Thursday, January 19, 2012


I have a lot of thoughts. Some of them hold value. Others are utterly worthless. I think that's actually how most people are, so I don't feel too weird about it. But, I often imagine how my life would be different if I were born 10, 20, 50, 100 years before that fateful day in 1992. I also frequently think of myself as better fit for those time periods, and those who lament my terribly inconsistent communication habits would probably agree. Or, see it as an excuse I make for myself for not being a reliable communicator. Yeah, screw you guys.

I don't think everything clever has been said, but wouldn't it be reasonable to think that a grand majority of clever thoughts have been thought? We have 7 billion people on earth, all of whom have their entire lives to think of things. You would think we'd cover all our bases. But, there's still plenty of gold left to be mined, so whenever I think of a unique thought or joke, I feel the need to throw it out there.

Into the wind, you see.

Social media has spread from platform to platform, covering standard human thought process like a gaseous cloud, expanding and filling the entire void. For instance, try to think of a website that should exist, or a different form of social media that should exist. Such cognitive construction is difficult with so much already out there ("that has to exist already").  If you have an idea, there's a proper medium to express it. How many more mediums can there be?

All of this contributes to the wind, the white noise and assumed progress of social media. When you use Facebook, do you feel like you're advancing your life? Socially, perhaps you are, but is it important change, or is it just dust in the wind? It's probably just dust in the wind. I mean, yeah, I'm quoting Kansas here, but it's valid, right?

Biz Stone, in a commercial for some off-brand vodka, said he thinks Twitter (which he co-founded) is like a river, that if you want access to it, you dive right in. Otherwise, no big deal. And while that's an amicable, poetic way of defining Twitter, I could see it more like wind. It picks up, dies down, sometimes it's nice and pleasant, other times it blusters too hard and is obnoxiously noisy. Rivers come from somewhere and go somewhere. Wind just passes by. We can shout into the wind, but more than likely our measly contribution isn't going to change anything. We just want to be part of the wind, because people feel the wind, and we want to be felt.

Facebook is similar. Another medium where you can shout into the wind, except your friends are there to give you a reaction and shout back. None of it will get you heard, none of it will get you published, none of it will make you famous. All of it will give you the opportunity to be felt. And being felt is a nice reminder that you exist. If you put something on the Internet, they say, anyone can see it. Well, anyone can not see it, also. It can be completely ignored, or just not cared about. This blog is wind, also.

It's fun to play in the wind. You can act out, be as bold as you want, showcase your pearly morals, express dissatisfaction, pretend no one will hear you, pretend everyone will hear you, pretend that that one special person will hear you and understand you better, pretend anything you want. Freedom of speech was devised without social media in mind, but what a perfect forum to practice free speech. The almighty Internet, wherein all your opinions matter and are as visible as any other opinion. Someone tells you your wrong and you know you're alive.

Rarely will the wind move you. Sometimes the wind can be terribly destructive. But one thing remains true: when the wind stops blowing, there is stillness, tranquility, calm. Some people, those better fit for the past, enjoy it when the breeze dies down and the world can be observed with the eyes, and instead of hurtling your thoughts into the wind to be felt, you hold them to yourself, and that's enough to know you're alive.

And then the wind picks up again.

--Eliot Sill


  1. Code Kansas is going fix all the twitters.


  2. I'm going to assume the "your/you're" typeo is intentional and ironic because you're an editor.

    1. Excellent post, equally excellent comment. High fives all around.

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