The Internet said yes to the dress. And thank God, because we all needed it.
Social media can be amazing. Through it I've made new friends, reconnected with old ones, found work, discovered new art and more. But social media can also be atrocious, full of harassment, hate, depression and a million people posting fake Facebook disclaimers because they think it will do something to protect their privacy.
Too often it feels that when everyone on Facebook and Twitter are on the same page, all posting about the same things, it's because of something tragic. It's as if the entire world congregates on the Internet only during events like the Boston Marathon bombings or the unrest in Ferguson - or, heck, just to gripe about how horrible the Oscars are (even though everyone continues to watch them). Point is, lately it feels like social media is a breeding ground for negativity, rather than a communication tool that can be used for simple fun.
That wasn't the case on Thursday thanks to a couple of llamas and a poorly photographed dress.
The runaway llamas, which ran amok in an Arizona retirement community, weren't particularly revolutionary. Most people love animals, and there's something novel about farm or zoo animals wandering around in the wild. We've certain been obsessed with such occurrences before (remember the IKEA Monkey?), but there was still something oddly charming about logging onto Twitter to see just about everybody live tweeting a llama escape as if it was the most dramatic police chase in years.
But before CNN could even get the llamas in for an interview (yes, really) we had all moved on to something even more fascinating: a dress that appeared to be different colors depending on who was looking at it. Some people swore it was white and gold. People who don't have a vision problem saw it as black and blue, which science and the original photo's source have definitively proven to be the color of the dress, you fools.
Also, there are four lights.
(OK, seriously, I saw the dress as white and gold thrice- very briefly each time, before my eyes "correct" to black and blue. And once I go black, I can't go back.)
It was the best type of disagreement. Some hyperbole was thrown around and some people joked about filing for divorce over #TheDress, but in reality nobody was getting hurt or upset by this. Confused, sure. Occasionally frustrated, even. But mostly we were all amazed together.
Personally, I was fascinated by the science behind it all. As my wife posted to her own social media channels, it was "the only time Britton has been obsessed with a dress." I had to know why the two of us were seeing something completely different. It felt like a new mystery that a bunch of us wanted to solve together.
A few wet blankets complained about dress-dominated Twitter, but for the most part I saw nothing but people having fun with the absurdity of the entire thing. Here we are with the entire Internet at our fingertips and millions of people are spending their time disagreeing about a photograph that was posted on Tumblr.
There's still hate out there. There's still abuse. We haven't fixed the Internet. But it was really nice that, at least for a few hours, everybody could come together and just have idiotic fun with each other.
So I'm thankful for #llamadrama and #thedress. At least until tomorrow, when so many brands will have tweeted their own clever jokes about those things that we'll all be incredibly sick of them.