Kanye West, Social Media & The Pressure To Have An Opinion On Everything

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Kanye West performs during Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 on February 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3)

Everybody you’ve ever met has something to say about the thing that everybody’s talking about. Which is fine.

Opinions are great. We (and the internet en masse) love a hot take, and we usually love it even more when it makes us feel closer to friends and strangers or that unique mix between two on Twitter. Few things bond like massive moments in pop culture (or celebrity relationships or season finales or, or, or) so when something happens, we leap at it and embrace it tightly, psyched that for a few fleeting minutes we can forget about the big things that are terrible.

Until you don’t really have an opinion. Heaven help us all.

This week, Kanye West came back to Twitter and has since been using it as his philosophy book. He’s tweeted about creativity, about originality, and about using and needing space. He’s urged us to push back against how we’re told to “act,” and to begin using authenticity as a currency over money. He also mentioned controversy being the gym, which I, as a person who would rather perish than go to the gym, truly loved. And it’s great! It’s all great! They’re good tweets! And that’s basically been my opinion on them.

There comes a time in everybody’s lives where you look at the news and think, “Okay, cool!” And that’s it. You’re not mad, you’re not upset, you’re not overjoyed, you’re not bothered. You think it’s fine or it’s okay, and then you go back to scrolling through Twitter, wondering why that joke about bangs didn’t get more traction. Except that you can’t peacefully return from whence you came: instead, you begin thinking, “Oh shit, should I say something about that?” And begin wondering if you’re maybe missing out on necessary jokes or moments or likes or RTs. Which is a bananas feeling to have: no one is staring at social media waiting for anyone to chime in on the tweets of a rapper or Kim K-W’s responses to them. No one is laying in wait, actively concerned as to why you haven’t quote-commented on whatever-the-hell. Not a soul, bless your (and my) heart(s).

Which should come as a relief. Because sometimes you just don’t need to have a real opinion on things. It’s not your job to have real feelings about Kanye’s new endeavour (unless it is, then ignore everything I just told you), you can just look at it and think “Cool.” Or not. Or literally not think at all. The world will not come to a screeching halt because you failed to make a joke about something. Or even more specifically: nobody will really care.

And that’s not to say they don’t care about you and your hot takes, it’s to say that you don’t have to make them if you don’t want to. Everybody is tired. I’m assuming that you’re also tired. And frankly, if you took the time to comment on everything, you wouldn’t have time to do anything else. It is impossible to care about all the things. Pick a few, and then talk about those, and don’t get rattled if you feel completely indifferent about Tristan and Khloe. They’re not for you, then. You are free.

Instead, give a shit about what you’re interested in. We’re talking about pop culture, not international politics. And while pop culture is important (agree with me on this or I will come for you), it is broad and expansive and has many areas in which you can seek refuge. But you don’t have to care about all of it if you don’t want to. We all know I don’t.

Except for Kanye’s tweets. They’re actually quite lovely.


Tags: Anne T. Donahue, kanye west, social media, topstory, Twitter

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