Virality: a Twitter thread

Tweet one: the mother tweet. It's the thing that triggers the virality in the first place. Wait. My laptop has "virality" in red underline. Is that an actual word to begin with? Or, is that even relevant? I mean, words evolve, languages evolve, and "literally" means both what it means and the opposite of what it means, and nobody is fighting over it anymore. Begrudgingly accepting it, perhaps.

So, what makes something go viral? I don't know. It's really a combination of luck and wit, isn't it? Just as long as you don't try so hard to go viral. There really are posts "built" to viral, and almost always they fail, because the Internet knows. Is it dogs? Cats? What's the cat doing? What props are involved? Are there any pastel colors? Are you being humiliated? Do you feel humiliated? Don't be too cocky about it - the Internet knows.

Tweet two: the follow-up tweet. Twitter rolling out its threads feature meant having your thoughts run across multiple 140-character... wait, no, they've since doubled that. Funny how there was an outroar about the site shifting to 280 characters, only for people to end up using it, no? Maximizing it, even. And if you put a lot of emojis in it, that's even more characters, since a picture paints a thousand words, or something.

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Teenage blogger

Today this blog turns thirteen. Yes, my blog is a teenager.

This is when I should be writing about how my life was when I was just thirteen years old. The opportunity presents itself, after all. It's an easy comparison. Teenagers, they say, are difficult; they're finding out things about the world, forming their own opinions, learning how to push - and enjoying it. Somehow I should be able to connect that to how keeping this blog going has been, well, a bit of a chore, about how difficult it has been to write for this thing lately, partly because I demand more of myself, partly because I am spreading myself too thinly, partly because I really just want to sleep sometimes.

But then, I honestly remember little about when I was thirteen.

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Blending in

Despite this essay being about eyes, I chose this photo solely for the hair.

I wasn't staying at a hotel on my first trip to Taipei. Rather, I was staying at a spare flat offered up by our host. It was his mother-in-law's flat, if I remember correctly. It was at one of those apartment buildings just near the city border; it sat beside a junk shop that had a mechanical arm doing all the sorting. We were at the eighth floor - but it was a two-floor apartment - so outside the window you could see an elementary school, and rows of apartment buildings, and a street that never gets busy.

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"Sila pa na binoto para ayusin ang problema ng bayan, sila pa ang nag-aaway-away!"

That was my taxi driver this afternoon - should I call him my taxi driver? But you get the idea. I was in his taxi. We were going to Greenbelt. I was deep in thought about his radio station choice - the so-called station for the new generation, if you're curious - when, unprompted, he started talking about politics. No personalities, no sides, just politics in general, which somewhat underlines this one thing about our politicians that's always swept under the rug: that, ultimately, they're all the same.

That was good news for me, because I did not have to contort my reply to some sort of common ground. Some of you know I can be so passionate - but I did not grab his cab to engage in a fiery political debate (or, essentially, a shouting match). I grabbed his cab so I can get from point A to point B.

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Of value

If the stuff I write here is of no value to you, dear reader, then I might as well make myself useful. I might as well make you clicking this link and reading it more worth your time.

All right, how do we do this...

Shalla and I regularly watch videos on Facebook. It's really her thing; I don't even have autoplay turned on, even for wifi - what a waste of battery, what a waste of data. There can be gems. It can be fun. But I'm always the first to point out that a video uses emotionally-manipulative music so I can feel things about what really is a perfunctory video about some animal being rescued from the clutches of these terrible, terrible humans. It happens often, but you know, they're animals! You must feel more for them!

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