I’m really sorry to bother you, but my ability to feed myself depends on your answer to the question in the headline that I’m going to reprint to save your hand the work of scrolling and/your eyes the burden of peering upward: Do you like me?
See, I write for a living. I’m part of a privileged class who gets paid to think and visualize and ponder and create. Whether we want to admit it or not, the strength of our brands as public communicators depends on our being liked (even if you like to hate us—but I’d really rather focus on the positive, so maybe if you like to hate me, save us both the trouble by keeping it short and telling me that you like me). Being likable is what keeps you tuning in, and being tuned into is what keeps us employable. I’m sorry to get a little inside baseball here, and I especially want to apologize for mentioning the concept of branding. It may come off as tacky, but I’m just being honest about it because I think that I owe it to you.
Sorry, I know that I owe it to you.
In case it hasn’t come out in my writing, I want you to know that I’m very engaged with the world. I care deeply about issues. I follow good people on Twitter. I retweet important think-pieces. I use hashtags, but sparingly. I really believe in longform. As an example, I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me the week it came out (it’s so short—my only gripe is that I wish it were longer), and on my Kindle I highlighted all the parts that engaged other readers, too, per the broken underline my Kindle app employs to notify me of these agreed-upon passages of importance.
See? I’m not bragging, I’m just showing you what I can (and do) do.
I believe in art. I believe in war when it serves a clear greater good. I believe in peace, bitch. I believe in references that work even if you don’t recognize their source, but provide an extra bonus jolt of pleasure for those who do. I believe in hyperlinking such references for those who don’t, though, whenever possible. I believe in inclusion. I don’t erase anyone on purpose, ever! That’s right, right?
I like memes and share them with other people, never taking pleasure in being the one who knew about it first. It’s only for the sake of communal joy.
I like weird stuff, too. Sometimes, I fantasize about an image of a fresh-faced woman in her 60's walking two well-coiffed Yorkies who can’t stop nipping at each other. They are scrapping to such an extent that they look like a beige-brown tumbleweed of silky hair on an Upper East Side sidewalk. I’m so random, but vivid, too, I hope.
Speaking of Yorkies, I’ve rescued several cats, and the internet loves cats, so I figure it probably doesn’t hurt to mention that. I spay and neuter whenever I can, whatever I can.
I’ve only ever posted one shirtless selfie, in case you like that sort of thing. If you don’t, though, you can count on me almost never doing it again unless the picture is notable for reasons besides my bare chest and torso. I try to make sure my selfies are about more than just me. I don’t think women are under any obligation to do the same, though.
Sometimes I write about myself, which I know immediately turns some people off, but my intent is only to help people who might be going through the same things that I am. Even when one of my pieces is about me, it’s not about me; it’s about you.
Sometimes people say mean things about my work—my art is how I actually think of it—injecting animosity into a conversation that I had envisioned as neutral at worst, exploratory or engaged with unlikely material at best. This really hurts. I think instead of being mean, you should be nice, or at least pretend to be nice for the sake of appearances. This is our world to beautify together.
I hope that in this article, I have made my case as to why you should like me if you don’t already. I could go away forever and if I did, would you miss me? Do me a favor and star this post if you would. Additionally, please share your stories and comments about me and my presence and what my absence would mean to you and your life in the comments below for the sake of our community. I’d really appreciate it. My self-esteem could use a boost.
Thanks for reading.