The last few weeks I’ve had a deliberate break from consuming daily content. I woke up one morning and found I was scanning articles, sighing at news items in my social media feeds, and reading words for the sake of it.
Dear god there are some crap pieces of content on the internet at the moment: Jon Snow articles come immediately to mind. Click bait drives me mad. It gives us writers a bad name. And it does for readers, too.
I don’t believe us, consumers of content, want to read 90% of the shit that gets shared online. I have to believe that if given the opportunity to read well thought out, researched, and written pieces that don’t just regurgitate the norm, we would.
I’ve been on the hunt to find such pieces to prove to myself and hopefully you that this content does exist. Below are seven pieces which have stayed with me long after I pressed X. In fact, they are the only pieces I can remember reading over the last few weeks. This says something about my content addiction as it does the state of the content being produced.
If you’ve been feeling like I have, I encourage you to search hard to find great pieces of content because you’ll be rewarded when you do. And maybe shitty pieces of content will lose their value. Why did we give them our time to begin with?
Plane by the Oatmeal
“He went into the main cabin to help with the passengers.
He sat next to a young woman.
He told her it was going to be okay…”
The New Intimacy Economy by Leigh Alexander
“My social media feed is often flooded with “virtual hugs”, “high fives”, unasked-for encouragement, cheering-on and other variations on “you’re a badass female character”. People RT this article without reading it, because they trust me, and because they want to make me happy…”
Living and Dying on Airbnb by Zak Stone
“Staying with a stranger or inviting one into your home is an inherently dicey proposition. Hotel rooms are standardised for safety, monitored by staff, and often quite expensive. Airbnb rentals, on the other hand, are unregulated, eclectic, and affordable, and the safety standards are only slowly materialising…”
The Truth about New York’s Legendary ‘Mole People’ by Anthony Taille
“It smells like death here. The pungent stench of rotting meat.
“Anyone here?” I ask, stopping near an old KUMA tag.
The smell of death all over now. Are those eyes glowing nearby?
I lean against the wall and try to breathe calmly, reminding myself this place is only populated by old memories and the occasional homeless person looking for a safe place to be.
The rumbling feels closer. Something moves somewhere…”
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
“You must always be careful in the jungle,” Vajuvi said. “I listen to my dreams. If I have a dream of danger, then I stay in the village. Many accidents happen to white people because they don’t believe their dreams…”
Raiders of the Lost Web by Adrienne LaFrance
“If a sprawling Pulitzer Prize-nominated feature in one of the nation’s oldest newspapers can disappear from the web, anything can. “There are now no passive means of preserving digital information,” said Abby Rumsey, a writer and digital historian. In other words if you want to save something online, you have to decide to save it. Ephemerality is built into the very architecture of the web, which was intended to be a messaging system, not a library…”
I Wrote the Book on Getting Kicked Out of Book Clubs by Lyz Lenz
“The rejections came in thin envelopes bearing my own handwriting. They were the ultimate betrayal — rejection by my own past self.
If this was what it was to be a writer, I thought, maybe I should have gone to law school. I asked Google more questions:
“How do you get published?”
“What is a query letter?
“If your writing is rejected does that mean you will die cold and alone?…”
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Featured image from Pixabay.