LA-based pop star ELIO could hardly have picked a better week to drop new song "My Friends Online." While obviously not written about the ongoing madness in the world outside, the bouncy electronic pop song is the perfect accompaniment to your next FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Zoom conference.
Written about the online relationships we build with strangers via social media, those distant figurs we often know deeply personal things about via their posts, "My Friends Online" asks whether that is a healthy thing to have in your life and also revels in what those connections bring to people's lives at a time when we often feel very alone. The track, taken from an EP due this summer, is backed by an all-too-relatable video in which ELIO bounces off her bedroom walls, skipping between screens and losing herself in the stories each one is showing her.
Speaking via email about "My Friends Online’, ELIO said: “I’m learning when my phone is serving me and when it takes me out from experiencing life. To be honest, I didn’t realize I was so caught up in social media and the need to feel connected until I was writing ‘My Friends Online’ last November. It’s weird that a lot of people that I know, I’ve never met in person but they’re also not strangers to me. I didn’t realize how extreme and crazy it is to be invested in so many people’s lives that you would never actually see past your phone. I feel like that’s such a big thing for my generation and how connected we really feel to the people around us.
“As I’ve been getting ready to release ‘My Friends Online’ this week, five months after I wrote it, I’ve been thinking about how now, more than ever, we really are blessed to have the technology we have when we can’t be together physically, but sometimes it’s hard to find the balance. I think, mentally, the next few weeks will be hard for a lot of people, myself included, since being home alone only consists of socials and Netflix, but learning when you feel good communicating on your phone and when you don’t is a huge thing to maintain a healthy relationship with it. My generation loves to joke about how distant and self-isolating they have been for their whole lives, but now it’s serious and we actually have to look out for one another.”