The following is a simple tutorial on how to reconnect with old acquaintances who refuse to fucking participate in our era of rapid digital communication and constant connectivity (or, how to find an asshole without a Facebook account).
Step 1: Log on to Facebook.
If your job requires the use of a computer, or you are a teenage-to-twenty-something-year-old girl with a cell phone, you can skip this step. Everyone on the planet is connected by six degrees of separation, and Facebook makes this concept almost tangible (see fig. 1a). Wow, Kevin Bacon accepted my friend request!
Step 2: Locate a mutual friend who has the decency to publicly display personal, potentially sensitive information to any and all who might use it for nefarious purposes.
Shouldn’t be too hard in this era.
Step 3: Break the ice with a wall post.
It has been years since you awkwardly1 ate in silence at the "uncool" table at your high school cafetorium2, daydreaming about having friends. Make sure to include all information in a single post (see fig. 2b). You don’t want to have any unnecessary correspondence with the intermediary.
Step 4: Get over your phone-phobia.
Every time I hear a phone ring I feel nauseous. I hate calling numbers if I do not know who will pick up the phone. I am comfortable answering calls from identified contacts. I am comfortable dialing personal phones. It’s just everything else I can’t handle.
Here is a list of things I use my cell phone for (see fig. 8e), starting with the most common:
- G.P.S. + Yellow Pages (to find outlets that sell pornography)
- Internet + Google (to read reviews on pornography before I purchase it)
- Internet + Browser + WiFi + Data Plan (to stream free mobile tube site pornography)
- Banking (to secure funds with which to purchase pornography)
- Guitar Tuner
- Text Messaging
- Telephone Calls
Step 5: Make the call.
I don’t actually remember the reason I wanted to get in contact with this person anymore, but it’s ringing. What you say in this step is entirely up to you. Base your talking points around current events in your life or you will have an awkward conversation. You haven’t spoken to each other in almost a decade, and now realize you are both kinda grown up, and life is nothing like high school, and shit has changed. You both realize it but don’t want to burst that super-imposed bubble that seems to suggest the other person still believes in Santa Claus and the sanctity of high school friendships. You know what I mean?
I will transcribe the telephone conversation I had for educational purposes.
What not to say:
"Hello, may I please speak with [John Doe]3?"
"This is [John]3 speaking."
"Hi, this is Mike [Pseudonym]3 calling. You may not remember me but we went to high school together."
"Hey yeah, I do remember you! It’s been a while, how’s it going man?"
"Not too well. I am just calling out of my court obligation to inform all of my previous sexual partners that I have tested positive for HIV."
"Dude, what the fuck are you talking about. I’m not gay, we never had sex, and I don’t even think we were ever in the same room alone together."
"Sorry, I sometimes use humor to deal with difficult situations and my inability to conceptualize human emotions… so my therapist says. Truthfully, I am on the 8th step of my road to recovery with Alcoholics Anonymous and I am trying to make amends with all of the people I have harmed."
" Uh… okay. But I don’t really know what you have ever done to harm me."
"(Deep breath) (Exhale) Well here it goes. (Dramatic pause) …I’m sorry for giving you HIV."
"DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK?!"
"Relax, I’m just fucking with ya! I’m not an alcoholic."
…And that’s about the time that he hung up on me. Nobody likes you when you’re 23. Oh yeah, I was calling to invite him to my birthday party.