Creative Writing

What You Missed While You Were Off Social Media

An update awaits you at the end of your cleanse.

You’ve been on a social media cleanse, out there revitalizing face-to-face relationships and experiencing the vivid analog world unmediated by a smartphone screen. It’s been the most harmonious, fulfilling month of your adult life, but after a mental vacation you’re ready to dive back into cyberspace to stay more connected to far-flung friends and bank a few Game of Thrones hot takes for the next office happy hour.

Before you log in, here are some things that happened in your absence.

The following are now symbols of white nationalism on Twitter:
apricots, waffle cookies, a cartoon walrus, the hand gesture used in “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” the hourglass emoji, a GIF of John-Boy from The Waltons riding a pony.

New Facebook groups you were added to without your consent:
“Pissed-Off Art Moms for Peace,” “Seattle Aquarium Ottercam Fanpage,” “missouri republicans doing dumb shit (don’t delete this again kyle),” “The ‘What If the Dudes from Winger Were Hot Chicks’ Fanfic Clearinghouse,” “Burien Quilters Who Dab.”

Newly problematic celebrities and viral stars:
Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the lead in a new biopic of Emiliano Zapata.

The Twitter accounts of Jack in the Box and Red Robin got in a heated exchange which ended up with both accounts suspended for hate speech and violent threats.

“Drunk grandpa laughing in a bathtub full of Corn Flakes” was revealed to be a marketing stunt by Kellogg’s.

DatDudeDevin, a YouTube sensation with 14 million subscribers who makes fun of different kinds of gum, signed a six-picture deal with Sony.

@hamburgerheadcat, the Instagram tabby who balances a hamburger on her head, attacked three fans at a book signing in Newark, exposing her guardian as an anti-cat-vaxxer.

One of ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham’s puppets announced they’re genderqueer, angering Dunham and his fans.

Other developments:
“Splorching” is a thing now and it’s killed eight teenagers. Someone made a Chrome browser extension that turns every picture of Mike Pence’s face into an engorged nipple. Marvel announced that Iron Fist is now a pansexual flat-earther. The American political Left went through eight schisms and five purges, then briefly reunited over a hot-mic recording of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attempting to say the word “pedagogy” in front of a mirror.

Avocado toast

Pomegranate micro-crostini