A thing happened on the internet today and I had a lot of thoughts about it, and as I sat and pondered whether I would come over to Medium and write something thoughtful about it, or put together a formal inquiry so I might write about it for a more traditional online publisher, the darnedest thing happened.
Everyone stopped caring.
That isn’t to say that I stopped caring, or that I don’t still have any number of things to say about the thing that happened, but considering how long it would take me to write something substantial, it was hard to justify it. I could be doing something else with that time — like curating my Instagram feed, arguing with people on Facebook or reading Yelp reviews for restaurants I’ll never visit. I’m obviously a busy guy.
I highlight the fact that people moved on so quickly because it illustrates something that I think people who write hot-takes and opinions — you know, like 90% of the internet — need to be aware of. Timeliness is everything, and by the time you put together something nuanced and interesting, nobody cares anymore.
The truth is, there are just not that many things people really care about. They may tweet about it, or write a snarky Facebook update, and share the news, but ultimately, to sit down and compose six hundred, or seven hundred of fifty thousand words on a given subject —heck, to read that much — ain’t nobody got time for all that shit.
My theory is that if you’re dealing with the news cycle, you’re always going to be a step late. Instead, one should try to create the conversation, instead of react to it. That way, you’re always at least one step ahead.