I am a reluctant nerd. Nerd in the sense that I really love to read. I love putting on my glasses, picking a quiet corner, mixing a Great Taste White cup (unpaid plug) … and read, and read, and read some more.
I am not going to be hypocritical and claim that I read the high-brow books and dissertations nor pore over brain-draining journals or news sites.
What I love to go through are 1) quality, well-written, entertaining feature articles; 2) those free, downloadable pdfs whenever you subscribe to a site’s mailing list promising to make me a better human in 10 simple steps; and 3) those select, and very, very few, uber-witty blogs.
(Quick note: When you download the Pocket app in your smart phone, you can subscribe to their weekly e-mail recommending legitimate and web-worthy articles from various sources tackling diverse and highly informative topics such as understanding the human psyche, describing how world leaders’ rose to power or sharing pragmatic, science-based parenting tips.)
Ok, so going back to my point, I vividly recall that day when I renewed my passport in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) branch in AliMall which as you can expect, took most of my should-have-been-productive day. While I was sitting in the waiting area, I remember coming across an interesting article featured by Pocket in its weekly digest.
The title read: “Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think”. This struck me most especially since this was around the time when I was already contemplating on making that long-awaited but much-feared career shift and I was curious whether it would tackle exactly what I was going through at the time.
When I clicked on the link, I was directed to this odd-looking blog with a header of a king (the one in playing cards) with stick figures on it. The blog was aptly named “Wait But Why”.
After reading the first few paragraphs of the article, I was immediately hooked!
The “Taming the Mammoth” article was extremely witty, funny-in-the-intelligent-kind-of-way, providing simple yet powerful visuals to shed light on a highly relatable topic of societal pressure and its impact on individuals’ life decisions and actions. Something which I believe most people, if not all, have experienced at least once in their life.
The article centered on two characters, the Social Survival Mammoth (or Mammoth for short) and the Authentic Voice (or AV for short).
The Mammoth represented all kinds of pressure we place upon ourselves, may it be societal, familial, political, or personal in nature. These comprise the should’s in our life – how we should act, who we should marry, what course should we take, what kind of image should we project, what belief system should we abide by and so on and so forth.
The AV, on the other hand, is the discreet, always-placed-in-the-back burner inner self we shamefully hide from the world from fear of rejection, condemnation or rash judgment from others.
The sad realization upon reading the article’s main message is that no one ever pays as much attention to us as we would like to believe. We mistakenly think that a spotlight is placed on us, when the reality of it is that each person is really minding their own business and they also think that a spotlight is shone on them, too.
What turned me into an instant fan was how the article used witty, straightforward visuals (some with bubble text) to emphasize a point. These are simple stick figures which say a lot and help emphasize a point by depicting real-life scenarios and experiences in comical ways. (See sample below.)
Mind you, the posts in “Wait But Why” are not exactly eezy-breezy, 1-page, done-in-5-minutes kind of read. Articles here are lengthy and well-researched and you must really have a significant amount of free time to spare to get through just one post. Some are even written in parts.
The blog’s approach and casual writing style (sometimes or often with curse words) is a refreshing departure from the usual text-heavy, infographic-driven, sensationalized articles spread across the web, mostly populated with free ads and annoying pop-ups in between.
The blog also forces a mental work-out when the authors deep dive into really complex stuff such as artificial intelligence or trying to count how many billion/ trillion/ gazillion people can fit in the solar system.
But if you’re looking for really good stuff – and I mean, really, really good stuff amidst endless memes and Facebook news feeds, this quirky and charming blog might do the trick.
I promise, no scratch that, I guarantee (in bold letters so you can hear my conviction) that you will find Wait But Why to be gripping, amusing, extensive, whip-smart and sardonically funny without trying too hard.
For starters, here’s my top 5 picks to launch your Wait But Why experience (just click on the article you’d like to read first):
1) 10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of
2) Japan, and How I Failed to Figure it Out
3) The Great Perils of Social Interaction
4) Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy
5) God’s Wounded Ego
But since we all have different tastes and preferences, feel free to browse through their archives, or pick from the Popular posts tab on the lower right portion of their main page and choose an article which jumps to you the most.
I assure you that you will also fall in love with Tim and Andrew’s wit.
Honestly, I think the soul and tone (save for the F* words) of Wait But Why greatly influenced my blog’s own voice, or at least the kind of voice I am hoping to achieve – casual, real, conversational, authentic.
Like how musicians share their influences, I proudly share that this blog greatly inspired and influenced me to write this blog using my Authentic Voice and be as aware as possible of the Social Survival Mammoth that aim to please and impress rather than be.
Like a true-blue fan girl, I hope that you, too, can find the same kind of inspiration and authenticity I found in Wait But Why to help you in your journey of finding your own Authentic Voice amidst the overwhelming external pressure we needlessly place upon ourselves.
I am crossing my fingers that Tim and Andrew will come across this post to validate how they are doing a really good job in producing web-worthy, extremely well-written content amidst a vast and endless web space dotted with shallow and sloppy articles that do not care a bit about its readers.
I truly hope you enjoy this featured blog and become a fangirl (or boy) yourself. 😉
To jump-start your Wait But Why experience, click here.