Some months ago, I ended up submerged in the depths of the Internet, blaring Taiwanese rap alone in my bed — the laptop was warm on my stomach, my fingers buzzing from their ferocious browsing. Had I ever listened to such a genre before? No, but I am glad I happened to stumble upon it. My ears were warm with the sensation of experiencing something new.
Having been in this explorative, albeit horizontal, position for an embarrassingly long amount of time, I had managed to traverse countless pages and consumed a bounty of music that I had never before known.
Basking in my newest findings, I realized the wealth of music that was out there waiting for me just beyond the sheen of my screen. Obviously, the Internet is a perfect way to listen to bands you already know, check out some that you’ve vaguely heard of, or find a few that are entirely new. With the expansion of streaming services, online releases and YouTube, music is more accessible than ever.
But what I experienced then was more than that — it was a titillating process of discovery, a hunt without an end. I was sucked down the rabbit hole.
We have all been there — some casual browsing that oh-so-easily slips into a full-fledged information binge. You know, when you end up on Salem Witch Hunt sites for two hours and find yourself in a really peculiar headspace … or something. In my case, an innocent visit to spin.com led to some innocuous clicking on Wikipedia.
Several Wiki pages later, things got out of control and the power of the hyperlink dawned on me. You could be clicking forever, one idea leading endlessly to the next.
Sometimes this perusing is mindless, yielding nothing more than a brief distraction from other goings on. It’s easy to find yourself treading familiar ground or reliving previous favorites; you get caught up in the rush of nostalgia. Which is all well and good, but only for controlled blips of time. Listening to the same music forever would be like only ever eating your favorite childhood food: exciting initially, but soon nauseating.
But in special instances, magical sound bites are found — the kind of music that makes you think, This is it. Sure, there are plenty of duds out there. But for every few misses there is a glorious home run. You unearth something you never knew you needed.
Music can reveal things within yourself you didn’t know how to express, or even knew you wanted to express in the first place. That’s why stepping out of your comfort zone is so essential: it allows you to explore that little quiver hidden in your depths. It brings that desire to light.
The uncovering of these minute calls to action is one of the Internet’s greatest offerings. It allows a user to simultaneously find new information and facets of themself. These nuggets — a new favorite song, an inspirational new artist — are what make music so exciting, so transcendent. So let your freaky fingers work their magic. No wormhole too deep, no soundscape off limits.