Hey, you. Yes you. I’m calling you out personally. Because that’s my sole purpose in life as a trendy article that makes you feel reached out to. And I will do whatever it takes to accomplish this.
Want to know my secret? I watch you. All the time.
You drink way too much coffee for way too high a price, right? I got you there, didn’t I? That’s because I’ve been going through your trash and saw your Starbucks receipts. So when you see me on Facebook as an article about pricey coffee buying tendencies, you’ll be sure to tag a friend. I know which one. I’ve been keeping tabs on them, too.
It’s not an algorithm showing you relevant content that fits your lifestyle and “brand” (I know you call it a “brand”). It’s me, the article, watching you every moment of your life so I may better make you feel understood. I am like a totally chill and funny hunter and you are my prey. So yes, you are being “personally attacked”. By me!
Studies show that people who shop at Urban Outfitters also feel bad about corporate America but continue to buy those dresses with the weird sleeves from the sales section. Well, my studies of you do. I hang out there like a lot. And at your gym (which you NEVER go to). And at your office, where I will see the 23 mistakes you made that mean you’ve had a DAY (you’ll see it on your feed soon enough). I’m committed to making you feel called out. It’s my one goal. So when you laugh and say “this is SO me!” know that it actually is.
I have no ill intent, I swear. I just want to hold a mirror up to life and you specifically. By literally looking at you in the mirror. Do you see me there? I see you. You are so goddamned SEEN right now
Do you know the work I have to put in to make you feel called out on a regular basis? I have to take so many forms- satirical pieces, fluff articles from otherwise respected newspapers, segments on late night tv, personality quizzes, blog posts. So many blog posts. It’s truly a labor of love.
Remember when you thought you saw two pairs of footprints in the sand? And then you saw an article about how you’re never truly alone in life? That was me. I am those footprints. How can an article take physical form you may ask? Because I am made for you and I will stop at nothing, not even scientific principles, to be your BIG MOOD!
I am here for you. To make you laugh at yourself. To make you do some serious introspection. To make you forget that introspection by laughing it off as something that everyone does because when you look at the comments section, EVERYONE finds it relatable. Because I’ve been watching you everywhere all the time always. You can run, but you cannot hide. I know all the hiding spots you like, and most of them are just coffee bars in the Village. Don’t you feel HEARD?!
Maybe one day I will retire, but then what would you do without me? What would you retweet or repost? What would make you laugh at its relatability? What would make you feel recognized in this terrifying world full of so many people? And so I venture on, picking apart your data, watching you while you sleep, and reminding you that you are a Charlotte, not a Samantha based on your favorite color, ice cream flavor, and the infinite amount of other information I have gathered.
I’ll see you around. I’ve got your number down, literally.
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Rachel Keller is a New Jersey based writer and student at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has studied improv and sketch at the Upright Citizens Brigade. You can find a piece of her hair onscreen in the season finale of Madame Secretary.