You see that title there? That's a title of an article I would probably click on. And it states, quite clearly, that it is:1.) not that great2.) not about Beyonce 3.) there aren't any cute cat pictures
....but I would still click on it. Because I'm a procrastinator. And because I am product of a generation that's petrified of what they truly have to talk about if we haven't clicked on, "read", and shared the latest Buzzfeed article depicting all the Disney princesses with unibrows. Why do I know and/or CARE about the opera singer who can't stop farting and lost her job? And, most importantly, should I actually be living in Chicago? The internet says I should. But what does Jennifer Lawrence think and--- the fuck is wrong with me?
Do you remember when you were little and your mother would tell you to go out and play? I grew up in a city where the teenager at the end of the block had his nose cut off in a gang fight...we still went outside every day. My neighborhood friends and I would play wiffle ball between the hours of 3pm and 4pm, as that was when General Hospital aired and Mama Voth could not be bothered to parent while the saga of Luke and Laura played out. Who was Lucky's real father?! And would the evil Cassadine family be returning from their private Greek island to Port Charles this season? These questions deserved answers and therefore, took precedence. So I got real good at wiffle ball. Not that cheater's red bat wiffle ball either. Old school, yellow bat, big white plastic wiffle ball, wiffle ball. First base was a fire hydrant. Second base was oncoming traffic. Third was the old Toyota Corolla that our hoarder next door neighbor had NEVER driven in, as far as I was aware. And home was right back where you started. Your best shot at a home run was to aim for the second story window of any row house to the left or right because then the defense would have to hop a wrought iron fence and dig around in a bush or a flower bed to retrieve it. If you were really lucky, the house had a planter out the window and you could aim to lob the ball into that. Remember how you smelled after playing all day? Like a cross between sweat and an open scrape on your knee, mixed with dirt and triumphant exhaustion? Maybe you even smelled like a wet dog, or old towels that didn't quite try dry correctly? No? You didn't? Yeah, me neither.
Buzzfeed thinks I should know about "35 Strange Doritos Flavors From Around the World (But Mostly Asia)", Upworthy wants me to know that 300,000 people die each year eating ONE of those flavors, and gosh darn it's time we ban together for the sake of mankind and address that problem, and Huffington Post just wants us to take them seriously (insert picture of HuffPost sad-eating a large bag of Cool Ranch Doritos because they're depressed we know they're fake.) I can laugh and judge this type of journalism all I want, but the truth is, it's successfully sucking me in and keeping me invested. I rarely read anything not entitled with the following equation:
"(Ambiguous Number) Types of (Over the Top Adjectives) (Noun) That Leave You saying '(INTERJECTION)!'"
WHAT HAPPENED TO OLD BLIGH? Old Bligh used to be brazen. Old Bligh used to walk into bars with her expensive fake ID and proclaim, "Who's going to buy me a drink?" That girl was fun! She wasn't binge-clicking through pictures of a slow loris eating a rice ball! She was LIVING.
I'm nervous times. I'm nervous that we are becoming accustomed to bits of news and information, and we are losing the capacity to retain information in any other form besides captions and laundry lists. I'm nervous because "apparently" I've spent 32 DAYS on Facebook since 2006?!? And I'm incredibly nervous at how long it takes me to finish my guilty pleasure teen literature lately. I spend so much unnecessary time taking quizzes, watching videos, and reading lists that I've forgotten how much I used to enjoy living my goddamn life, making a bit of mischief now and again.
Do me a favor? Tomorrow morning, wake up whenever you damn well feel like it and try not to reach for the phone, or computer, or Ipad to scroll a newsfeed or read an email or check your favorite "news" sites. Maybe, instead you wake up and chug a cup of coffee and poop and then go outside? Go try a new breakfast place? Read a real book? Go converse with friends? The Halal Guys on the corner of 14th and 3rd are some of the kindest new friends I've made this week. Go out, let a stranger buy you a drink with your real (or fake) ID? And, PLEASE do not hesitate to call if you're in the New York area and you'd like to do me a solid and play a pick up game of wiffle ball.