by Brian Alan Ellis
Welcome to social media, where a thing you put your heart and soul into gets significantly less likes than that random picture of ALF you posted, because social media runs on sad desperation, misguided attempts at personal substantiation, and cats, and whenever I comment on someone’s post and they don’t acknowledge/engage me by liking my comment and/or commenting back I just assume they either
a) hate me, b) have their lives together, or c) are too old to fully understand how social media actually works,
so consider this a shout-out to the people who wish that someone would dump cold water on the people who constantly post videos of themselves performing shitty folk songs, and let’s discover the emoticon for when we feel nothing but wish to express that we feel nothing, and let’s start the year exactly how we started and ended the previous year—by shamelessly promoting our “content” while knowing that those articles about how to properly use social media platforms are pointless because all you really need is low self-worth and a weakness for empty validation, which is cake, so let’s wish crippling depression on those who “check-in” to artisanal restaurants/post things like “Hey [insert place], I’m gonna be in you soon!”
and let’s school those who invite us to like their “There’s Hope for the Human Race Walkathon” Facebook pages, and let’s all scream into a virtual abyss, and let’s take our Tumblr accounts out behind the woodshed and shoot the fuck out of them with paintball guns, and let’s Fahrenheit 451 Goodreads, and let’s resuscitate Ello and Friendster but leave Myspace and LiveJournal in the past, and let’s open an Instagram account where pictures are posted of people passed out in their locked, exhaust-fumed cars while wearing the latest seasonal fashions, and let’s block everyone who succumbs to political hyperbole, and let’s clasp our hands together and thank our dear Lord for all the likes and retweets we’ve received, and when my Kickstarter launches I’ll sweeten the deal by letting you help me shamefully binge-eat one of those frozen chocolate cream pies they recommend you thaw before serving but whatevz, so go ahead and laugh at my miserable outbursts; it’s fine—just know that I’m here for you—but don’t call or text me; I prefer to be tagged—
and how can Facebook expect me to share my Facebook memories when I can’t even handle my Facebook realities?—and why have kids when you can have multiple social media accounts that are just as disappointing/draining/time-consuming?—and today on Twitter Wars it’s The Entrepreneurs vs. The Bootleg Rappers vs. The Millennial Poets vs. The Feminist Yoga Spiritualists vs. The Armchair Politicians vs. The Bitter Comedians, and today on Facebook Wars it’s the people who post bullshit questions vs. the people who smugly think, “I got this,” then immediately reply with a bullshit answer,
and last night I dreamed I tweeted “You’re a nihilist? Cool! What do you nihil?” and then my laptop exploded in the dream and I awoke in a panic but mainly because I’d just had a nightmare involving social media, which is way too Thom Yorke for my liking, but luckily my Tinder profile says, “I don’t vote, or eat veggies; I avoid the outdoors/spend way too much time online; I don’t own a car; I still use a flip phone; my cat is dope; date me,” and luckily my Craigslist missed connection says, “You were the creepy drunk dude from last night who growled and then completely ate shit while trying to jump a fence as my friend and I bicycled past. Thought you were a dog, dude. Scary as fuck. Hella impressed by your quick recovery, though. Mad skills,”
and I once fantasized about having a panic attack while being interviewed via Skype and the person interviewing me having to call 911 from another state and then Skype asking me to add a “mood message” and it was like, do they even want to go there?—and a Checkers burger will always be more satisfying than a verified Twitter account check mark, and the cause of our collective deaths will involve an overuse of hashtags—#FF: @fuckyou, @666, @killyourself, @plzdie, @HolyShitThisIsStupid—and social media as a whole has made us into cartoon characters of our own neuroses, so [insert Porky Pig voice] that’s all, folks!
BRIAN ALAN ELLIS runs/neglects the literary journal Tables Without Chairs, and is the author of three novellas, two short-story collections, a forthcoming novel, and a book of humorous non-fiction. His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, DOGZPLOT, Heavy Feather Review, Connotation Press, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Lost in Thought, Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Collapsar, Talking Book, People Holding, The Next Best Book Blog, Third Point Press, Reality Beach, Literary Orphans, Queen Mob’s Tea House, jmww, Hypertext, and Atticus Review, among other places. He lives in Florida.