How to be really good at Meh-dium
Ugh. Another one.
1. If it frightens you, do it. Don’t think twice.
2. Don’t settle. Every time you settle,
you get exactly what you…medium.com
I took a nice long break from Medium after initially discovering it. Why? Because I began to see an incredibly annoying pattern emerge: people would write hot garbage (see above), throw “fuck” somewhere in their title (see above), and have the article (or simple list, see above) be all angsty and what not. And people would lose their mind in favor of it.
They ate that stuff up. Yay for having a large Millennial user base.
Little thought required. No internal consistency needed. Depth need not be present. Let’s not even talk about a nuanced approach. Just rage against the machine, man, and you’ve got yourself a hit.
Such was the tedium of Medium, Ev.
I’ve been thankful to have been back the last couple months and see much, much less of it. It still exists, no doubt. The linked article above is at the top of my suggested readings feed. No clue why. But, by and large, I don’t see these sorts of posts anymore. That isn’t to say they aren’t being written (clearly they are), but that they aren’t often determined to be cream of the crop/crap like they previously were.
At least I hope that’s still the case. Perhaps today’s trigger article is the premonition of the Busch-league shit-show that Medium is about to start cranking out to me again as in olden days. Heaven help us if so.
Thankfully, everyone has a voice in our digital age. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, we’re not always good at knowing which voices are worth listening to. A quick glance at the ‘headlines’ on Snapchat, the news feed on Facebook, and other similar veins of new media (alleged) news and events reveals that we still consider the Kardashians to be incredibly important. This doesn’t foster much confidence in our ability to sift through noise to reach a good signal.
Now, I should say, I’m picking on the above article as a means of venting this deeper frustration. I of course don’t know SF Ali and I’ve never read his material before today*. He has some great little one-liner reminders in his list (see 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, et. al.). He also has some that shouldn’t have made the cut (see 1, 4, 8, 29, et. al.).
The problem is that we are so needy of two things*:
- Rah-rah rah-llies. Get everyone hoopin’ and hollerin’ about how they can succeed in life and be great if they just do x, y, or z.
- More time to waste. We don’t want our discussions on the better life to be nuanced or in-depth. If it’s not a 2 minute read (preferably less) then we start to scroll down to see just how much of this article we’re going to be forced to skip right on over.
It’s the Kardashian equation for success: be hollow, be famous (read: ‘successful’). And it blows.***
Please, PLEASE, readers: Stop demanding these sorts of things from people with otherwise good ideas and insights. Your demand is helping to continue the creation of the supply. Kick the habit.
Please, PLEASE, authors: Stop stooping to the itchy-eared masses who will share your material before going off and forgetting every word of it as they pursue their Kardashian dream. Resist the urge to play in the mental mud.
The only way to make everyone better, to make Medium better, is to be better. More thought, not less. More discussion, not less. More critique, not less. More expectation, not less.
But please, lots less listicles.
*Apparently I have? I see that I’m following him. After a quick scroll through his articles none rang a bell. Tale of the tape, though, is that I read something in the past and liked it enough to follow him. So the joke here is partially on me as well! But seriously, shows that I don’t think SF is an idiot. The post in question is a launching pad to make the broader discussion happen.
**Notice how a list can have lead-in material before as well as supportive argument and ideas after the list makes its appearance? What a novel idea.
***There’s another solid Kardashian joke in there, too, isn’t there?