Life is hard. But fortunately finding answers to some of life’s most difficult questions is just a thumb-type away. With the advent of technology, now I have a steady stream of information coming at me every split second, on the split second. Sure the information is varied, but obviously necessary – from Bieber’s new makeup style, to the Loch Ness Monster, to a kid getting suspended for asking out Ms. America. There’s no shortage of information at my fingertips, and thus no longer any need to wonder about life’s mysteries. Odds are someone’s already told me what I need to know on Twitter, Facebook, or Wikipedia before I ever needed to answer the question.
So today, instead of going Thinking Man-style and actually pondering life’s big issues, I’m going to look to the experts at Al Gore’s magical interweb of truth. I mean, they wrote it down so it must be true.
One thing I’ve noticed recently is that a lot of people are looking to the experts of Twitter to answer questions and give evidential support on difficult topics. From talk shows, to sports broadcasters, and advertisements – even the news is looking for the professional word-ists of Twitter for help – professionals are citing ordinary people like you and I. We don’t even have to get out of our jammies to be smart. So if these Tweeters are good enough for CNN and ESPN, then they must be the shaman to whom I will seek to be Padawan. It just makes sense; Twitter is the new Yoda.
So my question for the gatekeepers of written word and wisdom is: what is he meaning of life? It seems a simple enough question to start off with, and one that I’m assured they will be able to answer in less than 140 characters. Yoda’s wisdom was short and oddly insightful – and he never wrote, so we can’t be sure if he meant “u” or “you” – and these mind-masters of the modern age have clearly identified brevity as the quickest and clearest path to enlightenment. Who am I to question? Clearly I’ve already used more than 140 characters, so my wisdom is lacking. Therefore I seek the truth of the masters.
The first think I noticed is that I don’t even have to type the full question. As I mentioned before, these sultans of succinct have already delved into life’s issues long ago. Now these transformative answers just sit there in the vastness of space, accessible to all who travel at the speed of information – AKA “know how to use Google.” But all one need type in is “#meaningoflife.” It is minimalist majesty at its very finest. And for your benefit, here are the lessons I’ve learned:
One venerable teacher tells me that life is about pizza. This delights me to no end, because pizza has played a significant role – from appetizer, to entrée, to dessert – in at least 80% of my recent meals. I feel both enlightened and hungry for more…knowledge – and pizza. The mark of a true educator is the ability to instill interest and the desire to pursue understanding. As Liz Lemon once wisely said, “I would like to go to there.” And I have. Frequently. Well played.
Another such response shows me a picture of a young girl cuddling and petting a baby elephant. This both frustrates and gives me vision. I am not, nor have I ever been, a little girl or baby elephant. Yet, with the recent developments in science I am also not 100% positive that one day I cannot be either or both at the same time. Unless playing The Sims counts.
Yet again, I was presented with a picture representing the meaning of life. This time it was a cute kitten sitting atop a chair – as regal and wise-looking as a sage on a mountaintop – staring at a table, pondering the meaning of life. I can only assume that the meaning of life exists somewhere on that table. I have only to find the table, and I am quite certain the meaning of life will become clear. I Tweeted the owner of the kitten for his address so that I could come visit and learn from his cat. I’m sure to receive a response shortly.
Digging deeper into the abyss of insight and mental mastery, I find a great many pictures of food items. These items include: KFC sandwiches, carrot cake, and cracker jacks. With over one-third of America being obese, it appears that most of us have truly discovered the meaning of life. (I do not believe any of these posts were from China, so I’m sure that most of the cute kittens were not also used in the making of the KFC sandwiches. Though I could not be certain.)
Having waded through the photographic depictions of life’s meaning, I found some actual statements of truth:
“Asking the Meaning of life is like asking the square root of a zebra.” Which is difficult because I don’t have my graphing calculator on me; nor do I know the chemical equation for a zebra. This wisdom thing really is hard.
“I had a pretzel from pretzel world I feel like I ingested the meaning of life.” The meaning of life is so important that it must be guarded at all costs. It’s like taking a cyanide capsule to protect secrets. (At this point I’m hoping the meaning of life is not the elephant. That’s more wisdom than I feel capable of consuming in one sitting.)
“I’ve discovered the meaning of life, but it’s over 140 characters.” Clearly she hasn’t worked out how to condense truth’s to nibble-sized bites yet. But it’s great to see that she’s on the right path.
“The meaning of life is 2 look hot in selfies.” It was at this point I realized how truly deep and varied the pursuit of truth could be. Therefore, I must enter the realm of Instagram to continue my quest.
And that’s the meaning of life, as clear and as plain as Twitter can be understood. I will continue my quest, and one day I will work to condense all the wisdom I’ve gleaned down to 140 characters or less. Then I will consume it.