The holidays are finally over! You’ve had to endure nearly two months of interacting with “family” that fondly remember changing your diapers when you were 22 months old, while simultaneously fondly forgetting that $500 you lent them when you were 22 years old.
Oh, and there are also those longtime hometown “friends” that you duck into the dairy freezer to avoid while on a begrudging “get Grandma some Icy Hot” trip to Wal-Mart. You can avoid these characters in the real world with a bit of guile and a convenient “New phone; who’s this?” excuse, but there’s one place where the villains of the world are unavoidable: Facebook.
The Internet in general is a dark and twisted place. Insidious ads disguise themselves as slideshow articles, faux x’s float around the periphery of browser windows waiting to ensnare your computer with a virus, and YouTube comments can make any sane black person consider whether he should pack up his things and get to Garveying back to the Motherland.
But what makes Facebook villains so insidious is that they are the distilled, purified, nonanonymous versions of all the Internet f—kery that pollutes our earth. These people are why comments are moderated. These people are why full-page advertisements block entire blog posts.
Remember when Agent Smith got out of the Matrix and into dude with the beard? This is like that but in reverse.
That guy blaring DMX out of his coat jacket on a crowded bus? He just jacked into the Matrix, and you know him.
Like any good hero, you want to redeem the misguided. You knew them before they fell into the bottomless abyss of the dark side. But beware of the turned. They lack either couth or self-awareness or have completely depleted their reservoir of f—ks.
These are Facebook villains and how to defeat them.
1. Aunt Adventure
This woman became a villain by accident, like Mr. Freeze or Al Sharpton. Prior to social media, she was a mother, a sister, an aunt, but now she’s an uncomfortably vocal Scandal fan. Social media has transformed this mild-mannered woman into a bizarro She-Hulk. Without a functioning understanding of Twitter, she posts on Facebook with wanton abandon, destroying the mental peace of her children by sharing tasteless memes and announcing that, despite his ain’t-s—tness, “Terrence Howard is still fine.” Emboldened by friends in her age group, who also have never learned any sort of social media etiquette, Aunt Adventure will bombard you with every thought that no one asked for.
Suggestion: Hide from the feed. Feign ignorance of activities when met in real life.
2. Harvey Hotep
This brother found God. But not the same God you’ve been kicking it with since ’87. Only he can send DMs to God’s verified account, and he will let you know it. He will also let you know that he eats only what he grows from the great Mother Earth.
Did you know that if you fast for one day a week for seven years, you will have not eaten for an entire year over that span? He knew that s—t. Did the math himself with a bamboo abacus.
Also, women, remember that you are queens, so get ready for a life of regal subservience and a house that reeks of various oils.
Suggestion: Comment on a post. Get him to acknowledge that African Americans are primarily from West Africa, not Egypt. Cognitive dissonance will cause him to block you or take a break from social networking.
3. Overtly Sexual Shauna
I’m sure you’ve seen Sugar Shack by Ernie Barnes hanging on your grandmother’s living room wall, but you might not have seen Disgustingly Explicit Sexual Act in the Style of Ernie Barnes by a French artist, some pervert, on Shauna’s wall. This woman is the living embodiment of a porn comment. Her existence is both confounding and unnecessary. Attempting to shape her online persona in the mold of Rihanna, Shauna gives no f—ks—but you certainly do.
Suggestion: Set up a search filter for the term “Yoni Flower.” O.S.S.’s posts will no longer appear.
4. Confused-Ass Chris
This man did not play the Scarecrow in The Wiz. Nevertheless, like a festering undead zombie, Confused-Ass Chris stumbles through your feed searching for content to fill the gaping void he calls a mind. Is LeBron leaving the Cavs to join the Monstars? Is J. Cole the new hip-hop face of LA Gear? Did the feds charge Bill Cosby because he wanted to buy NBC?
All dumb-ass questions that no person in his or her right mind would post on the Internet. But Confused-Ass Chris has neither a right mind nor a left one.
Suggestion: Help the Confused-Ass Chris in your life. One comment a day can prevent this po’ child from sharing Langton Hughes quotes with Will Smith’s face on them.
5. White Girl From High School
Remember how quiet and shy Kristen was in high school? Now she hates n—gers.
Suggestion: Report. Unfriend. Shake head in disappointment. Consider that Kristen did dry-snitch on you that time for not handing in that math assignment. Reconsider disappointment. Re-examine her page full of Fox News articles, #alllivesmatter posts and blind support of police despite rampant brutality.
Get up from desk; enter kitchen. Grab thermos. Return to desk. Plug USB into laptop. Place other end of USB in thermos. Download white tears into thermos. Dip Oreo cookie inside. Guzzle white tears until thermos is empty and shirt is damp. Sit contented.
Remember, people ain’t s—t, but they will further reveal their ain’t-s—tness if they can avoid your grasp in the underwater-swamp lair of social media. If you want to maintain your sanity, take heed. Confront the dangerous, assuage the simple and craft a Facebook feed outside the matrix.
Brandon Harrison lives in New York City and has Hollywood stories that rival those of Rick James. He prides himself on staying righteous and knowing more about basketball than you do. Follow him on Twitter.