People Who Get a Lot of Emails and Just Sometimes Forget to Write Back, Okay?
Look I’m sorry if you’ve ever sent me an email and I’ve forgotten to write you back, but now that we’ve entombed ourselves in a blockade of glowing Apple screens that demand our attention and interaction throughout our entire waking lives, there has to be an acceptable rate of loss pertaining to emails, text messages, DMs and other forms of digital reach-outs that demand some sort of response, but ending up just slipping into the abyss of unanswered oblivion.
Sometimes we all forget to return an ‘important’ email wherein one might be asking us a ‘fairly simple question’ that only requires a ‘quick response’ so that they may ‘go about their business’, but I’m a busy person who runs a popular website and has a ton of followers, so don’t spaz out on me because I can’t always find the time to conjure a response for every email about a ‘job offer’ or ‘the untimely death of a loved one’ or whatever.
In this day and age, whether or not you receive an email response from me is all a matter of timing. If I just so happen to be in front of my laptop when I get the email (and I’m not busy reading Angry Birds fan fiction) maybe I’ll get back to you in a timely manner. But if your email happens to arrive when I’m on my iPhone, and I’m busy (say, playing Angry Birds), well… then that’s not a very good time, is it? And the chances are, by the time I finish saving those Bird eggs, put my iPhone down, roll over on the couch and open my laptop back up, well, I may have forgotten about your email and won’t write back until I’m randomly reminded of it months later by something Chuck Bass says on ‘Gossip Girl’.
Or, as is most often the case, I will forget about your email entirely, and you will spend weeks, months and maybe even years locked in a hellish cycle of resentment and self-doubt, angrily wondering if I just DON’T CARE that you are pregnant, before you finally send an angry follow-up email demanding to know what the fuck is my problem (which I may or may not return, depending on whether or not I’m playing Angry Birds when I get it).
via Alex Blagg
People Who Are Orthorexic Raw Vegans
Orthorexic raw vegans are obsessed with healthy eating and have chosen raw veganism as their hyper-restrictive diet of choice. Rawfoodsupport.com is their home page and they furtively refresh it every 10 minutes while at work. They also triple-check the nutritional content of their lunch on fitday.com, google “fruitarianism”, and spend hours planning organic raw vegan three-course meals that they will never make because it’s easier (and better for your digestion, and more cleansing) to just eat two giant honeydew melons for dinner. One day, they will accidentally e-mail the 2000-words rant against the Standard American Diet (SAD) that they’ve been secretly working on all week to their boss, then immediately send their boss another e-mail saying that there seems to be a problem with the office intranet and could someone from IT come take a look? As their obsession deepens, orthorexic raw vegans often lose a lot of weight, and people start to wonder if they are anorexic or bulimic. To prove to themselves that they don’t have an eating disorder, they stay up all night watching The Karen Carpenter Story in 10 parts on YouTube, scouring pro-ana websites, and thinking “I would never do that. That’s sick”.
People who Are Bedsores
There are 3-7 people I am friends with on Facebook and whose updates I keep in my stream who I find more than slightly irritating and yet I can’t bring myself to hide or defriend. Each of these has a variety of natures that make them irritating but in a way I find fascinating, in that they seem to be remotely intelligent, smart even, and yet are able to simultaneously maintain a lack of self-awareness strong enough to realize that their quirks that make other people, probably more than just me, cringe behind their screens. I’ve actually physically cringed, more than once, at these behaviors, which include (a) updating status frequently 1-5x throughout the day, often in concern of very minor details that are sometimes charming in other streams when applied sporadically but here take on the effect of being obsessed with oneself and in the continual belief that everyone needs to know what you are having for dinner, who annoyed you today, how much work you have to do, what you are reading, a private joke made public, etc; (b) often in the midst of these updates referring to the self in third person (though sometimes accidentally doing updates that revert back to the first), including their name that leads each update as part of the opening sentence, so that all sentences must therein, naturally, refer to them; (c) commenting frequently and with an equal amount of disregard of self awareness and frivolity of other people’s walls, often people they only know in passing but feel closer to because they are friends online; often these comments take on the content of ‘LOL you are awesome’ or ‘Congratulations all around’ or sometimes something passively righteous when responding to a comment they find off color but not quite wanting to cross a line; it is particularly awesome when these comments become so prevalent in a profile’s space that going to look at their wall reveals a steady outflux of comments all across the network, with tabs on the walls that show “X commented on X’s profile” replicated in mass chunks so thick that even Facebook hides them behind a “See more activities like this” crib button. Reading these person’s feeds manages almost daily to give me a little burst of urgh or jesus christ, even in expectation of it, to the point that I end up sometimes in effect stalking their updates and pages waiting to feel that little wave of ‘people really do this; this is what some people do’ here and again in an often otherwise placid and quickly scrolled field of updates that, even as I like them, most days show nothing new and continue on, filling both a sense of purpose to a gross amount of hours per week likely and the feeling of having done something while having done absolutely nothing at all.
via Blake Butler
People Who Are Social Media Evangelists
With their dogmatic approach and cries of ‘Social media, therefore world peace’, the self-proclaimed evangelist is deft at confusing causation and correlation to squash a complicated world into their Twitter-tinted narrative.
