Maynard James Keenan: Social Media Is ‘Very Narcissistic’ + ‘Not Very Healthy’
Maynard James Keenan is a man who likes to unplug from the increasing pace of everyday life, which is largely fueled by cell phones and social media. He often ponders the consequences and cultural shifts attributed to human behavior on the Internet and in an October interview with Metal Hammer, which was just published online, the Tool, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle frontman explained why these habits are unhealthy.
This latest criticism should come as no surprise to fans, who know all too well that Keenan's bands outright ban the use of cell phones at their shows. When Puscifer's livestream concert where they performed their latest record, Existential Reckoning, in full, viewers did not have the usual chat options at their disposal. Even at home, Maynard wants you engaged and fully immersed in the moment.
The singer goes through great lengths for his art and demands the attention of those who consume it — it's that simple.
Concerning social media, Keenan views these various communication platforms as something that limits user experience.
"I feel like social media and the internet has really driven a wedge in between people," the singer asserted. "Just the whole concept of liking a thing, or not liking a thing, and then having whatever you see for the next several months be exactly what you want see and not what you don’t want to see... It’s like staring into a mirror — very narcissistic and it’s not very healthy."
Because of these customized user experiences, Keenan stressed, "So that division gets wider and wider, the polarization; every conversation online starts with an argument."
Despite his disdain for social media and rampant cell phone usage at live concerts (remember those?), Keenan is not incapable of offering a reward to those who oblige his rules. Just watch this crowd at an A Perfect Circle show in 2018 erupt when the frontman gave them his blessing to take their phones out of their pockets.