Goodbye, Vine

Taken away much too young.

I woke up on Oct. 27 a pretty happy human.

Having just been offered a job at NHL.com, I was thrilled at the proposition of being surrounded by a sport I love. And having more cash to pay back student loans was a pretty big plus in my book. So, I accepted the position and was ready to get things started.

But I wouldn’t begin the job for another week, meaning I still had some free time. And as usual, I found myself perusing the Internet and social media, just like the rest of you do. I was all caught up on the World Series storylines and how the Cubs could potentially choke away their best chance to win it all (update, they didn’t). But something on Twitter caught my eye. Vine was dead.

My first thought this was just another millennial think piece about how YouTube and Instagram, among others, had slowly killed the app and how a lot of the popular creators had left for greener pastures. I wish that had been the case.

No, Twitter, which has control of the app, decided that it was discontinuing Vine at some point over the coming months.

For an app that seemed to generate a lot of its content and views from teenagers, you might wonder why a 22-year-old recent college graduate might have any vested interest in something like this. It probably shouldn’t have bothered me. But seriously, I was crushed.

Let me rewind a little bit here and explain.

My freshman year at Boston University was not only one of the best times of my life, but it definitely was eye opening. I learned a lot about others, the world and myself. And one thing I found out about myself was that I wasn’t ahead of the curve like I had thought. People at BU were always on top of new things and trends and I was just kind of in awe that I wasn’t as quick to the jump.

But when I thought about it, at least in terms of social media, I was never really the first at anything. I didn’t join Facebook until my freshman year in high school and I didn’t sign up for Twitter until late 2010. I had never even heard of Snapchat until someone told me about it at BU.

But in the spring of 2013, I heard about this new app called Vine and not a ton of people were on it. The idea of clipping together snippets to produce a six-second video that was on a never-ending loop seemed like a cool concept. For once I wanted to be on top of a trend. I even suggested we make a Vine page for my school newspaper’s sports section. (Sorry DFP Sports, it never happened). But, of course, I made a personal account and started publishing that fun content. Or so my 18-year-old brain thought. As you can see, well, they were something else.

Like a lot of early Vines, mine didn’t really have any rhyme or reason and had no production value. It was kind of an in-the-moment thing, like a tweet. That’s how many Vines were: totally random with no set purpose.

There was this freedom that you could just post ridiculous things, really for the sake of posting ridiculous things. Why did I put together a video of my floormate walking around my dorm in a onesie? Because I felt like it. And I think that’s how a lot of people treated Vine in the early days. There really were a saturation of videos and a bunch were just plain unfunny. But, there were some that shone brightly.

In what world would we find a potato flying around a room to be something intriguing? Really only on Vine. I also do love pickles, hitting 3-pointers, though, does tend to be a challenge.

LeBron James, yes one of the sports world’s most popular people, got this little child famous, just because he uttered his name in such a way that made everyone chuckle. Well, at least I did.

The club was indeed going up on a Tuesday, and this guy brought the fun to school in Texas. This one doesn’t even really make sense, but I found myself looping this one over and over again. It’s really unexplainable.

There were definitely plenty of Vines like this, one-hit wonders if you will. But, there were plenty of Viners that had a significant following and used the app to showcase their humor. And no, I’m not talking about the likes of Jerry Purpdrank, Lance210 or Brittany Furlan and their unfunny pals and videos that always seemed to dominate popular page. I’m talking about the truly hilarious creators of Vine that used the app to display their talent.

Like Zach Piona and his videos from the front seat of his car. I could genuinely watch him play multiple characters over and over again. Something about the way he did it was purely ridiculous and just enjoyable. Also, can totally relate to this Vine where he misses the exit (i.e. my dad did not do well on the road during our first trip to Disney World).

RegalJoe and the characters he created were intricate and so well performed. He was seriously one of the most talented people on the app and I’m glad he was able to parlay this into a new successful YouTube channel. I mean, haven’t we all played for a Coach Dave in our lives?

Chris Melberger created a world that was essentially a meme in and of itself, and I’m OK with this.

Victor Pope Jr. always kept it real, and I thank him for that. Also his take on Drake’s “Big Rings” never gets old.

Aaron Chewning and his cringe-worthy puns made you wish you had deleted the app altogether, yet you found yourself coming back to watch over and over again.

I could go on all day with Nick Colletti, but I think we can all agree we’re thankful he and his pal Getter came up with our new favorite phrase.

Did mielmonster ever find Jeffrey? We’ll never know.

Dan Curtin’s Vines really made no sense at all to me, but Derek from Pizza Hut just seems to relatable for some odd reason, though I’ve never met someone named Derek from Pizza Hut, or been to a Pizza Hut that has a waiter.

And the list doesn’t stop here. Believe me, there are plenty of other Viners I’m leaving out that made quality videos.

But lest we not forget the wonderful hashtags and trends that all spawned from the app. Obviously, “What are those?” and “on fleek” took on lives of their own. However, there were some other gems, like #SHTuesdays and #famousmovies that you could scroll for hours on and have a good time (and you totally should before the app discontinues).

To me, all of these people and trends were what made Vine great. The early days of the app were saturated with people like you and me, mostly making terrible videos with little-to-no purpose.

But eventually, Vine sort of transformed into an app that became an outlet for a niche comedy community. And I’m OK with this. I never felt pressured to create for the app, I just loved to sit back and enjoy the content that was there for me.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day and he said, “Vine was the best app. I don’t have to watch everyone narcissistically post like on Facebook or Instagram. It was a place where I could just laugh my ass off.”

I tend to agree. Vine was great for what it was, and come January when it becomes a camera-only app, I will miss it. My trips to the toilet will not be the same.

Oh, and back to my life. I did start my new job at NHL.com, and we actually moved offices recently. I found out it was one of Twitter’s spaces that they wanted to be filled because their tenants recently left.

It’s was part of Vine’s offices.

Now, for weeks, I’ve tried to decipher this symbolism, but I haven’t been able to make heads or tails of it. All I hope for is that my job lasts more than six seconds.

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