I took a break from the internet, last month. I was having a love-hate relationship with my phone, which is totally offensive to the poor kids who work as slaves to make my device. Seemed like the right time to get my head out of my butt (and my eyes off my screen).
The results of my detox were pretty good. I didn’t miss Donald Trump, and, despite the incessant toxicity of alt-right politics, I have come to understand that good stuff abounds online.
I missed seeing your kids. I missed ponies. I missed The Dogist and Lil Bub and The Onion. I missed pictures of goats and otters. I missed memes and gifs and Beyonce’s pregnancy.
Thankfully, Jennifer McClure kept me up-to-speed on celebrity gossip via SMS.
There is good stuff everywhere online. From Buzzfeed to your brother-in-law’s Facebook feed, you can be inspired wherever you go online. And when you see great content, consume it. Take it. Use it as inspiration for your art, politics and daily life. Let it help you write a blog. Let it help you compose an Instagram photo. Go share something bright and affirmative.
But, please, make sure you give as much as you take. There’s nothing wrong with copying, but also try to create new stuff, too. Take risks, try on a different persona, and give people a reason to pay attention to your work. Herman Melville said that it’s better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation. I think there’s no new art, but there’s a new take on old subjects. Give us your new take, and make it good.
The internet is a cesspool, but, weirdly, it’s also pretty great. And the more you contribute, the better it will be. So go and create goodness in your own voice. Your efforts will be rewarded.
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