Literary Reflection Essay & Twitter
“Words do not express thoughts very well; everything immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another,” an excerpt from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. Language can be misinterpreted in so many different ways, but it is one of the only tools that gives us the opportunity to know what goes on inside each other’s minds. Although each day literacy continuously helps me grow, I had an one experience with words and expression that changed my perspective of life.
My childhood almost completely consisted of reading books. The library had always fascinated and filled me with awe. I always felt something inside, some new kind of excitement that i didn’t know a place other than Disneyland could give me. It was the kind of excitement that could only be brought on by an overwhelming feeling of possibility. All of these books, surrounding me. All the new universes and other worlds to discover and explore. Even as a child, I had always been more interested in the story than the pictures. But somehow, through school, that excitement faded. The possibilities became a nuisance. Once books became something of homework, the pressure and the requirement drained the wonder. Everyone had to read the same book and answer the same questions that required the same answer. The world of that book was no longer my own. Eventually reading became the exact opposite of what i sought to do with my free time. As I went through middle and highschool, i was on a love-hate rollercoaster with reading. There were some days that I questioned myself, “how could anyone not enjoy reading?”. But inevitably, eventually each little spark died out and i was back to dreading books along with the rest of my class. Throughout high school, the teachers that gave their students the freedom to choose their books kept my spirit alive. Some students did abuse this opportunity, but i took full advantage of this to find something that really consumed my attention and interest.
Sherman Alexie pushed the idea that books were the key to success in literacy. For me, it was twitter. Poetry, in less than 160 characters, completely changed my perspective on both writing and life itself. These anonymous people starting finding each other, and I realized we were all pieces of a puzzle. A puzzle of abject, yet beautiful souls living alone on the outskirts of the norm. Judgement and criticism had been completely dismantled, and all that remained was acceptance, support, and love in return for the service of seeing that there were minds like ours. Minds that convinced themselves that they were no good, worn out, and crazy. Yet everyone else in this community of profound thinkers, could see that these minds were the exact opposite. It was a heavy, yet refreshing wave of amazement. I had some favorite authors, but I never knew people’s minds could be so beautiful.
These twitter accounts were mostly anonymous but I will never forget them. They inspired and motivated me, in a time of my life that everything was dull and worn. I actually became obsessed. If i woke up at three in the morning with an aching thirst, I would only go down to the kitchen after I had scrolled my twitter feed to see everything I had missed. It was not the usual mindless, superficial gossip or recycled quotes that everyone has seen a hundred times. They were more than tweets. They were real thoughts. They were pieces of a thousand different diaries from a thousand different people who came together in some kind of esoteric bond. They were minds I had never seen anything like; they were minds like mine. We shared our thoughts that we had always kept hidden, the thoughts that built up inside and drove us to question our own sanity. “Today’s social media landscape gives us even more options to send out cosmic questions — and we do…I like having the outlet. I can share poetic, philosophical, or even nonsensical thoughts without having to worry about what my followers will think.” were statements by the author, Jordan Ecarma in an article covering this group of people, on Policymic. Through a simple website we found a release, and it didn’t matter if anyone was listening or not. We were freeing ourselves, exposing ourselves. We shared our minds, to find that we were all different, we were all crazy, but in fact we were the farthest thing from alone. It was enthralling. To me, that’s what writing is all about.
Like the others, my search diffused for other places to feed my addiction. We started exchanging authors, books, poetry, short stories, and music.I continue to read those books and listen to that music. I started reading again, getting an almost adrenaline-like feeling every time I was able to find an author that could captured me. My world was no longer dull and worn. The experience has completely molded me into who I am today. My entire perspective of everything was restored and changed forever. I was opened up to trying so many new, different things that I had always assumed were not for me.
A twitter account named Santinodela started it all. He acknowledged this, seeing how lives were changing and on July 31, 2013 tweeted, “It’s surreal how we affect each other across space and time with words.” One of his statements that has stuck with me the most was when he tweeted, “Don’t let the value or worth of your thoughts be determined by the reactions of other people.” This is what caused me to really change and I decided to really start expressing myself. And that’s what literacy allows us to do. Although each individual has their own, unique reality we are able to share ourselves through writing, and speaking, so that the listeners and readers may see that they are not alone.