I swear I’m gonna do it. Right after I finish this novel, and complete the perfect-biting-spiteful Tumblr page, and arrange my Last.fm last 50 songs exactly right, and leave my Facebook wall posts cryptically-sparse and upsetting as possible, and tweeting links to my Tumblr-novel to everyone of the 250 people I follow, I am going to kill my internet-self.
Only a few (my roommate and his dog) will witness the ceremony of tossing my laptop battery into the creek, but, in the coming days and weeks, when it becomes apparent just how dead and gone I have become, all my internet family and friends will mourn over my deactivated accounts.
He left me a link to my favorite song, they’ll say. He put that picture from that awesome party sophomore year where we hooked up as his profile default, they’ll say. He listened to the Microphones’ ENTIRE discography as his he did it, they’ll say. I imagine support groups will be made on Facebook and my name will be a trending topic on Twitter.
They’ll all feel bad for not tagging me in enough posts, for leaving my wall a barren wasteland of links to stuff that obviously no one liked. They’ll go through our friendship page with tears streaming down their cheeks and over the track-pad. Hashtag: remember that time he answered that survey and listed fifteen movies that reminded him of fifteen friends? They’ll feel the ghost of me when they look through old photos and see my name sans click-through-link.
What will I do? I’ll be a real person. I’ll get a job as a roofer or a tile and dry-wall guy. I’ll trade my iPhone in for a beeper so I’ll be completely cut off. I’ll carry quarters with me to use at pay phones by gas stations. I’ll use a Mapco to look up directions for places. I’ll write a journal about it and I’ll be hailed the next Thoreau by people who hate the Google generation.
I mean, I’ll be practical though. I’ll leave my Gmail active. I just won’t check it but every Thursday at 9:30 AM. I might slip up and check someone’s Formspring or look at a non-members restricted Facebook profile picture—but I will not succumb.
I’ll spend an entire year away. In the wilderness I’ll learn to survive—and it’ll be scary and difficult at first—but I’ll develop a new sense of self. I’ll walk downtown without a backpack or phone or watch or compass and I’ll look at things. I mean really look at things. And I’ll talk to people. I mean really talk to people.
I assume (reasonably) that chicks will be drawn to me. I’ll grow a ragged beard and develop toned muscles from my manual labor. I’ll inhale whiskey at the bar every night until my tolerance is Hemingwayesque. When a girl approaches me and asks for my email or phone number, I’ll eye her firmly and tell her, “I don’t have one.” Then I’ll light a cigar and tell her that the motorcycle back to my teepee is a one-way ride that leaves in fifteen seconds—and frankly, I could care less whether Ms. Internet-dependent hops on or not.
Yeah, that’s how it’ll be. If anyone wants to join me I guess you could write me a letter or something. Or hit me up on MySpace. I’m definitely keeping my MySpace.