It’s almost that time of the year again. No, not Thanksgiving, not finals season, and not even the winter holidays. No, it’s almost time for one of our generation’s most important days of the year: Spotify Wrapped day.
The occasion is a time for all Spotify users to look back on their year in review, and it is an entertaining culmination of your listening journey over ten months– Spotify Wrapped infamously stops recording data usually around October 31st of every year, so that there is enough time to gather data for Wrapped to be released in early December. (Some people suggest, though, that Spotify stops tracking your listening habits on October 31st so that your Wrapped isn’t completely taken over by Mariah Carey and other Christmas music when the clock strikes midnight on November 1st.)
Because the deadline for Wrapped leaves out two months of the year, by mid-October, when people remember this fact, social media always seems to be sent into a scramble. Reminders to try and “save your Spotify Wrapped” flooded platforms like Twitter in the past few weeks, along with other tweets of acceptance, resignation, and even shame coming after the Halloween deadline.
The event has gone from being a lighthearted, fun way to celebrate the end of the year, to something that you almost even dread on some level. In fact, when you visit https://www.spotify.com/us/wrapped/, you are greeted with a message that sounds more like a warning than anything else– a plain, black background, upon which three bold, white words grab your immediate attention: “Wrapped is coming.”
I know the thought has crossed your mind at some point – “how embarrassing will my Spotify Wrapped be this year?” No matter how secure you are in your mu sic tastes, whether you’re a die-hard Swiftie or a superfan of an artist with 1,000 monthly listeners, it’s impossible to not feel at least some sort of pressure surrounding Wrapped. After all, your music taste can be a very personal matter, and having the vulnerability to reveal such things about yourself can be hard, especially when such immense pressure and judgment have become synonymous with the release of Wrapped. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I always run to Instagram to swipe through everyone’s stories the moment Wrapped is released to see what they’ve been listening to this past year– while being too scared to ever post my own.
It shouldn’t be this way. We shouldn’t be afraid of what our Wrapped reveals about us. And we certainly shouldn’t be spending the entire year trying to perfectly craft our listening history into something we think is “presentable,” at the expense of listening to what we actually like, or in order to get a certain statistic in our Wrapped (Again, this is something I am guilty of myself.)
We should let our Wrapped be as realistic, genuine, and personal as it can be. We don’t need to try to “balance out” all that Mitski we listened to during a bad time by streaming Renaissance in our sleep. We don’t need to listen to that boring, thirteen-minute-long indie song over and over again to try and look “cool” or “different.” And we certainly don’t need to try to erase the evidence of priceless memories made with friends, which just so happened to be set to the tune of “Starships” by Nicki Minaj on repeat.
We should be proud of our Spotify Wrapped, because our music taste is a part of who we are. So no matter how much Fiona Apple is in my top five songs this year, I can confidently say that for once in my life, I am not dreading my Wrapped. I am excited for it. And I hope you can be too.