We live in an on-demand world.
You can get your groceries delivered to your doorstep with a few clicks of a mouse, pay back your friend for the dinner tab with three taps on your Venmo app and seemingly watch any TV show or movie at any time we want, some even without commercial interruption. The days of people experiencing something all at the same time are largely gone. You still get your food from the supermarket, but you didn’t have to interact with anyone in the process, be that a shorter person asking you to grab something off a top shelf or a “thanks, you too!” to the cashier.
Several parts of our lives that used to coexist in a communal way are slowly disappearing. Heck, there are so many TV shows and movies coming out nowadays on streaming platforms I didn’t know existed, it’s hard to keep them all straight let alone know where to find them all and keep their plot lines in my memory. Everyone is watching at different times and their own pace.
That’s why I love Thursday nights. See, back in the old days — about 10 years ago — new music used to be released on CDs on Tuesdays. In theory, an artist or band could release their music on any day of the week, but Tuesday meant more time to rack up sales and, in the process, a better spot on the charts.
Now, the way the charts are calculated is on a different calendar. Musicians don’t aim for big CD numbers and instead release albums with more songs (instead of the customary 11 or 12) to juice up the streaming numbers. On Friday at midnight is when most all-new music drops on Spotify and Apple Music, which in turn means people head to Twitter to give their reaction and thoughts.
It’s a community event with everyone talking about the same topic in a way that really only gets replicated by a major political story, a live sporting event, an award show or whenever Oprah Winfrey decides to interview a royal (of the Buckingham Palace variety, not the Kansas City kind).
I write this now because Drake just released his much-anticipated album at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning, which means I’m tired and sleep-deprived writing this. It was either that or come up with another column idea at 2 a.m., and with the way I’m crawling toward the three-day weekend this is the best it’s going to get.
My Twitter was flooded with friends listening, almost as if they were listening with me, making notes of the best lines and hidden messages. It’s a cool experience, admittedly only if you’re a fan of what the consensus is talking about. If you’re not, then it’s just a bunch of people talking about something you have no interest in. If that’s the case, then head over to TikTok for a scroll-fest. At worst, you can “doom scroll” on Facebook and read a few arguments.
Or maybe I should head over to Venmo because I’m pretty sure I still owe some friends drink tabs from 2019.
(Pete Sirianni is the managing editor of the New Castle News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)