When it comes to internet references, Twitter, or current events in general I’m just about as good as Patrick Star living under his rock. I do thankfully know that Donald Trump is now president-a confusing reality making many Americans very sad, but enough people in the blogisphere are typing away on the subject of his orange hair, which leaves me room to discuss another reason why people on the internet are feeling hopeless.
Twitter account so sad today run by Melissa Broder is followed by 430k humans who are either sad themselves or really like looking at another human’s sad Tweets to feel better about themselves. Either way, they are already sad. Why do they want to torture themselves with more painful thoughts?
I asked myself that same question when Barnes and Noble was having a buy 2 get one free sale and out of all the gleaming novels perfumed with new book smell, I decided to go for the collection of essays called “SO SAD TODAY” by Broder in all caps. I didn’t know it was by a well known Twitter figure until after I read it. Maybe I picked it because I felt like its type was yelling at me, as if it was saddened to the point of crying for help in a bookstore. Let’s go with that, because the thought of me rescuing a poor sad novel is far less sad than the thought of me trying to save my sad self through relatable literature.
From the moment I peeled back the cover, I knew I dove into something dark. “So Sad Today” is a colloquial novel designed with the modern internet addicted, sexting community in mind. It is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable books I have read, as there is literally a chapter transcribing a series of open relationship sexts, that concludes with a commitment to monogamy, and is followed by more exploration of anxiety. But don’t worry! Before you fear you won’t be sufficiently sad, the book throws in drug addiction, body image issues, far too real illness, and those existential questions that give us all migraines.
This book will give you anxiety. If you already have anxiety, it will give you more anxiety, but Broder’s dark humor happens to ease you mind just enough to get you through it. A part of me wanted terribly to stop reading it, because it felt like the embodiment of everything people assumed to be wrong with Millennials. Then I somehow got to page 125 and resolved to commit.
While “So Sad Today” might not be the happiest read, there is a merit to such a series of essays which stems from its modern shape. It is clearly influenced by today’s digital culture and Internet jargon and for this, it is important. Melissa Broder’s collection shows the shifting of what it means to write (and read) an enjoyable essay in 2017.