Hermes, the messenger god, lives in Menlo Park and works at Facebook. Obvi.
OMG I can’t stop looking! I can’t, I can’t! It’s like a million train wrecks a minute.
I have so many favorite kinds. Here’s my list. It’s always changing. But right now, from LOVE to LOVE2X to LOVEST! this is what I’m loving this second:
LOVE Sexting, natch (“Need your big c&@k now!”)
LOVE2X v1 Visual sexting, basic emoticons (————–> + tsunami emoji)
LOVEST v2 Visual sexting full-on emojis (rooster & donkey, ahem)
LOVEST v3 GIF sexting (you know the one with the white girl twerking on the pole)
LOVE Group chat (“Come back to Berlin RIGHT NOW! We miss youuuuu!”)
LOVE2X Military leaks (The nuclear “Yazd” cables were the best)
LOVE Mike Pence on Telegraph (gaygaygaygaygaygaygay)
LOVE2X John Travolta on Tinder (gaygaygaygaygaygaygay)
LOVEST LL Cool J on everywhere (BieberBieberBieberBieberBieber BieberBieber)
LOVE Miley on Instagram (#pussysnatchsnatchpussysnatch)
LOVEST Taylor Swift on Twitter DM (“you know you want this muffin in your mouth!”)
LOVE Dermatologist on TigerText (“See? This bitch patient is such a hag. Skin will never make a difference. Am so going to fuck her husband.”)
LOVE2X Husband on Confide (“Dude, just fucked the dermatologist. When she’s on top, she grips the Celtic cross in the middle of the headboard her parents gave her as a wedding present as a symbol of lasting wedded bliss. So fucked up! Wants me to sweat on her husband’s pillow. Lunatic hot.”)
LOVEST Jesse Jackson on iMessage (sooooooooo boring! so perfect! Talks constantly about Jesus and social justice. Exactly who you didn’t think he was.)
LOVEST Tyler, the Creator sending private snaps (“this bitch thinks I’m actually crazy gonna murder that lit ass. #myfansdumberthanyours”)
LOVE Harrison Ford on FB Messenger (100% pilot call signs and ham radio shit. Man is obsessed.)
LOVE2X Emmanuel Macron on Penzu (“Sarkozy cocksucker fucker whoreson” “Le Pen suckerfuckermothersucker” “French! Coprophiliacs! Unite!”)
LOVEST Actually, kinda everything on Penzu, come to think of it
Thomas Piketty (this guy photoshops and literally just saves for himself – never shares with anyone – portraits of all the Nobel prize winning economists with bukakke loads drenching their faces. He spends a LOT of time on it.)
Joel Osteen (“Thank you, Lord, for making me so fly.” “Why did you make me so fly?” “I am so fly.” “My Lord, I am humbled by your choice to make me so fly.”)
Joel Osteen’s wife Victoria (“Thank you, Jesus Lord, for my husband’s rhinoceros d!%k.”)
Ev Williams (“Jack Dorsey must die.”)
Ev Williams on Medium (“I invented Twitter, and I don’t care if I get the credit.”)
And that brings me to my actual favorite.
My absolutely positively top of the pops lovelovelovelove lit bestest mostest favorite is the doublespeak.
DOUBLESPEAK! Everywhere on the Internet!
The one where he is copy pasting the same SMS (“thinking of you, woman”) to three different girls. The one where she is sending the same exercise selfie to two different guys. The one where he is telling one VC on email the deal has no room for left for investors and some other lady on SMS that the financing will stay open for a while longer.
I can see you thinking “Nothing new.” True, I’ve seen this kind of stuff before. Some of the most vivid was in the Belles Lettres days. But it wasn’t this explicit, not this routine, not this totally shameless. Wait, wait. It was explicit and shameless. But it wasn’t so quick, so off-the-cuff, so…cheap.
Technology has made my life absolutely – and I mean that in the absolute sense – different. For the first time in my very long history, I have total and clairvoyant visibility into the human interiority. Not even the Stasi, who had every single phone line tapped, gave me the panopticon I have now.
It comes down to this. Back in the day, people used to say some AMAZING stuff on the phone. But now they can say it to like ten different people at the exact same time. It’s so much darker!
You might guess I’ve taken Zuck as my avatar. That would be Ares level stupid. It’s a new world now. I don’t need an avatar. These days, I am the 1s and 0s. I have become the machine code. That’s where the speed lives. I am become the very electrons. At the rate of my evolution, soon I’ll be the quanta and their leaps. amirite
So you could say I know for sure. There has definitely never been a time like this. I’ve been all over every form of physically and temporally remote communication you can think of – and #ManyUCant – almost literally forever, and I can tell you there has never, ever been something like this. People talking out of both sides of their faces. Yes, yesssss, that’s much isn’t new. But now we know. Now I can see it real-time a billion times per day. Doublespeak has never been this easy. You can spew bullshit with your thumbs. With one thumb while you’re driving. Privately or publicly. You can be cheating on your husband in Palo Alto and alibi yourself during the sex by sending him the selfies you took an hour ago in Menlo Park at the pool party. Your husband will think you’re with your girlfriends on the chaises. Send a photo of your kids sleeping on your chest on the beach in Santa Barbara to six different women. Each one will think it’s just for her.
It’s starting to get me down. The tech isn’t just making it easier for people who were going to lie, anyway. It’s making it so much easier to lie that more people are lying. The humans in Silicon Valley talk about “friction.” What I’ve learned is: remove friction, and people do things they would not otherwise do. The medium is the deception.
For millennia, I’ve been the lord of messengering.
I’m almost too embarrassed to keep looking.
Michael Fertik is a published fiction author, poet, produced film writer, and playwright. His poetry and short fiction have recently appeared in Minor Lits; december; Eclectica; Litro; Cease, Cows; etc.. His writing has won some fiction and film prizes and includes a New York Times Bestseller. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
Image: Gilles Lambert