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will I be lying on my deathbed wondering how well my 'about to die lol' tweet is doing?
Linking Out Loud #26
Welcome to the first edition of Linking Out Loud!! Yes it’s #26 - who said anything about the first edition needing to be #1? That’s numberist.
A quick rant + a whole lot of recommendations that follow (that’s the linking out loud part duh)!!! Have a great weekend unless you don’t believe in weekends in which case - ok?
The numbers, they’ve got a hold of me
I am sitting here and I am wondering: will it ever stop? The obsessing over theNumbers-theLikes-theComments, those piss poor yet highly addictive indicators of how much people like my work.
Will I be an old wrinkly grandpa sitting in his rocking chair checking the likes on my tweet about how I wish I'd gotten dentures when I turned thirty cuz hey, they make me look good! (note to self: get dentures).
It’s like the old adage ‘If a guy in the woods scrolling thru the internet likes something but does not indicate his like via heart, retweet, or comment - did he ever really like it at all?’
You would think at some point it would stop, this obsession with ‘the data’, and yet…I’m in the middle of my early to mid thirties and STILL can’t stop. Like if any single event was going to do it, it would have been ‘the birth of my son’ but nope, that didn’t do shit!
I become most obsessed with the numbers when I am feeling least sure about myself, about who I am and my place in the world. About my worth. So I guess that’s right now? Do not feel bad or I will scream.
This has been a forever problem. Like I can so vividly recall staring at my twitter follower count in the year 2020 (ancient history) and imagining someone scrolling through my profile - how would they see me? Would they like me? Would they send me a DM saying they’re writing a tv show and NEED me to work on it?
Always though the answer ends up being no. Because my analysis always has a foregone conclusion: that I suck the big one. And that these numbers will prove it out, whatever they are. Because they could always be more. Yuck.
I’m not so much worried about twitter now as I am about substack lol. Like take the RL Stine post - I have been checking the numbers non stop to see how it is doing and EVEN THOUGH its gotten a great response and a lot of new subscribers, I nevertheless have decided that its a failure.
To be very clear: I write this all because its true and people don’t talk about it enough but I AM NOT FISHING FOR PRAISE OR COMPLIMENTS. If you so much as even try I will know and I will feel worse and I will put you on a list of people whose praise I cannot trust because it may be inauthentic. You will be in good company because everyone I love is already on that list.
Also, I hate how cliche its become to talk about our dependence to this stuff. Like yea, so what, move on old man - do something!
Ok first um relax? I actually have done something which works fairly well except when I stop doing it like right now lol. I’m going to write about it next week (this is a teaser, wow).
But hey - the fact that I’m writing about it means it no longer consumes me. I have freed myself from it, if only for a moment. Now be sure to like and subscribe!!!! hahaha help.
Linking Out Loud #26
I’ve been meeting so many dope new writers in the Substack Grow program. I’m gonna start featuring some of my favs here in this newsletter. Up first is the very funny Not Controversial by Nia Carnelio, a weekly newsletter that talks about things that aren't supposed to be controversial but still are. Subscribe for honest discussions about money, spicy lit takes about books and scorching pop culture critiques.
I particularly dig when Nia writes about the toxic hell dump that is hustle productivity culture like she does in Can we stop chasing productivity?
Check it out and sign up below:
Linking Out Loud #26 - The Actual Links
This short story made up entirely of text messages is so good. More gripping than most tv AND it was just nominated for Hugo Award for Short Story of the Year!! (if you don’t like twitter threads, you can read the whole thing in a facebook post here)
The deep dive that the world needed into those insanely specific wrong-number texts we’ve all been getting lately.
One of the best articles about anything that I have ever read: Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry. The link sort of says it all so…
An incredible telegram Dorothy Parker sent her editor in 1945 (below). “Can’t look you in the voice” is just so good.
Not Links But Still:
Barry Season 3 - Watching this show is like staring at the sun, usually its too good and I can’t do it because I worry I’ll never make anything as good. But a few weeks ago I had a good brain stretch and watched and, yep, it was the best.
I’ve been reading books lately. Crazy. I don’t really want to write about them right now but maybe soon I will.
Doubt: this is an emotion that I want to highlight. I am feeling it right now, like why do I need to share links about stuff? Who cares? Except when I am reading / experiencing any of this stuff I am always like “man I wanna tell people about this!” so clearly part of me wants to, but this other part of me named Doris Doubt thinks its all worthless and that, my friends, is that.
As always thank you to all of you who have subscribed to this - we’re almost at 300 people which is A TON according to science. Share this with a friend if you want or, alternatively and on the other hand, don’t.
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