Ever since the announcement late last week that Vine will be shutting down in the next few months, I’ve been really broken up about it. I may seem silly and I could hardly blame anyone for thinking so. It’s just another social media site after all. But to myself and the millions who have grown to love the app over the years, it has become much more. 

If you spend time on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media site, you will find very little of one key ingredient that makes it inherently human. Individuality. When you post on a Facebook or a Twitter, are you truly showing who you are as an individual? At times certainly, but more often than not, you are nothing more than the imagination of the corporation that created whatever social media site you’re on. Even on Youtube, which you could to argue is a place where creativity can run free, are you really all that original?  Youtube does indeed have many gems, but for every one, there are ten “Bean-Boozled”  challenges or whatever the trend is for that month. The reality is that these social media sites aren’t designed to create individuals, they are designed to stick us in this bubble and make us believe, through some stretch of the imagination, that we are being unique or creative. They force us into some illusion that we are stepping out of the box, when all we’re doing is forcing our individuality into a box that someone else created. 

Vine isn’t a Box—it’s a Canvas

While other social media sites are designed to limit your creativity, Vine was always different. Somehow, in its simplicity, Vine was unique in the way that it forced its users to be creative. With Vine, there’s no time to blab about your day or create the millionth Youtube challenge that no one really wanted to see in the first place. With only 6 seconds to spare, it’s create or die. If you wanted to be a part of Vine, you had do do something unique. Vine was never about getting the most followers or “like’s,” even though Vine did indeed have it’s own social currency. At its heart, Vine actually worked as social media had always intended, to show the world who you are. Comedian’s, musicians, and artists used the platform to share and grow their talents. Many users, myself included, found talents they didn’t know they had. One of my favorite Viners, Ben Charmanstarted out as a talented artists sharing his work. As he began creating vines and quickly started doing stop motion, that talent grew into doing animation and hands down, some of the most impressive stop motion videos I have ever seen.

It Brought People Together

Not only did Vine encourage people to create and grow, but it also encouraged people to collaborate. It was great to see how vine got people to get together to come up with new skits and characters. Vine started new friendships, in some cases from two opposite sides of the country. It wasn’t only a catalyst for new friends to meet, but for families to grow closer together too. Families like the Eh Bee Family, Bottlerocket, and Josh Darnit have a treasure trove of memories and Vines they can cherish forever. With Vine, people from all walks of life have come together to create. Even with their massive user-base, you won’t find anything like that on Facebook.

For me, Vine helped show me a different side of myself. When I started making Vines, friends commented that it was like I had an alternative personality they had never seen before. I hadn’t either. Along the way, I started editing my vines on my computer, eventually getting up the courage to make my very own music video and I look forward to making my next one even better. I am immensely proud of what I have been able to accomplish because of Vine. From the first time I opened the app and laughed for about two hours straight, I had no idea that I would never be the same. Through Vine, people have come together and grown together. In our world today, no one can deny that is truly something special. 

Through Vine, people have come together and grown together. In our world today, no one can deny that is truly something special.  tweet

This article is dedicated to all the Viners who amazed me and made me laugh over the years. Heres to hoping you keep growing—whatever comes next.

Special thanks to:

Bottlerocket

Kelsey Taylor

Pastatute

The Eh Bee Family

That Happy Family

Sunny Mabrey

Brandon Calvillo

Josh Darnit

Sage Boggs

Ben Charman

Manon Mathews

Alona Forsythe

Clayton Farris

Jason Nash

Ry Doon

Chris Melberger

J. Cyrus

David Lopez

Steph Barkley

Vincent Marcus

and the many others that I meant to put on this list, thank you.