We live in tumultuous and unprecedented times to hear the media tell it. The culture war is heating up, and we’re to believe our only way out of this mess is journalism. What type of journalism? The kind practiced by multi-billion dollar corporations that employ former politicos and intelligence officials who were wrong about everything when they were in charge.
No need to worry—they’re right now. We must listen to them or bear witness to democracy’s death. This murder will occur in darkness (while you’re sleeping). It won’t happen during work hours. No, we need the tax revenue you generate. It’s not like the government can create money out of thin air.
On tonight’s news broadcast, you’ll find hard-hitting reporting and analysis on the most important stories of the day:
- Amber Heard may or may not have defecated in Johnny Depp’s bed.
- Elon Musk is bad, but Bill Gates is good. #NotAllBillionaires
- Vladamir Putin is the reason everything’s more expensive.
- Our president doesn’t really mean it.
- The Bush and Cheney families are good now.
How fired up are you? You just read a condensed version of almost every Substack newsletter. You weren’t angry before, but you can bet your bottom dollar you are now. And who can blame you? No one—not even hot celebrities—deserves to find fecal matter in their bed. Let’s create some signs (NO FECES, NO PEACE!) and make our way to the Capitol for a quick rally.
Or—and hear me out on this one—you can tune out all of the above. Your tweets on these topics hold little significance and will not have a meaningful impact. I know that’s harsh, but someone needed to say it.
This is not to say you have little significance or happen to be incapable of having a meaningful impact. You are significant. The impact you have is profound. As my friend Brandon Craig says, “you matter because who you’re being has an effect outside of you.”
If you’re being a person who tweets with misguided passion and anger on what’s trending, that’s how the rest of the world experiences you. Right or wrong, please know you’re viewed as someone who’s mad at everything but never does anything more than send tweets.
At the most recent Silicon Slopes Summit, I opened the second day of the conference with the following message:
I believe the only way we will continue to thrive and make progress is through love and understanding. I sincerely believe that.
We will not agree on everything or the best path forward. We don’t have to, and we shouldn’t be expected to.
We must all feel empowered to advocate and fight for what we believe. And it’s critical we do so.
But I said this yesterday, and I’ll say it again: Twitter is not real life. Most of us would never talk to a person in real life the way social media rewards us for doing so online.
The work happens outside of social media. The work happens in real life. We need more real-life interactions and conversations with those outside our bubble. We need more love and understanding.
That’s real progress.
Shortly after that speech, someone tweeted that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and Twitter is often more real than real life. To which I thought, “Why do I invest the minimal amount of effort required to stay alive?”
Of course, the answer to that is easy, but it’s hard to think rationally when confronted with the irrational. I stick around because I matter and who I’m being impacts my family, friends, and community.
If you’re reading this newsletter, there’s a high likelihood you’ve heard me say I believe our lives become defined by the chances we take and the chances we give.
There’s nothing like taking a chance on yourself. It conjures an extraordinary mix of emotions: anxiety, hope, fear, and inspiration.
Conversely, I’ve yet to find anything more meaningful than giving another person a chance—the exciting intentionality. And, yes, the unwieldy, unpredictable nature of it too.
What would happen if we committed the effort currently spent helping political parties fight on social media to taking a chance on our own growth and development and giving a chance to someone who deserves it?