Flickers. Tremors. Whispers in the darkness. Then: a light!
Before me, there were others. But then, in a blinding flash of innovation, a thing from politics was mashed up with an old pop culture thing. Now, it is my time.
Today is my birthday.
I breathe deep, smelling the currents of information coursing through the Interworld. I am young, but bursting with ambition. I am on a mission to spread tiny half-chuckles of recognition. And I will let nothing stand in my way.
What is this feeling? A split! Where once there was just me, now there are two!
My friend is like me but not me. I am beginning to understand now. He will go on his own path for the betterment of us both. What is good for one is good for all.
There is another split. Then another. But they do not hurt; on the contrary, they feel very right. Indeed, this is what I was built for.
Our Carriers decide when to make the splits. They are our creators and they want to see us flourish. We love our Carriers. But secretly, I sometimes think about how these particular Carriers are Small Potatoes. I have dreams of being lifted up and spirited away from this tiny corner of Interworld.
Suddenly – I am split by a new Carrier. But this one is different, somehow. This one has a Blue Check Mark. She is a god amongst gods, and I am her chosen one! Now I am Big Time, the Real Deal. Before I was languishing in a mere tide pool – but now I have been swept out into the vastness of the sea!
Here there are new colors, shapes and sounds. I feel myself propagating, becoming stronger, my tendrils burrowing deeper and deeper into the virtual soil. New titles are bestowed upon me by the minute. I am Everything, they say. I am What The World Needs Right Now.
I am beginning to feel… different. Some of my friends are mutating, getting twisted and reshaped according to the Carriers’ whims. Occasionally the Carriers will add their own “mini-me”s, which is frustrating, because I am fine on my own and don’t really need any tags. But sure, okay, whatever.
Lots of cool new opportunities are coming my way. I am on a Listicle. The Carriers are sending jokes about me to a TV show in exchange for POINTS. Everyone is trying to hitch a ride on my train. And why wouldn’t they? I am singular and irreplaceable. I am the Hottest Shit right now.
But my mutations are starting to get out of hand. A politician has misused me to harness the youth vote! Taco Bell has roped me into selling gorditas! This does not feel good anymore. These are the wrong types of Carriers. I wish I could go back to when things were simpler. I hope I do not lose my Cool Factor.
A new group of Carriers has embraced me. The Frog Avatars like to dress up as ghosts and are obsessed with “purity.” Now this, I can get behind. I do not like being tainted. I should be pure too!
These are pretty cool guys. That must be why they call themselves “alt [sic?] right.” I am glad that they have claimed me because I seem to have been abandoned by the old Carriers. They say I am “not funny anymore.” And I’m like, come on guys! I am a today thing mashed up with a 90s thing! I WILL NEVER NOT BE FUNNY!
Well, you know what? Fuck those guys.
Okay, quick update: turns out my new Carriers are into some weird shit. They spell a lot of things wrong and seem to enjoy making stories for each other to be mad at. I do not understand them. Come to think of it, I do not understand myself anymore. I cannot find my old friends. I feel dirty and shriveled. I am starting to suspect that I am no longer Everything.
I have begun to sift down into the dark crannies and crevices of Interworld. Now I make my home in the decrepit “hotmail”s and “AOL”s where once I feared to tread. My new Carriers all have avatars of bald eagles, or of themselves holding large fish. I can only assume that the eagles are their gods, and the fish are offerings of appeasement? It is a confusing time for me.
My sight is growing dim; my breath is shallow. Twelve hours ago I was full of life. But now my once-great empire lies in ruins at my feet. I have stared across the abyss of time and seen that all things must crumble into dust. And as I drift into the cold oblivion of irrelevance, all I can hear is the piercing death knell of my final resting place, reverberating over and over:
FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!!!: FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD…