i’ve been sick of the internet recently.
sick of what it’s doing to my already distractable brain. sick of the deep-down feelings of anxiety and not being good enough that it fuels. sick of the facades we’re all carefully creating for ourselves, one well-filtered picture at a time, and sick of people sitting on their cell phones during dinner with their favorites.
and then tragedy happened in boston today — a giant, pit-in-your-stomach, empathy pains, cry-at-your-desk tragedy — and i was reminded all over again why i fell head over heels in love with this great world wide web in the first place.
whenever something bad happens, my first instinct is to go hug the shit out of everyone important to me. to smother them with love and physically touch them to make sure they’re gloriously, warmly alive and well and still present.
my second instinct is to turn to twitter.
speculation and spectacularism run rampant, yes, but it’s a place to find news and stories in real time, about 37 times faster than any traditional news source, and it’s full of human emotion.
when two horrific explosions went off during a sunny day in boston today, my twitter feed was instantaneously chock-full of useful information and pictures.
full of people reaching out to those they love and sharing advice about how to stay safe, and get in touch with each other.
full of (most) brands pausing their scheduled tweets to send their thoughts and love boston-ward.
full of google removing commercials before videos about the explosions, while working to create a service to help people find each other.
full of stories about marathoners who crossed the finish line and kept running, straight to the hospital to give blood.
full of fundraisers and police reports and love and well wishes.
and full of people banding together to question what the fuck is wrong with humanity, while simultaneously celebrating the fact that the goodness of humanity always triumphs over the bad.
today i felt like part of a giant, global community of smart, interested people who genuinely give a damn about each other and want to make things better and that, THAT, is why i lost my heart to the internet a long time ago.
my sister summed it up best on gchat earlier:
“i love people. there are so many incredibly shitty ones, but there are always, always more good ones.“
sending a giant digital hug to all of you. take care of each other.