To Post or Not to Post
Allen Gorney | Cara Lynch
Mark parked his BMW in his garage like he normally did. He took off his shoes and loosened his tie in the laundry room like he normally did. And he called out his girlfriend’s name like he normally did.
“Mark! In here!”
Mark rounded the corner and jumped back. There was Joy, in her typical bedazzled navy velour jumpsuit, with a gun pointed at her head from across the dining room table. He thrust his arms in the air, fully expecting that gun barrel to turn in his direction. His breath was shallow. His heart was pounding. He glanced at the person holding the gun: Joy’s sweet guidance counselor-friend Becky.
“What the hell is going on here?” he demanded.
“Help! Becky shot me!” Joy pleaded, clutching her foot.
“Why did she shoot you?” he asked, hands still thrust in the air.
“Because I keep posting status updates,” she responded, as if to say the whole thing was ridiculous.
Mark turned to Becky, whose gaze now fell on Mark despite her gun barrel’s still being pointed directly at Joy.
“Have you gone batshit? That’s no reason to shoot her,” Mark reasoned.
“She posts everything online, Mark. Everything,” Becky responded.
Everything. That word resonated within Mark’s soul. Becky said it with an omniscient, yet pitying tone. Becky said it like she knew something important—like she knew something personal. Not much of a social media connoisseur, he was largely oblivious to the underlying decorum and understandings that a user should have on these sites. However, that did not make Mark immune to the pity of others. In that split second after Becky uttered the word everything, Mark began to put it all together. An accountant by day, the numbers started to add up. The looks of pity on mornings after he’d spent the night comforting Joy during one of her many bouts of depression; the many gadgets orbiting Joy wherever they went; her constant need to update Facebook and Instagram and Twitter every time anything ever happened.
In that moment, he got it. Joy had a compulsive need to share her business: The good stuff occasionally, but mostly the bad. This wasn’t an attempt at murder. This was an intervention. Everything about this moment was going to make his life better. Everything about this moment was going to cure Joy from her addiction. Everything about this moment was going to make Joy, well, joyous.
Mark put his hands down.
“Well she has a point,” he said to Joy.
“Joy! Nobody needs to hear about how depressing your life is and all your personal problems and shit,” he said. “Becky, last night I even volunteered to help her reach an orgasm to cheer her up because she posted, ‘I’ve lost all my friends because of Words with Friends. FML’.”
Becky shook her head, half in frustration, half in understanding.
“I’m making her take down all her profiles,” she said.
Mark nodded in total agreement, like this whole moment was chicken soup for the social media addict’s soul.
“I’m gonna hit the gym,” he said, and he turned and walked right back out that door, relegating Joy to deleting every pixel of information she’d ever shared in cyberspace.