Making the Clackity Noise

I still come back to this post by Merlin Mann called Making the Clackity Noise, years after I first read it, where he asks us all to write a little bit about our lives every day. Like small things; what we’re struggling with today, what we saw and felt, and the things that are making us happy:

I mean, Jesus Christ, people, LOOK. We have keyboards! Literally right in front of us. Right this second.

You have one, too, right? See it? Really look. No, look down. Down there. No, not that. That’s your enormous energy drink. No, not that either. That’s your ironic Garfield lamp.

Please use that keyboard to talk about your life sometimes.

I agree wholeheartedly with Merlin, and I know I really ought to just write, but I was thinking about this the other day and realized that Twitter was always that space for me. It’s where I would point to things and yell “Hey look at this!” or murmur beneath my breath that “like, wow today was really tough.”

Now that same space feels inappropriate somehow. To treat that “What’s Happening” input as a free and open text editor, to just pour all your energy into it, seems like a waste of time. With all the other nightmarish things going on in the world, the tiny emotional grievances that bug me are somewhat trivial in comparison.

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This is going to sound odd. In fact it’s going to sound very odd, but I’m sort of finding that space to now be Instagram Stories. It’s where I’m watching my friends play on the beach or explore a cool new spot in a distant city or where complete strangers are highlighting parts of their favorite books and sharing them with me. There isn’t a clackity noise for sure. It’s not High Prose. They’re not working on a blog post that will become a novel. But it’s something that I’ve been missing from Twitter, that sort of immediacy, that feeling that there are a thousand smart and cuddly people in your pocket waiting to say hello.