I have been trying to write this post for literally 5 months now, and it’s about time to just get it out. I started writing this in early September, and got too upset to finish it. Now that I’m somewhat settled in my new apartment in Queens, I feel a little better about exposing my thoughts. So here:
If you’ve been following any social media types on Twitter or elsewhere, you’ll know that 2011 was quite a big year for social, and it’s hard to ignore everything that’s been gong on in the digital world over the past few months.
When I started writing this, I was devastated by the chain of events that happened during the first week of September.
Then, AOL decided to encroach on TechCrunch’s editorial independence in spite of their contract which said they would never do this. Even though I’m not huge fan of TechCrunch, the outcry from TechCrunch employees and Michael Arrington struck a deep nerve inside me.
It wasn’t the actual events themselves that shook me. It was the way social media and technology had drastically affected the people involved in these particular events. Events that would have otherwise been relatively commonplace. People commit suicide, companies get acquired, and executives get fired all the time, unfortunately. There was a time not so long ago when news was broken by… you guessed it… NEWS outlets. By people whose JOBS were to report the news. And these reporters were paid to recap what was happening with truth and without bias. It’s different now. Now, we’re all reporters. We all have our own outlets to say whatever we think and feel, and the value of newscasters and journalists has been minimized because when I can hear it first on Twitter, why would I wait for the nightly news or morning paper? The problem here is that we, the general population, are not trained, and we don’t know how to report without bias. We’re emotional beings and many of us lack a filter, digitally or otherwise. So, the lines between truth and opinion become blurred. And we forget to think critically to distinguish what’s real and what’s not.
The older I get, the more I believe in the whole “everything happens for a reason” thing and the karmic balance thing and all the other things that really drive home the idea that we’re little and meaningless as individuals but strong and powerful as a whole. Believing that most things are out of my control is the best way for me to get through the day, but maybe it’s more than that. Perhaps the reason people do the things they do, the reason they leave, get fired, switch jobs, and maybe even die is because their time has been spent and now it’s time to move over to make room for someone else, for something else, whether you think it’s for the best or not. Because maybe it’s not our place to say whether it’s good or bad anyway. Maybe it doesn’t matter what we think at all. On one hand I think it’s important to talk about feelings (obviously, where would this blog be without feelings?), but on the other hand I’ve found that my feelings can be crippling when I can’t let them go.
I like to think that someone can benefit from another’s loss. And vice versa. Maybe now the doors are open for someone new and different to fill the black holes that these events (and many, many others) have left. Is that selfish? I don’t know. I’ve always believed that no one cares more about you than you, so maybe being somewhat selfish is the only way to ensure your own happiness. Maybe capitalizing on these events as opportunities is what the universe wanted all along.