Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 18

The Importance of Losing Touch in the Social Media Era By Monica Yancey I grab my phone to peek at the step tracker and am While I search her profile for answers, memories of diverted by a text. “Just saw some weird stuff on Facebook Jessica cross through my mind, like a news ticker at the - Jessica might have died today.” I jump on, open her bottom of a television broadcast. I met her at a poli-sci profile and see condolences. Her second to the last post summer program for high school students. I was a resident says, “The worst thing about being sick is that you can’t assistant, and she was my boss. Our similarities led to get warm.” My eyes widen in horror. Her last post says, an instant bond: we were ex-Mormons from Utah. We “Still in the hospital. You can call me. I might not be able named the bench where we hid to smoke cigarettes, La to talk for long, but I have my phone.” The fact that I had Banche, and said it in a French accent. Like most inside unfollowed Jessica (her gardening posts bored me) now jokes, it made no sense. (It was also not the French word felt like an egregious betrayal. I hadn’t unfriended her, I for bench.) reassured myself, but still, guilt coursed through me. I never made that call. She was barely forty, what could have She was a doctoral candidate by her mid-twenties, but happened? she never finished the dissertation. Its importance was edged out by her first real job, the summer school where Postmortem, her Facebook wall is blowing up. I touch the we met. At six feet, she was a foot taller than me and circular refresh arrow. I touch it again. I pull the wall down had dark, thick hair and fair skin. I was tan and had a with my finger, just in case the refresh button isn’t working. shaved head (my youthful abstention from the dictates A steady stream of condolences rewards my compulsive of female beauty, and you know, the patriarchy). There behavior. Some are by people I know. I imagined them we were, the tall Snow White, Ph.D., ABD, and her dwarf thumb typing into her profile with tears in their eyes undergraduate Sinead O’Connor sidekick. standing in Target; I am in the middle of a dog park. Awakening to my surroundings, I note my dog’s location I’m desperate to learn how she died; my eyes scan and take a seat on the nearest bench. for clues. My head is hanging from my neck, and my 18