All This Will Fade Away

When I say that I haven’t really used Facebook in a long time, it’s worth putting that into context: the last update I made there prior to last week was noting my divorce had been finalized back in early 2019; my profile picture and cover photo hadn’t been updated since 2015. It was that last fact that brought me to the platform last week, along with the fact that I had time for such things thanks to my holiday break from work.

It was actually a passing comment from Chloe that put the idea in my head weeks earlier, with the two of us comparing how rarely we used the platform; we’d been discussing how best to reach comic creators we didn’t know for work, and I mentioned that my Popverse editor had suggested social media introductions as first moves. Try Facebook for some of the older creators maybe, I suggested. Facebook? You haven’t used that in years, she said, you still have a Grumpy Cat picture as your cover photo.

It was true, I did; a graphic in support of the Marriage Equality Act, which had become law some seven years prior. Maybe it was time for a change after all, I reasoned.

That said, I didn’t do anything about it until I had to take a selfie for my passport application weeks later. Something about the unsmiling, purposefully flat expression — you’re not allowed to smile in passport photos, in case you didn’t know — amused me, so I made it sepia toned quickly and threw it up as my first update to Facebook in years, letting the platform see my beard for the first time. It started getting liked immediately, to my mild horror, with someone comparing it to a “Stalin look.” Suddenly, I remembered why I hadn’t posted anything there in years, and regretted the slight return, as understated as it actually was.

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