Blogging Archives #8: How to Write a Good Emo Post

I wrote this back in March of 2009 and also posted it on Facebook.  I was obviously making a little fun of certain posts or updates people like to put on social media :).  It’s been shortened considerably, if you can believe that since it’s still a little long.

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On all of these social networks, people love to be emotional.  After all, you’re human!  Everyone should know it!  I am sure your heart beats with more ferocity than the most ferociously ferocious teenage girl.  Your existential musings are a testament to your blazing life spirit, and we should totally feel you, man.  Or girl.

However, sometimes these emo posts have bad form.  They don’t allow us to completely sympathize with the great vexings of your life.  They sometimes do not quite communicate, in the correct subtle way, your pent-up emotional feelings.  They don’t give us that small window… nay, that small peephole, into your life, one that we can stick our eye eagerly into to get just a glimpse of your oh so important existence.  Thus, I will propose some useful guidelines in constructing a good emo post.  Not all posts have to have all these characteristics, but a post should incorporate several of these in order to rank as an elite emo post that will fascinate your readers and gain you sympathizers.  Let’s begin.

1.  Do not detail the subject matter of what you are feeling.

A good emo post will relate what the poster is feeling but leave a mystery as to what he or she is feeling about.  Your readers, even though it’s not their business, will appreciate the small details that you give them and swallow them up eagerly.  It is such a remarkable display of self-centerdeness… er, selflessness, to leave yourself so vulnerable.  Mad respect for that.  Believe me, comments supporting your effort will follow, such as, “Hang in there…,” “:(,” or “Is everything okay?”, depending on what you’re feeling.

Example:

“A broken heart sucks.  I wish I wasn’t so distracted…”  (Whoa there.  You got your heart broken?  By who?  What happened?  When did it happen?  Man, I feel so bad for you right now that I’m totally convinced that it could not be your fault for being a weenie.)

Avoid giving too many details and writing absurdly long emo-posts because this makes you come off as a self-serving crybaby.  Which you’re totally not.  Plus it gives the gossipers too much ammunition.

2.  Avoid even explicitly saying that you yourself are feeling a certain emotion at this time.

If you can add even more mystery to what the crap is going on in your interesting life while still communicating 14 year old emotions to your readers, you win.  Then your readers will really have to speculate what’s going through your head.  Example:

“Love is such a beautiful thing, but it can come back and bite you sometimes.  It is double edged; it cuts into your heart to make it open to another, but then it can cut it to make it bleed.”  (Not only do we get amazing truths from your high level philosophizing, we get a sense of both cautious gratitude and quiet despair.  This will cause others to leave comments like, “Man, love is hard” and “I feel ya, sister.”)

Avoid being too “in your face” with emotional declarations.  Stuff like, “I AM SUPER DUPER ANGRY AND MAD AND FURIOUS AT MY GIRL DIE!!!” turns the readership off.  Too much information in too loud a voice and in too short a time, my friend.

3.  Avoid using names, but hint very strongly at who you’re talking about.

First off, this makes you look like you took the high road and not passive-aggressive at all.  You will not stoop to the level of gossipers and spew out names.  Oh no, not you.

Secondly, if some of those people get the hints and realize you are talking about them, they will feel either sufficiently angry or guilty.  Both are acceptable, for anger means you paid them back and guilt means they know they are wrong.

Third, if some people do not get the hints and do not realize they are being talked about, they will be suckered into giving sympathetic comments themselves.  Then you can laugh at them privately and think, “Aha!  But it is YOU who has so conspired to awaken my emotional volcano.”

Fourth, this, like the above guidelines, continues to add more mystery and intrigue.  For example:

“I thought my friends would do more for me in that situation, but friends can’t do that to each other.”

Man, this one is just loaded with questions.  Who are these people?  What did they do?  Your readers will agree; whoever these people are and whatever they did, they’re little punks and deserve wrath and scorn.  You deserve sympathy and justice.  Also, something like:

“I don’t think so and all of you who told me not to do that can go burn in Hell.”

Really shows your maturity.  You’re clearly mad at some people for disagreeing with something or other, but you will not stoop down to calling them out in public.  You’ll just wish them an unhappy afterlife in public because clearly they deserve it for disturbing your vulnerable state of mind.  Comments like, “I know, #$!% those guys” and “You just stay true to yourself, homie” will undoubtedly come to assure you that you’re right and they’re wrong.

4.  Use ellipses and continuous letters to emphasize certain words or to really express a thought that is trailing off into the impenetrable ethereal realms of your mind.

One must be careful with this.  On the one hand, it can really strengthen your posts and leave your audience hanging on your every last thought.  On the other, it can make your posts jumbled, difficult to read, and ultimately unworthy of more attention.  For instance:

“OMG… whyyyyyyyy… wtf….. I can’t believe…. that happened…. it’s not…. faiiiiiirrrr.”

This makes it seem like you think in little spurts or that you’re talking in between sobs. It just makes it hard to read and hard to care.  However, using these tools wisely will make you seem both real and abstract.  Thus, something like,

“It’s been a looooong week.  I wish there was more to give…”

Emphasizes that indeed, the week was long, but it also makes your readers understand that there was something special about that long week that you just… can’t… share.  At least right now.  But they will patiently await your every thought and see if you drop hints about what that is.

5.  Use curse words sporadically, ESPECIALLY if you are a Christian, because it is unexpected and it shows you’re serious.  Cursing makes you seem way cooler and way more “real.”

Curse words can also be overdone.  Something like, “Holy @#$#@, what the @#$ is this @#$@ omg @#$@# what @#$@#” doesn’t get a lot of meaning across.  It also makes you look like you don’t have the brains to say anything more.  However, a good use of cuss words will show that you mean business and that your situation is cutting into the very core of your being.  It also shows your great independent thinking, because you know what?  #$^* you, I’m going to curse and if you don’t like, *#%@ off.  Yeah, you tell ’em.

