4. Nobody Gives a S#%&

I don’t. You don’t. Nobody does.

You come back from a “life altering” trip and want to tell your friends all about it. “OMG! You have to tell me everything!” they say. That is complete bullshit. They don’t want to hear everything. They don’t care about the travel minutiae, pointless explanations about how cool this Irish guy you met randomly and traveled with for three raucous days of shared self-discovery was or how insane it is to take a piss in a bathroom with geckos running across the wall.

People are haters. It’s not malicious. Most of the time, it’s unintentional, subconscious even. They don’t care to read the book, just its synopsis. Don’t print them out the full job description; hand them a business card.

“How was it?!” they ask excitedly, when you run into them at a bar. Although they genuinely want to hear how your 6 months overseas were, they only wanna hear it summarized in five sentences: “It was awesome. I covered 12 countries on two continents. I got laid four times. Saw Radiohead in Prague. Sucks to be home.” Note that the five sentences explain a lot: awesomeness, geography, sex, the highlight of the trip, and confirmation that the listener is missing out big time. That’s all they want. If you give them more, they’ll zone out and start checking out some one night stand candidate across the room.

Sorry, but people are caught up in their own lives. And fair enough. Reality is not spent sleeping in hostels, eating pad thai on the street, screwing foreigners or hopping from bus to train to airport terminal and back to bus again. It’s spent in a mind-numbing litany of commutes, cubicles, grocery stores, TV programs and beds. We lock into monotonous routines, not exhilirating spontaneity. Everyone can’t just quit their jobs, pack up and go on a big trip. We need to keep our jobs, move up in the company, pay the bills.

“But keep in touch, OK? Take lots of pictures and send us e-mails! I wanna read all about it,” they say. They won’t read it. They’re too lazy to. Just send pictures. Feel free to e-mail updates, but don’t expect more than a 2 percent response rate.

They won’t read the book, they might even pass on the synopsis, but they will watch the “movie.” YouTube and Facebook killed the e-mail star. While Facebook is a convenient multimedia delivery mechanism for both parties, it may very well be the most self-indulgent invention in the history of mankind. Even more self-indulgent than this blog. It’s also as gay as rollerblades. More on that later.

Don’t take it personal. It’s just that your journey of self-discovery was precisely that - for yourself and about yourself. That’s why it’s more irrelevant to others than you’d often like to believe.

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7 Responses to “4. Nobody Gives a S#%&”

  1. mike says:

    I miss writing those mass emails since Facebook rolled around, but living overseas it helps a lot staying in touch with the family. I noticed that since putting thousands of pictures on Facebook, even though more people can see them, it’s not always the people you think would see them, like your best friends, who actually might not care. But other random people will check ‘em out, which is nice, too, but not as nice as your thick-as-thieves friends who they were intended for.

  2. alart says:

    You fucking right man, in every word !

    since I’ve understood the same staff I’ve just stopped mailing people around, I failed to do something for “photo & send” and moved to some really interested for me things.

  3. annie says:

    i hate the rest of your misogynistic blog, but this post is dead-on.

  4. lavidaloca says:

    dear mell,
    look up the word “irony” in a dictionary.
    hope that helps!

  5. din says:

    Mell, to quote the title of this entry, “Nobody gives a shit”

  6. Stéphane says:

    Definetely my favorite post! I can’t wait to get home and throw my 5-sentence line to my folks! Haha

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