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I'm the victim of a Spotify bully

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As part of Verge Hack Week, we've invited great minds from around Vox Media to contribute their thoughts on the future of everything — from food to fashion to the written word. In this installment, we welcome Vox Media senior support manager Cory Williams.

Spencer Hall has been been laughing at me for weeks.

Spencer qualifies highly on my list of coworkers that I am genuinely excited to see in the Vox Media office. Having not seen him in months, I spotted him rummaging through our snack bin in the kitchen, and approached to say hello.

Usually, Spencer would make some lousy joke in a terrible fake Texas accent about Arizona State’s head football coach, Todd Graham. I’d make a dumb comment about how the Florida Gators might have a winning record this season, and we’d have some other friendly but nondescript chatter.

"Good to see you, Cory! Your Spotify is terrible."

Not this time. This time, it was painfully, uh, descript.

I walked into the kitchen of the DC office, held out my hand and said "Spencer!" He turned to me and said, "Good to see you, Cory," and without stopping to take a breath, continued to state, "your Spotify is terrible."

At that moment, both my "terrible" listening habits and the automatic sharing of my Spotify choices caught up to me.

Cory Williams Spotify

We all have our guilty musical pleasures. There are musical choices that are seemingly indefensible among friends; it’s the kind of music that we’d never play on a road trip or in the background while playing video games with some buddies on the couch. There are bands, songs, and artists that we listen to, knowing full well that it is considered bad, and we should feel bad as a result.

According to Spencer, my music sucks, and he’s a visionary, so I am out of luck

Spotify blows that paradigm up. Spotify not only allows people to follow your every play, but it also broadcasts your musical inclinations to Facebook and allows folks to see your favorite artists on your profile page. Sure, you can turn that off, but the music we listen to isn’t that bad, right? Apparently I was completely wrong. According to Spencer, my music sucks, and he’s a visionary, so I am out of luck.

When I was playing Spotify music on my computer, I’d be pretty careful to select "Private Session" before busting out Fall Out Boy’s 2005 record, From Under The Cork Tree. When I was on my phone, though, I’d completely forget the need to select the privacy function, and would openly broadcast that I was jamming out to Taking Back Sunday. No, not their classic material — their new record.

I’m not going to stop listening to music that many people would label as "terrible." I’ve been enjoying it for years and I am not going to buckle under the pressures of society. You can’t make me like Iggy Azalea. You can’t shame me, Spencer.

I am, however, going to be much smarter about my social sharing, because I’m doing myself a huge disservice if I ever again openly admit that I am listening to Florida Georgia Line. Lord only knows what would happen if I ever applied for another job, only to have the hiring manager stumble across my repeated plays of Panic! at the Disco.

I might get lucky, though. The All-American Rejects may need a tour manager someday.