Twice A Month I Tell The Truth On The Internet

What, like it’s hard?

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash. Chosen because this is the weirdest place for a pineapple.

The Internet’s a child. It’s been growing and developing for decades, and having being born in 1982 myself, I’ve been around to observe all of its spurts and setbacks, like a middle school dad with a video camera permanently squatting in film stance. The Internet is the world’s new bike, and not only are we constantly learning how to ride it, we have no teacher and there’s a pool noodle where the handlebars should be. Because it doesn’t really know what it’s doing yet, the Internet—and more specifically its deviant Id, social media— gets into some weird shit sometimes. It’s all a part of growing up.

Several years ago, something stopped me in my scroll that was so arrogant, so spoiled, and so gross, that it inspired bravery in me. It made me want to tell the truth. What I saw was a blogger returning home from (free) vacation to a pile of (free) packages that was taller than her. Not only did the stack of free shit exist, but she had no problem showing it off. Her own personal crap Christmas.

The packages were full of clothes, beauty products, shoes, and bags that brands wanted her to wear on social media. The idea being her lemmings would want to purchase all the shit she got for free, with money they had to earn from actual jobs. A generation of women working their asses off and out of nowhere a profession grew from being the most popular girl in 10th grade and refusing to ever give up the title. This idea is old (free) hat now, you understand. But it mortified me with such force that it’s impacted how I use social media, and how I write online, to this day.

In 2013, I started writing, really writing, on the Internet. About being single, online dating, and various aspects of those things that make me incensed. More than anything, I was writing about what was happening to me, and I was telling the truth. So for five years, I’ve been spit polishing my anger, and dammit if I haven’t achieved a high shine.

On October 10th, 2018, Refinery29 published the first piece in a new series, “Every Single Day.” I am its author. Since then we’ve published new content to the series every other week, on topics ranging from financial hardships of being alone, to lifting heavy shit. Things seem to be going well.

My goal in doing this is twofold: First, above all I want single women over 30 (or howeverthefuckold they are) to feel less alone, and less “wrong.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being single. I know, burn the witch, right?

Second, I want to change the discussion around single women. I don’t like the way the world sees us, talks about us, or portrays us in fiction. I’m tired of being Cathy Comic’ed and Aunt Glady’ed and reduced to a character and lifestyle young girls are groomed to see as failure.

I’m trying to tell the truth about being single, and because being funny is the superpower my experiences being bullied zapped into me as a child, I am trying to make single women laugh, too. If I make others laugh, that’s amazing, just know it’s an accident.

I understand building a following on social media. I’ve been growing this one for years and I’m proud of (and quite honestly shocked by) how many people enjoy my work enough click a follow button. As Every Single Day grows, it is my hope that single women here and across our baby Internet will enjoy it, share it, and feel like they’re part of something. I certainly do.

This week I’ve been contacted by PR representatives for a dating app, a cookbook, and a coffee company. All three ridiculously on brand for me. But I told them, as I’m telling you, that if I can (and want to) support the work of others I will, but that’s not what my writing is going to be about—ever. Ain’t nothing free except the truth, and sometimes a good laugh.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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