Somehow still asked to write for this site / Lakers Outsiders
Dear 17-year-old self,
When your blogger dream comes true tomorrow, you need to figure out a way to come up with witty responses to people on Twitter and real life. This sounds simple, and you may think it’s a no-brainer, but take some time to think on it further.
I said WITTY.
I did not say STUPID.
Let me explain.
Purely saying jokes to your siblings and friends may appear to be the right decision. You love them, and they were always there for you growing up, so it’s only right that they should share in your success and all that comes with it. So you come up with comebacks for them, edit their essays, lob them retweets. You want them to live a beautiful, funny life, right?
But the day will come when you realize that as much as you believed you were doing the right thing, you were actually holding them back.
You will come to understand that you were making them giggle because it made YOU feel good, it made YOU happy to see them laughing and not telling you to get a life — and that was extremely selfish of you. While you were feeling satisfied with yourself, you were slowly eating away at their own dreams and ambitions. You were adding jokes to their lives, but subtracting the most precious gifts of all: independence and originality.
People will not think you being a blogger is ‘cool’, but those people do not matter. You will see them posting radical political memes online 15 years from now. They do not count as actual human beings.
Do not give (what very few people you can call) friends money; it is not yours, it is your parents’ money, you do not have a job. Do not wear swim trunks and sandals every day to school, you do not live next to the beach. You do not even like the beach.
(Photographed by My Mom/For Facebook/Goldberg Images)
I’m writing you now so that you can begin this process immediately, and so that you don’t have to deal with the hurt and struggle of seeing the ridiculous outfits you used to wear. That only leads to anger, resentment and jealousy from everybody involved, including yourself. You wish you could be that stylish right now.
There’s plenty more I could write to you, but at 17, I know you definitely don’t have the attention span to sit through 500 words, let alone 2,000.
The next time I write to you, I may touch on the challenges of mixing blood with blogging. The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure your parents remain PARENTS and not chauffeurs or personal bank.
Before you write for that first site, figure out where the Faceboook share button is for your parents — that will allow them to read and share all your work while also growing your following and setting yourself up for long-term success. That way, your children’s kids and their kids will be able to read your blog posts. It is on the internet, it is here forever.
Your internet life is about to change, and people telling you to delete your account are about to come at you very fast. But just let this sink in a bit when you lay down at night after another nine-hour Twitter day.
Trust me, watermarking your memes right from the beginning will avoid a ton of people stealing your picture and heartache, some of which remains to this day.
Grant Goldberg / Lakers Outsiders