As more and more old people are learning what the Internet is, I sometimes creep myself out thinking about all the Facebook pages that exist of people who are dead. Do some of their old and dying friends get that message that says, “Reconnect with Phyllis” and cringe or cry? I wonder if one dead person’s Facebook account ever tries to reconnect with another? Anyway, that’s not the point. Just as these decrepit seniors kick it like fruit flies, abandoning their online manifestations along the way, I regularly abandon old Internet personas. Yet, there often feels an obligation to visit these old message boards and online communities, much like visiting your shitty, old hometown, in an effort to feel nostalgia and reconnect with your past. Returning home, many of your old friends are gone: they’ve moved on to bigger and better things. However, there are always those few people who’ve never left, and seeing them incites a sense of pity and sadness. It’s the exact same on message boards: you pop in just to say hello, and are instantly bombarded with excited greetings from those simply happy to have you back. Unfortunately, little has changed.Returning to your hometown, those friends will regale you with tales of the going- ons of the hometown, and while it seems so significant to their small-world minds, you’re wiser now, and can see the bigger picture.

And so, when you return to that forum and hear, “we can have bigger avatars now!” you can’t help but wish to put a bullet in their heads, saving them from their own miserable existences. Too, visiting home reminds you of your old, embarrassing ways. Maybe it’s that shitty painting your parents framed on the mantelpiece, or your lame old best- friend forcing you to pick up on that Dungeons and Dragons game you abandon six years ago. Instead, a forum reminds you not only of your old immature and idiotic posting ways, but also of how much time you fucking wasted talking to a bunch of shmucks from all over the Internet. Remember when you considered these “people” friends? Or heading home early from that party to catch up on that thread you were so interested in? Cringe away And for some reason, leaving is made just as hard as the first time you did it. While you’re eager to get back to wherever you live now, your parents nearly cry, as if you’ve never left, while your old friends simply wish you would stay, or that you could take them with you. In the same way, the forum asks where you’re going: “Is there a better message board? Is it invite-only?!” You then have to break their hearts: “No, no new forum. I have a girlfriend now. And a job.”

It’s then that they realize, you’ve gone into the real world, into a place they can never follow you. They’re sad to see you go, but they know you have to. And then you tell those nerds to fuck off and die and then you go fuck your girlfriend or go get drunk and that’s that.

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