The Empire’s New Clothes

Facebook invited me to the party two days before the event. I felt like an afterthought but what the heck, I said. I’ll go. To be honest, I was surprised he’d friended me. We’re not exactly on good terms.

He greeted me at the door wearing a dark blue tie twirled with a barber pole of baby blue Facebook logos. His shirt sleeves were rolled up twice and he carried a navy blue blazer over his shoulder, his new corporate costume. “I see you brought your posse, Twitter. The more the merrier.”

I fluffed my ironically cut, jet black, citrus scented hair with baby bangs and blew through my lips. “Pfff. Them? I don’t know who they are, but they follow me everywhere.”

He bored me for a few minutes with “There’s a problem with our analytics and algorithms. Gotta run to a board meeting and take stock of the situation but I’ll be back later. Let me know what happens. I can trust you, right?”

My girls and I sashayed into the room, our black legs legging from group to group, baggy sweaters ready to hide secrets and shake them out later. Our skillfully highlighted cheekbones shimmered in the low glow of dozens of tiny blue screens. We buzzed around the party in yellow Vans picking up bits and pieces of IMPORTANT INFORMATION to share. The room was full of Facebook’s besties. I tingled. This was gonna be a good night.

Image result for vans for women

Vans Old Skool Suede and Canvas Sneakers

Someone banged on the door, rattling the keys hanging at the entrance. Before anyone could answer, WhatsApp slouched in. He had a Moses effect on the room. “S’up,” he said in a world weary way, adjusting his backwards planted hat and pushing down his already perilously low slung pants to show off his boxers printed with green speech bubbles. He rolled through the crowd weathering the storm of the party, a cocky 21st century sailor riding the media waves.

In the kitchen, I watched him put the moves on a pretty girl wearing a Victoria’s Secret one and done flight-suit with a zip front and drawstring waist – all the details he wanted. Instagram greeted him with her pouty lips, hands on hips pose, her pert nose raised at just the right angle of haughty perfection.

She leaned over the counter, showing Linkedin how to hand letter his business cards to make them insta-worthy. As he wrote his name in orderly block letters, assertive but not aggressive, she purred “Perfect.” He brushed the collar of his slate blue suit and bent down to flick a fleck of Cheeto from his warm brown Oxfords.

Over in the corner Snap Chat sat by himself, naked except for some conversation starter knee socks. I was gonna say “Hey” but he suddenly disappeared.

Image result for Justin Trudeau socks

Me and my posse had had enough. Boring, boring, boring. But then, what do you expect at a Facebook party? We crunched across the potato chip strewn room, into the hall. That’s when I saw Instagram and WhatsApp at the elevator door. They were octopusing each other. I heard him whisper “Let’s create our own start-up.”

“I can picture it,” she panted eagerly.

The elevator doors opened and swallowed them both with a ping. The last thing I heard was “Going down.”

But you know all that now, don’t you?


27 thoughts on “The Empire’s New Clothes

  1. Ten to fifteen years ago none of this charming allegorical horseplay would have made any sense. We have progressed so far in such little time. With this sort of track record the cosmos is our oyster. Can you imagine life without Facebook? How could we possibly know ourselves?


    • I would retort we have progressed so little is so little time. I do not use any social media other than WP which is perhaps why I pour out angsty, wa-wa-wa posts here so I can know myself. I loathe oysters.

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    • I’ll have to read that book, Ellen. The only thing of his I’ve read is The Graveyard Book which I loved and I keep meaning to read more but then I get distracted. Thanks for the reminder of this excellent author.


    • I had a great time writing this, Andrea. Strangely, the inspiration came from a Billy Collins poem called “Victoria’s Secret”. It made me wonder if social media were people, what would they wear.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Joanne. It was a hoot to write on Sunday morning. Thank goodness for my 18 year old to keep me in the know of all these social media otherwise I’m sure I’d never have heard of Snap Chat or WhatsApp.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really don’t like Twitter. I don’t understand her AT ALL. So loud, so pushy, so part of the in-crowd. Reminds me of high school. I did have a blast writing this, getting my anti-social media rant out of my head.

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