It’s that time of year again: everyone is sharing their Spotify Wrapped results! Instagram stories everywhere are awash in brightly colored screenshots cataloging people’s listening habits. I just wanted to let you all know that I won’t be joining in the fun this year, and to explain some of the reasons behind that decision, which are all completely unrelated to the deeply shameful fact that my number one song this year is “You ARE Cute, And You Will NOT Break Down Today, And Someone WILL Love You, Eventually” by the Affirmation Boys.

First of all, I don’t want to define myself by what kind of music I listen to. People desperate to know what their top album was are surely hoping for that information to reveal something fundamental and flattering about what kind of person they are. But I’d prefer to ground my identity in things like my work ethic and the way I treat others, not the number of hours I spent listening to the Affirmation Boys’ sophomore effort “Songs To Listen To When It Feels Like Nothing Is Going Your Way And No One Is Texting You Back And Also Your Back Hurts Again,” which is somehow, devastatingly, 644. Even if the conclusions I could draw from that statistic were somehow positive, I’d rather focus on things that feel more central to the content of my character.

Plus, posting your Spotify Wrapped results can’t help but turn your taste into a performance of taste. But to me, the act of listening to music is such an intimate, personal thing—I don't want to taint that by making it public. I love putting in my headphones to transform a mundane task like going to the grocery store, and I don’t want to think about what anyone else might say about what I happen to be listening to. That’s equally true if I’m jamming to the cool new indie track du jour or the Affirmation Boys’ classic hit “It’s Okay That There Are This Many Brands Of Chip, Just Breathe And Pick One And It Will Be Fine (And Someone WILL Love You, Eventually).”

Honestly, a lot of the information Spotify gives you doesn’t seem that interesting anyway. I don’t even think “Toxic Positivity Delusioncore” is a real genre, so it's hard for me to care that apparently it's the only type of music I listened to all year.

The whole practice is basically just free advertising for Spotify, too, which kind of makes me uncomfortable. I already pay Spotify my hard-earned $24.99 every month!

No, that’s not a typo—I subscribe to a special mode called Hyperpremium that allows me to stream multiple Affirmation Boys tracks simultaneously on various speakers strategically located throughout my apartment at my low self-esteem hotspots, like mirror, bed, and kitchen (I am bad at cooking). Why should I shill for them on top of that?

Besides, does anyone really care about anyone else’s Wrapped results? It’s a prolonged exercise in navel-gazing. Like, yeah, okay, I’m in the top .001% of Affirmation Boys listeners worldwide. That’s not exactly surprising, considering I’m the one who created them, using an artificially intelligent neural network trained on a combination of the Billboard Hot 100 and my most vulnerable diary entries.

And yes, sure, now they’ve become sentient in ways I don’t fully understand and can no longer control—this sort of stuff might be interesting to me in a solipsistic, self-involved way, but I don’t need to shove it down anyone else’s throat, even if the graphics are cute.

And when you really think about it, it’s kind of messed up that we choose to celebrate how thoroughly Spotify monitors our activity and analyzes our data. It’s exactly that kind of overzealous scrutiny that has led each Affirmation Boy to be separately canceled for a different racial tweet—a disappointing, if confusing fact that I am fully aware of and yet somehow still isn’t enough to stop me from continuing to binge-listen their music. I don’t think it’s right for some corporation to be tracking every single song I listen to, entirely regardless of whether the teenaged digital avatars that “made” it spout problematic political opinions online or not.

Plus, before you get too angry at me, I think the Boys only made like two dollars total for all of my streaming.

Please, though: if you want to share your Wrapped, don’t let my negative attitude stop you. The attitude that matters most is yours! There’s a great Affirmation Boys song about this actually.

And between now and December 31st, you can listen to it as much as you want to without having to worry about anyone ever seeing that information aggregated anywhere. Not that that matters at all, of course—that’s a random, neutral observation that just happened to occur to me right now, and definitely not something I’ve been obsessively looking forward to for months.