If you haven’t spent the last 10 years living under a rock, you have definitely come across the craze sweeping social media – challenges. I’m really not great with social media challenges. I tried a photo challenge once, and I can tell you with certainty that you do not want to call me up for a photoshoot anytime soon. Drinking an egg? No problem. Just spend a Friday night with me in De Akker, and you can tick that challenge off your list. As for 10 days of motherhood – that isn’t a lifestyle I subscribe to (yet?).
So, why are people so obsessed with social media challenges? For most people, it provides a sense of belonging to something. Especially in a time where the closest you can find yourself to another human is 2m away in the grocery store. People want to feel that they are a part of something bigger, and it helps to keep busy and keep the boredom at bay.
After a month in isolation with just my two flatmates and our very own Joe Exotic Big Cat, I needed something to make me feel like myself again. Music is such a big part of my day, especially when my colleagues share new songs with me on a daily basis. During isolation I just had my own music, my friend’s mix, and my flatmate Henco’s “Ek wil nou dans” playlist that should be locked up in Opskop.
With all this in mind, I decided to partake in the 30 Day Song Challenge on Instagram. The 30 Day Song Challenge allows users to share their favourite music along with a little bit of background information as to why you chose this song. I posted the challenge on my Instagram Stories using the music sticker and browsed for the song that I chose for the day there. The song was accompanied by a photo of a place, a person or a memory that that particular song represents.
This is how the 30 Day Song Challenge kept me sane during this weird time
It made me appreciate music again. Music becomes such a big part of our lives, that we sometimes forget the hard work and talent that goes into our favourite songs. One particular song I chose was Ocean by John Butler. This was for the “a song with no words’ prompt. This song will always be one of my favourite instrumentals, but when I listened to it for the day 16 challenge, I realised yet again what an insanely good musician John Butler is. This sparked a marathon of John Butler songs and albums that I forgot existed in my Apple Music playlist.
If we had a memory of a specific song, or if you shared your favourite song with me, I promise you, I will send you a recording, photo, voicenote or all of the above when I listen to it. It doesn’t matter if I sent it to you yesterday or if we are not that close anymore. That song will be stuck with me forever, meaning you will be stuck with me forever too. This song challenge gave me a feeling of nostalgia, because as I pressed play on each song, a different face appeared in my mind. The 30 Day Song Challenge gave me the opportunity to connect with old friends, think about past music festivals, share stories, and go back to a time where everything was normal.
The last thing that the 30 Day Song Challenge gave me that kept me sane, was that for 30 days I had to be still for a moment to choose my song and photo for the day. Being in the moment, not thinking about work, the economy of South Africa or if he will call after lockdown has ended. It was just a quiet moment with my favourite musicians.