- UPS facing backlash for thanking police after employee killed in shootout Saturday 5:02 PM
- Sanders campaign fires staffer after anti-Semitic, homophobic tweets surface Saturday 3:13 PM
- Brother Nature was attacked, says everyone just watched with phones out Saturday 2:45 PM
- Ryan Reynolds’ gin company hires Peloton wife for ad Saturday 1:24 PM
- Ex-vegan YouTuber accused of fraud after following meat-only diet Saturday 1:11 PM
- The 15 best Disney+ hidden gems and deep cuts Saturday 12:23 PM
- Everyone in GoFundMe scam involving homeless veteran has now pleaded guilty Saturday 12:06 PM
- Boy invites kindergarten class to his adoption–and people are emotional Saturday 11:56 AM
- Reddit links leaked trade deal documents to Russian campaign Saturday 10:44 AM
- How to stream Alistair Overeem vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik Saturday 8:30 AM
- Amazon sends customers condoms and soap instead of Nintendo Switch Saturday 8:28 AM
- How to live stream Jermall Charlo vs. Dennis Hogan Saturday 8:00 AM
- Apple TV’s ‘Truth Be Told’ is a criminally dull drama Saturday 6:00 AM
- Thousands of Uber users have reported sexual assaults, company says Friday 5:40 PM
- ‘Astronomy Club’ reformats the sketch show Friday 4:58 PM
It’s the 5-year anniversary of ‘Forever Alone’—so, are you still alone?
On the Internet, five years is forever.
It was five years ago today that a FunnyJunk user with the handle Azuul uploaded a Rage Comic that culminated with a grotesque visage which became known, at the precise moment it appeared, as the “Forever Alone” face. The world of Internet memes was forever changed.
This singular image effortlessly conveyed the fear—nay, the crushing certainty—that no one will ever care about or love you in any meaningful way. Digital curators redeployed it in thousands of remixes and permutations, but they rarely strayed from the defining concept. Especially on the Web, where everyone is an agoraphobic loser pariah, the bleak truth of emotional isolation without end simply had to be distilled this way. It was a useful shorthand.
Except, as I mentioned, the “Forever Alone” meme is now a half-decade old. Surely some of us have met and fallen romantically for other people in that time, or made a new friend, or joined a support group since then. Right? Or are we all still drifting through the void? Speak up, anyone with a boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever. You can’t all still be alone. Can you?
Come on, do you even know how long “forever” is? You’re not exactly going to live that long. (Though I guess when you’re dead, you’re technically alone, so scratch that.) I just find it hard to believe that in a world where it seems hookups, parties, marriages, and country clubs are so popular, there can be so many long-distance loners. The numbers really don’t make sense.
I guess I could argue that, in hanging out on Twitter or Reddit or whatever all day, you’re actually part of a bustling community—not so much “alone” as “hyperconnected.” But you’ll just retort that cyberspace isn’t the same thing as an intimate dinner, or gazing up at the stars with a lover. And it’s not. I’m sorry you haven’t found a deep personal connection with anyone—truly, I am. I’m sorry for bringing it up.
Also, do you want to go out sometime?
Photo via Eurritimia/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'