by Alex Blagg
When the world finally ends, the odds are long on The Horrific Event taking every single living soul on Earth with it. And if there are at least two of us left, our need to inauthentically connect with each other via technology will remain, and we’ll be forced to devise new and unconventional ways to facilitate the comforting feeling of social networking even after The Whole Internet has finally, mercifully, been burned to the ground.
What follows are my ideas for creating “In Real Life” facsimiles of the social behaviors we’ve become accustomed to online. I think they could come in quite handy in the event of Apocalypse (and/or Robot Revolution and Subsequent Human Oppression).
• Facebook: Try keeping a mental inventory of the other survivors with whom you are acquainted, and occasionally “engage” them in friendly behaviors such as verbally giving each other feedback on the miserable state of your respective lives, providing symbols of positive encouragement for achievements and triumphs (such as a successful mutated-varmint-hunt), and offering words or gestures of support during the harder times (like when other individuals with whom they are acquainted are ravaged by the Post-Apocalyptic Throat-Pus Sickness).
• Twitter: As our entire media industrial complex will likely (and rightly) be reduced to a smoldering pile of stupidity-rubble, the proliferation of human ideas after The Sky’s Great Fire Dance is going to be crucial to our continued survival. And in the absence of Twitter’s satisfying system of communicative convenience and economy, I believe we would be wise to attempt capturing the thoughts, observations and passing fancies that run through our minds in words that are spoken out loud. Whether we share them with a group of “followers” looking to us for signals as to what we should do now that all hope has been destroyed, or a scattered group of fellow survivors who just happen to be congregating and crying nearby, or to no one at all, the important thing is our every waking thought continue to be expressed somewhere, somehow.
• Foursquare: Following the Time of Infinite Darkness, most acknowledged land boundaries, borders and property claims will likely be forgotten. This is a great opportunity to explore the scorched wastelands, then loudly announce to other survivors your arrival at these locations, shout about how cool their atmospheres of bone and spilled blood seem to the eye, and declare your new rightful position of feudal leadership over them.
• Tumblr: Try entertaining your fellow survivors with stories of what you dreamed about during the previous night of frozen nuclear winter. And the people with the most interesting/least insufferably boring dreams get their dreams repeated a whole bunch of times.
• Flickr: Try making crude cave paintings of the rotting garbage you foraged so you can show the rest of your fellow survivors how well you’re eating, even during the epoch of endless melancholy.
• Instagram: Same thing as the Flickr substitute, except rub a little Apocalypse ash all over your cave paintings so they look even more distressed.
• YouTube: Hmm, I dunno about this one. Play charades… to the death?
• Yelp!: Tell your tribe’s feedspeople, to their faces, that their post-apocalyptic gruel tastes like cans of old sardines and random garbage (and allow them the fair chance to respond by letting you know that the post-apocalyptic gruel is, in fact, made from cans of old sardines and random garbage).
• MySpace: Try playing Hide and Seek in an abandoned burned-out shopping mall.
Alex Blagg is the Internet’s leading social media guru.
Image by Dave Mott, from Flickr.