach for this simple survey was akin to taking a phone survey to ask if people if they use a phone. The answers will of course, be skewed. But as mentioned before, this was not designed as a comprehensive, PEW Research Group/GallupPoll level of surveying.
The least responses came regarding tweeting a partial of full setlist, something that is seen by many on Twitter but as a percent of those at a Phish show, the number is quite low (note: PhanArt tweets a full setlist and still enjoys the show, every single time, just like many others). The least popular responses were checking in, whether on Facebook or FourSquare, something that seems to be done by not as many people in general lately, but still notable and present in the world of social media.
A question was brought up in the phish.net forum regarding message boards as being social media. A short discussion ensued where valid points were made arguing that message boards were or were not a form of social media. While the majority agreed that a message board constitutes social media, the question does arise – Do you go on message boards during a show, especially when there are faster ways of accessing and sharing information with others? The number of those who use message boards in this manner at a Phish show remains to be seen, but is predictably on the lower end of the response scale.
The role of social media is a large one in society and clearly quite present at Phish shows, generating perhaps around 30-33% of fans using a form of social media as defined in this survey, while at a Phish show. If you choose not to use social media, that decision is well respected by many in the Phish community, both on and off line. But if you do use social media, don’t forget to pay attention to the show and live in the moment. It’s awesome when Phish plays Sanity, but five tweets or two statuses explaining how excited you are to hear this song may interrupt actually taking in the song and enjoying it in its live setting.