Where religious fervor was harnessed to defend the church from barbarians, the social media expert rabidly protects their beliefs, as they plunge their faith into herd mentality safe in the knowledge that they are part of a greater good that will heal the world and keep them safe.
Despite claiming to espouse groupthink and the importance of social diversity, the social media evangelist will only speak to other like-minded scholars of the internet.
Pragmatism and empiricism are tools of the crusty old world order. The social media expert is a master of narrativisation and the extrapolation of the anecdotal or rare event into a universal law.
Like 1984’s Big Brother, the social media lover is a deft switcher of allegiances in the interest of the common good of social media. Writers and thinkers will be held up as messiahs before being cast off as pariahs for doing so much as questioning the accepted truths of social media.
Detractors are swatted aside with a derisory allegation that they ‘just don’t get it’, as the social media expert truly believes that reading Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody elevates them to an ivory tower of intellectualism that is unscalable by any other human being, regardless of their superior qualifications or proven track record.
There is an irony in almost all the pillars of truth accepted by the social media evangelist. Yet like the Stoics before them, they hold steadfast, as there is nothing you can subject evangelists to that will cause them to question their unwavering faith.
Most importantly, the social media evangelist will spray empty aphorisms and appropriated language from economics and social sciences all over their feeds and blog posts in an attempt to intellectualise the fact that they just like pratting about on Twitter and Facebook all day.
via James Seddon
People Who Post Armless, Legless, and Headless Torso Shots of Themselves on Grindr
These fearsome armies of men are usually born before 1980, and thus still feel a sense of shame about using an app or the internet for gay sex. Most of these pectoral pets have high profile jobs in finance or media, and their biggest concern is that their boss/girlfriend/co-worker will bust them trolling for bone. Photos that utilize a bright flash are important to these fellows, as is framing their beheaded upper bodies in a shape similar to the rectangular dimensions of a cereal box (no visible backgrounds are allowed). They “will not respond without a face pic,” despite a lack of their own. Since you will never, ever actually meet one of these flesh-colored washboards in person, there’s a theory currently floating around—that they are, simply, legless, armless, and headless torsos that regularly meet up in a room at The Standard, hopping around and bumping chests in a fruitless effort to get off.
via Joshua Lyon
People Who Follow the World of Technology and ‘Gadgets’ With a Ruthless and Sociopathic Focus
These people are capable of having 5-15 minute discussions in the line at Starbucks about whether Gizmodo is better than Engadget. Their RSS feed contains these two blogs, TechCrunch, Siliconera, Ars Technica and Slashdot and that’s pretty much it, save for maybe a foreign blog devoted to ‘iPhone hacking secrets.’ These people refresh their blogs of choice 5-20 times per day during their work day at a job that likely involves computer security, information technology or data architecture. When they are supposed to be working they are typing 20-paragraph comments concerning ‘OpenGL’ ‘Android OS’ and things related to foreign-made hardware chips that are not comprehensible to the common person.
These people are keenly attentive to the ‘tenets of journalism’ as concerns blogs that post primarily photographs of hardware prototypes that may or may not be real. Should these people detect in a 2-paragraph blog post a whiff of ‘bias’ in favor of any particular hardware or operating system developer, particularly as concerns Apple, they will in most cases respond by accusing the journalist of being homosexual, by diagnosing the journalist with severe and damning psychological problems, or by wishing, with arresting sincerity, a rain of dire terminal illnesses on the journalist and/or their family and children.
via Leigh Alexander
People Who Are Over 80-Years-Old or Under 7-Years-Old
Seems like I’ve never encountered one of these people. Seems like I would be highly interested in communicating with one of them. Seems like if I actually found one of them I would feel “very bored” within 5-10 seconds. Seems like what I actually feel interested in is being in the same room as one of them as they navigate the internet at any skill level. Seems like I feel interested in a documentary where 10 of these people are in a chat room. Honestly feel unsure if 6-year-olds are able to type words, phrases, or sentences.
via Tao Lin
Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.
“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino
Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.