“It’s ““ it’s
basically just a wave, or a poke, even, nowadays,” sophomore Katy Ruiz
chokes through stifled sobs. “I didn’t realize that this last little shred of
e-happiness I had has been bastardized, just like the rest.”

The distraught Ruiz
refers to her recent revelation that Facebook “happy birthday” wishes are
perhaps more casual than she had been treating them; she realized that
approximately 64 of her 73 birthday wall posts came from people uncomfortable
talking to her in person.

She pulls crumpled pieces
of paper from a jacket pocket ““ printed-out copies of her past birthday wishes,
previously taped to her actual walls. “I guess I’ll be leaving these on my
internet wall from now on.”

“This just”¦ Isn’t the
first time this has happened,” Ruiz sulks, enumerating her various painful
internet-themed social adjustments.

“RSVPs on a Facebook
event mean less than nothing. I’ve thrown out so many extra party hats. And I
thought my roommate was married for three years ““ turns out he’s her gay best
friend! Who’d have known.”

One of her oldest and
most painful betrayals comes with the way people express amusement. “Writing
“haha’ doesn’t mean they actually laughed! And “lol?’ More like lying out loud.”

After further
investigation, Ruiz found that rofl very rarely means rofl (“especially at a
keyboard”¦ dumb, dumb,” she mutters to herself), and roflcopter involves any
sort of copter even less often.

“When I write lol, or
happy birthday, I mean it, and I assume other people do too,” she says. “And it
turns out everyone has been faking it. How am I supposed to validate my
friendships and excellent sense of humor now??”

Her above-average
emotional attachment to e-representations of human interaction cut the deepest
when she realized not everyone “pokes” the way she did – monogamously. “Turns
out everyone these days just pokes wildly in any direction, any and everybody,”
she seethes bitterly. “Just poking around with whoever, whenever. Disgusting.”

The disappointment
and confusion has left Ruiz with one last refuge. “I do trust emoticons, but”¦ I
just don’t know. I think we’ll find some way to ruin those, too.”