Good use of curse words:

“@%! this s***.  I can’t stand it.” (Wow, TWO curse words to go along with a mysterious subject?  What is this s*** you are talking about?  I bet it’s pretty important s***, even though you called it s***, because it’s serious enough to make you cuss.  We got the message, and we will be sure to comment on this s***).

6.  Use smileys strategically.

Smileys can be overused, but strategically placed smileys will do wonders for your emo posts and help drop hints about your feelings while maintaining a sufficient amount of secrecy to ensure long-term attention to yourself.  Appropriate uses are as follows:

“I wish I understood things more, but sometimes, they just elude me :(.”  (BAM!  You are confused, but we also know that you are bummed about it.  Thus, we know that what you don’t understand is a BIG DEAL.  Encouraging posts will come quickly, as well as assurances that you will figure everything out at some point.)

“*#@$ all of you >:o” (Oh snap, you’re mad, and you’ve got a face to show it.  We don’t know who you’re mad at, but we feel sorry for them because you’re going to set some people straight, and we feel sorry for you because it must be their fault you’re so mad.)

7.  Use the God-card.

For theists (or maybe even not), saying phrases such as “God is good” to complement your post will skyrocket your respectability and also emphasize how important everything is to you.  After all, if you’re going to call upon God, then it MUST be important.  It will also show how humble and faithful you are.  As always, here are examples:

“I’m so burnt out and I can’t take it anymore.  But God is good.”  (Totally elite emo post.  Not only must your readers now wonder why you are burnt out, they will respect you for giving God his due.  High five!)

“I just can’t talk to some people right now.  But God is teaching me forgiveness.”  (Whoever those punks are, they better be thankful you are so faithful and forgiving, or they’d be in deep trouble.)

Indeed, putting phrases such as “God is good,” “God is teaching me ____”, “God is faithful,” or, I guess if you are a determinist, “God is efficaciously affecting the effective causes in such a way to cause me to cause myself to feel in this manner” 😉 in addition to your emo posts will elevate them to a much loftier status.

To conclude:

Now, I have said that it is difficult to always use all of these at once and that you normally don’t want long emo-posts.  Nonetheless, it is possible to do so, and I will suggest that if your emo-post must be long, incorporating as many of these as possible will make it successful and, dare I say, epic.  Allow me to give an example:

Sometimes, success comes, but failure soon follows.  You give it your all, but then you find that the effort you gave earlier deprived you of what you needed to finish.  You don’t want to start over, but you don’t want to quit.  Seriously, #@$% this @#!% >:o.  Friends will come to tell you to quit, but they are not really friends; they are just trying to hold you down.  But can you rise up…?

Such journeys are looooong.  They have traps that kill you instantly.  You start with a bouncing step and a high jump, but die you still can, and die you will.  Evil will come in many forms… defeat one, and another will follow… :(.  Start over, and you only reach the point where you failed.  Don’t start over, and you just keep failing. 

That is life.  But God can teach patience.  God is good in all things, even if that crap is annoying.

This would be a strong emo post.  Did I get owned by a job interview?  Did I fail a project?  Did I fail in my pursuit of a girl?  WHAT IS IT?  Such questions will keep your readers’ attention squarely upon you, where it should belong.  However, if I just wrote this:

OMG!!! @%!#!!!!!  What the *%@$ is this!!!  I @%!^ go through the whole @%!* game and use those pieces of @&$@ E-tanks and now I need them!!!  GAAAH….. this so unfair…. I just spent two *(&@* hours on this @#$@ game….. Jim-Bob came in here and told me to just quit, but *&%@ him. >:o >:o >:o >:o

I only have like six @#$@ crash bombs from Crash Man….…and the stupid tornado @#%! that Airman uses does nothing…….>:o  then Flash Man’s @%&@ weapon just freezes the screen for like three seconds….. and then I always die before I can use the charged heat weapon that Heat Man gave me!!! AAAH!  I’m going CRAZY!!! >:o  And why the @#%@ is Quickman so hard…. when he just gives !@$* boomerang crap!

I jump through all these @#!% spike pits that I died like 9999 times on and get all the way to the last boss who keeps changing after I beat him…… WTF!!! 

!#%&* DR. WILY!!!  &%@# MEGA MAN 2!!!  @%!* NINTENDO AND CAPCOM!!!

As you can see, this is not as interesting.  Not only is it poorly written, using too many smileys, curse words, and ellipses, it is too revealing.  It unnecessarily exposed Jim-Bob as the unsupportive punk he is.  It also identified some Robot Masters, who undoubtedly will get the message that their weapons suck, but the way the post does this makes it look like it is instead the author’s fault that he is losing, not the Robot Masters’.  It’s so their fault.

Of course, the Robot Masters themselves automatically reveal everything, not to mention bringing in Dr. Wily.  As one can conclude, both posts are about a player’s failure to ultimately defeat Dr. Wily in Mega Man 2, having used up his E-tanks in the earlier stages of the game.  However, the former does not say this but instead captures the interest of the reader and will earn many sympathetic comments.  The latter, well, will just make you look weird and like a whiner.  And you totally aren’t, right?

Thus, while your emotions are undoubtedly important, failing to use these guidelines can really inhibit other people from seeing your emotions as important as you do.  They don’t need the whole story.  They just need to know that you are emo and that your life deserves much needed attention.  Then the comments will come, the encouragements will come, and you will have the justice of other people sharing in this emotional roller-coaster you call life.

Me?  I’m studying.  !&#$ this @#&!%…

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