There’s a chance that if you’re reading this, you were led here via social media. We’ll have posted this article, about Liz Bills‘ highly addictive new single “Wi-Hi”, on a few platforms that are highly addictive in their own right. But as the likes, the comments, and the shares pour in, there’s an irony hovering over a song that today (September 25) finds the New England-based singer-songwriter and powerhouse vocalist, in her own words, strung out on technology.
A mental health anthem about our inability to disconnect, “Wi-Hi” stands firm as one of the more scathing observations of our current technology crisis. It’s a brash fit of personal paranoia and confusion set against a wildly contagious, ultra-catchy genre-defying pop song that’s not unlike a lot of our online personas: Vividly colorful at first glance but holding onto some darker demons under the surface. And as docudramas like Netflix’s The Social Dilemma and our own observations on increased screen time have begun to force ourselves to ask questions about what social media is doing to our humanity, Bills’ incredible lyricisms at play in “Wi-Hi” really hit home.
“‘Wi-Hi’ is a song about my own struggle with social media addiction,” Bills tells Vanyaland. “Lately I’ve been feeling more and more disconnected when I connect to the internet. I’ve noticed that my anxiety, depression and racing thoughts are amplified when I’m scrolling mindlessly day after day. I seem to be judging and comparing myself to others constantly… measuring my own self worth on the amount of likes I receive on Instagram or Facebook.”
Of course, the ongoing pandemic, now in its sixth month here in the United States, has only fueled this trend. We can’t physically be with one another at shows, parties, restaurants, or any other traditional IRL social interaction we’ve all grown accustomed to; instead, we hang out on the internet to stay connected. And with it comes a life less about biology and more about technology, and a skewered sense of what matters.
“My mind, body and soul feel scattered, tense, distracted and more than anything else, disconnected,” adds Bills. “‘Wi-Hi’ is a reminder to me that in order to feel connected with the universe and with myself I need to create more boundaries with my screen time. I need to be more present in my body, I need more nature walks, I need to be creating more art, I need more real human connection and I need way less screen time.”
“Wi-Hi,” produced by Sean McLaughin of 37′ Productions in Rockland, is the second single off Bills’ forthcoming sophomore studio album, set for release this winter. When it’s out, you’ll see it all over social media.