“A Personal Invitation to My Facebook Meltdown,” by Will Arbery

Jun 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Hey dude. I know you don’t know me very well, but surely you remember meeting me at our college’s a cappella cabaret in 2009? Sandra Ortiz and Brad Henley were sitting between us, but I remember finding your joke about asthma very funny. I’ve always thought of you as smart and confident, despite your cartoonish looks and average talent. You’re someone I’ve always envied for your mysterious ability to “get it” or “get by.”

Things have been good for me. I live a quiet existence at home, but I’ve been very busy maintaining my presence on Facebook. “Over-share” doesn’t even skim the surface of what I’m about! Even if you only sign into the site now and then—though I know you sign in daily— you’ll know, because I post about it often, that I spent several months in some sort of clinic. You’ll also know that I post new statuses constantly—everything from my poop schedule to a YouTube video of me crying for six minutes. In short, I’d be willing to bet that you feel like you know me, even though you really don’t. Well, I’d like to take that one step further.

I would like to personally invite you to my Facebook meltdown, happening all this week. Perhaps you remember my well-regarded meltdown in the fall of 2011? That one sprung from a rather serious Facebook addiction (I’ve got it under control now), and an abiding loneliness borne out of a crippling inability to talk to people. What started as an obsession with “liking” everything everyone had ever posted became, as you might recall, a determined (and successful!) effort to comment on every girl’s profile picture.

This time, I’m stepping up my game. Here’s what you can expect:

  • shockingly long and vulnerable posts about my self-esteem issues
  • the frequent insinuation that my Facebook meltdown is some form of cyber art
  • nonsensical attacks on the character of guys I barely know
  • typo-filled flirtations with girls I barely know
  • a fair dose of cryptic, manic miscellany
  • the oft-repeated warning that the government is using fluoride to control our brains
  • notifications from groups to which we both belong, in which I’ve posted something to broadcast my mental imbalance
  • mass tagging of people in the comments section of my own statuses
  • and so much more!

Of course, this is only a rough outline. Most of my meltdown will be conducted in my signature improvisational style, as I respond with feverish intensity to every status, photo upload, and event invitation. Who knows what I’ll come up with! But, for a short teaser, I can offer you my recent back-and-forth with Jack Grover, a minor-league baseball player with whom I attended middle school.

His status proclaimed: “Gearing up for a beautiful day at the Ballpark.”

To which I responded: “Only to my own heart and libido, Jack, and I will bulldoze my doubts about patriarchy and demand that neo-Zuckerburg Hubris be cleared from my agenda.”

To which he responded: “What?”

To which I responded: “Jack, the individual owns the internet. You should know that if you went to Vanderbilt. Big Sister has already signed your birthday card. I am the first to call marijuana state-sponsored mind control. I was promised Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and I uphold that the prismatic core of all men and men-companions was created to end in chaos.”

To which he responded: “Dude, are you okay?”

To which I responded: “You’re betraying your own death fear, Jack? I proclaim allegiance to The United States of Absence.”

He deleted all my posts, but no worries! I’ve been saving everything as I go, so that I can have a kind of manifesto at the end of all this. I think I’m really onto something. I’m so glad to have a platform like Facebook with which to promote my work.

Any time you want to take part, just comment on one of my posts. Honestly, even if I disturb you just enough to keep you up at night wondering if you should find a way to call my parents and see if I’m okay, I’ll consider the meltdown a success.

Anyway, I really hope you can come! It’s happening all this week. I think this one will be really memorable.


Defenestration-Will ArberyWill Arbery is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has been published by The Awl, HyperVocal, Red Branch, The New Professional, BETTER: Culture and Lit, Thickjam, D Magazine, and All the Thunder (forthcoming). He’s also a playwright, and his works been seen at The Flea Theater, Dixon Place, Hearth Gods, and more.

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