After much thought, I am toying with the idea of faking my own death.
I mean in a virtual sense, but as virtual reality is more important than physical reality nowadays, this is pretty heavy stuff.
Specifically, I want to cease to exist on Facebook, Twitter and all other social networking platforms, where I barely exist anyway because they frighten me so much, but where I have what is known as ‘a presence’. Do not scoff. I have reason to believe it may well be possible to do this.
A few weeks ago, I faked my own iPhone death. People said it couldn’t be done. But I managed it by trashing the screen, accidently on subliminally purpose, and telling everyone that my phone provider wouldn’t let me have another one until I was due an upgrade in three months’ time, which was true — thanks, EE — and that I was refusing to buy one sooner on principle.
I switched back to an old BlackBerry with buttons and no access to the internet — something to do with the fact that the BlackBerry corporation, in so far as it exists, is not really up and doing. I texted everyone to say this was the way it was, and they would just have to live with the fact that I couldn’t be sent links, or invitations to partake of free gabbling on WhatsApp.
Everyone accepted this pretty much, eventually, although inevitably there were a lot of folk who continued to call and text the iPhone and send me lots of links and invitations on WhatsApp to talk about the fact that I had trashed my iPhone.
I could see all this because after a few days of the screen being blank from the smashing, it came weirdly back to life. Like Kathy Bates in Misery, the iPhone blinked back on even though it was bashed half to pieces and all logic said it had to be dead. But I didn’t tell anyone this. Oh no.
I could have replied to all the messages on my iPhone saying ‘Call me back! I’ve got an old iPhone you can have!’ But I didn’t.
I stuck to my lovely old BlackBerry with buttons and I sent everyone messages from it saying, ‘Here I am!’
Some refused to answer — on principle, presumably. Others texted back, with or without jokes about how I must have found this BlackBerry in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Tee hee.
A few weeks on, I have never been happier. No more typing nonsense on that stupid touch screen. Or should I say: ‘Jo note hoping Mumsnet on Thai suppose toxin screw.’
No more looking at things I don’t need to know on the internet for no reason. No more Googling the best surgeon to perform a bunion operation while standing in the field waiting for the horses to eat their breakfast.
I’ve had it with living like this. I want to type intelligible messages with buttons. I don’t want to check a very small number of mainly insignificant emails 55,000 times a day. I want to do nothing for five blessed minutes in the morning mist while the horses eat breakfast.
And most of all, I want to stop checking Facebook. I don’t need to see someone’s moving tribute on the occasion of the passing of their beloved grandmother as a matter of urgency while doing the grocery shop, especially as I know, as surely as I know my own name, that it will have the phrase ‘fly with the angels’ in it.
Ideally, I don’t want to check Facebook ever again, urgently or non-urgently. But coming off Facebook is tricky. They make it too easy. When you go into account settings and say you want to leave, you discover that they are offering to put all your stuff in a little bag for you. Aw! All your photos and messages they pack up and put into a handy zip file that pops up on your screen as a download.
‘Oh! I can’t leave now! Facebook is so nice really,’ you think, as you download your lovely zip file, courtesy of all those super American wunderkinds who sat up all night in Silicon Valley to think that one up for you.
And as for Mark Zuckerberg, why, he’s a pioneer. He deserves every one of the gazillion dollars he makes from connecting people who don’t want to know each other and those who do, who would otherwise have to telephone or meet face to face and forge meaningful relationships based on reality…. Well, anyway, it’s great for storing photos. Except you can get all those in a zip file.
Well, anyway, it’s great for contacting people you want to reach when you’ve faked your own iPhone death by trashing it and pretending you can’t get another one.
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator Australia for less – just $1 for 6 weeks