I think what’s popular on the Internet changes at a speed that’s much too fast for me. I feel like a dunce when I don’t understand my current roommate’s references. My hand spends a lot of time passing over my head to signal this ignorance.
I only learn about popular memes through popular adaptations of the original meme. It’s as if I were reading only academic journals, buffered from the source. There’s some critical threshold to how viral something has to be before I ever hear about it, and by the time it reaches it, it’s phasing out like last season’s clothes.
If I didn’t feel like “keeping up” with things was an active hobby, I might be better at it. My attention is mostly on myself, my feelings, and my interests. My attention sometimes goes to making letters or gifts for people I love. I can’t find the time to be up-to-date.
I think my hobbies of studying, writing, making, sauntering, and inquiry will outlast any culture trend. I’d rather focus on something I can pick up 40 years from now and still understand and appreciate. I really think that I don’t have to follow what’s timeless. The only thing I want to follow is the riverbank.