Spotlight Stress

Hi. :) It's been awhile - missed You all! I know you're curious, so let me just tell you that overall, i traveled roughly 8619 miles and 139 hours during the first session of the One-Week Job Program! If you do some dividing and...thinking, you'll see that when I say "rough"ly, I mean it, but it's a good estimate.

Dang, I traveled a lot this summer.

Yes, I'm proud of myself. :D But on to more details about my eighth one-week job:

While working in the studio with Niblett for a week, one thing fascinated me a lot, and that was the response from the listeners. At Candy 95, listeners can interact with the radio station in two major ways. First, they can call in. This method is the most common for radio stations, and most people call in to request their favorite song, in hopes that it will play on the radio. Second, listeners can text the radio station with whatever thoughts they have. I personally had never heard of the second method until I worked at Candy, but I don't listen to the radio all the time, so who knows.

Since Bryan-College Station isn't the biggest area, in addition to the fact that I was in the studio the week before the week before classes were to start, things were slower than usual. Calls into the studio were extremely few, and most of the texts we received were from pre-teens who were trying to be rebellious by letting someone know that they were staying up past their bedtime. Very funny stuff. But, regardless of who was contacting the station, the content wasn't always nice. Some people really take things personally!

I mentioned earlier how Niblett and most night-time Radio Djs have only seconds to entertain at a time. Therefore, it makes sense to try to get and keep a listener's attention with outlandish or controversial topics. All the Top 40 DJs I listened to at night were always very opinionated, and I'd find myself waiting a few minutes before turning the radio off, just because I wanted to hear the DJ talk about the responses he/she had received. Mission accomplished for the DJ in that regard! I often had my own viewpoints on whatever matter was being discussed, but I never cared enough to get riled up. I always saw it as entertainment, nothing less.

But during Week #8, things were different. I was no longer listening – I was talking. People were listening to me. I was the one bringing the topics to the table, to the people, and having to hear and read their thoughts about me. If people had something negative to say, I kind of felt as if I was part of the receiving end, even though Niblett was in control, so responses were directed at him. Yes, there were encouraging statements, but some comments were unnecessarily rude. One or two came close to threatening, and being at a studio until 11pm, the wrong person might not be able to handle that sort of thing. Niblett could. Did. Has. Having worked for Candy 95 for about six years, he was unfazed, calling it “part of the job.” He was so cool about it all that I never really felt sorry for him, just appreciated what he did more.

Because it made me think.

It made me think about all the times I've been quick to judge a public figure. As I said earlier, most of the time I love to observe and just listen, but if I'm feeling feisty/hyper/whatever, I'll be quick to judge. I mean, it's easy, and it's my right. You know what I mean. Especially when You're with some friends and everything's all exciting and fun, and you want to keep the high-energy mood going and seem not-boring so You're all like:

Gee, who IS this girl on TV? What a horrible voice. Is that a unibrow?”

Everyone laughs and nods their heads. So true. She's so right.

And so on and so forth. And opinions are fun. Opinions are great. Sometimes we inflate our opinions and sometimes we are who we are. But if that DJ or actress or football player or whoever was sitting in your living room or car with You, would You make the same remarks then? Is it foolish to even think about such a thing, because the person elected to put himself/herself in the "limelight"? In other words, he/she is asking to be judged from every angle because he/she chose that profession, and he/she should just deal with whatever comes his/her way?

Nibs is cool

If ever You meet a public figure and get to know him/her personally, You will find it hard not to think twice about these things. It's not really fun to be judged every time You go to work. Or is it? Maybe some people enjoy it, need it. I don't know.

I had to deal with pressure from the "public" myself, trying to win this One-Week Job opportunity. In asking for votes, I went all out (I seriously did it all), and while I got lots and lots of love, I got lots and lots of hate. I was all proud of myself, going out and asking for help, thinking I was being humble. But some people thought I was selfish and only out for personal gain, so with the endless positivity, I received hate e-mail, tweets, and door slams in the face. I put myself out there, so I got all sorts of things back.

I'm not going to lie, that week of voting was so draining for me that I couldn't stop myself from being negatively affected – even though it was clear that I was loved and supported by the majority. I couldn't shake the feeling that some people really wanted me to lose. Why did I feel this way, and why did I care? Because I'm human. But could I really blame the haters? After all, I had invaded their routine, whatever that involved. They didn't know my whole story, they didn't know any I should just let it go every time, right? I...I don't know.

I thought about all of this all during Week #8, and I had an even more horrifying thought, more than the possibility of [insert name of celebrity I can't stand] hearing me gossip about him/her. I thought:

It's quite possible that I had heard Niblett on the radio myself during my early college years, in a car with good friends, and had made some passing, biting remark about him or whatever he was talking about at the time.

It's possible.

And then I began to feel bad about this hypothetical happening that I wasn't even sure had occurred, because I do that. I was just thinking, innocently. I very well could have done this. And there I was in a studio, with a guy who I may have judged a few years ago, just like so many other listeners, and only after hearing his voice. Until that week, I didn't know his real name, I didn't know his thoughts about life, how many siblings he had, if any. I knew nothing about Niblett until he let me co-host with him, and after that, I concluded that he was a kind and amazingly talented human being.

So WHERE is that line of response/judgment/assessment? Does any of this even matter? Is it our responsibility to think this much about this subject? We're the entertainees – should we be be thinking at all? Even if we're asked our opinion by a “personality”, should we still take the necessary effort to be respectful of his/her viewpoint?

Remember in my first week, when I asked You how often You critically examine the media you're exposed to? Good. Well, at that point, I was speaking more about graphic things - advertisements, logos, not necessarily people. And I was talking about how important it is to do our research and think before we act on what we see in the media, because those things often affect so many aspects of our lives, of our existence.

Public figures and celebrities, on another hand, are different. They're people. Just like us. So maybe we should “critically examine” aka be slow to judge people we see in the media, because they have feelings too. We should do it by giving them a break.

Or maybe not.

So What About You?

What do You think about everything I just talked about?

If You didn't gather already, my answer to this question is a shameless "I don't know." Mostly because I’m more interested to hear what You have to say! As usual. And don't worry about hurting my feelings. ;)

Talk to meh, I won’t be here for much longer!


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