In the “About Us” section of their website, the creators of theSkimm proclaim: “We see ourselves as a part of a generation where women are out-earning men in paychecks and degrees. We’ve grabbed our seats at the table, now it’s time to Skimm to the head.” I researched the daily newsletter after it was recommended to me as something “super helpful” by my brother’s wealthy, educated girlfriend who works in an art gallery.
I’m sitting on one of the loveseats in the Starbucks on Nassau Street, weirdly conscious of my calves sticking to the cold leather seat covers, experiencing what I imagine only certain paparazzi have felt at the peaks of their careers. The strangeness of spending years seeing someone in two dimensions, only to have them sitting across from you, alive and fidgeting. Lorena Grundy gestures at my coffee cup.
I logged on to Facebook to check it out. Her sister was fourteen, a freshman in high school. She had about a thousand friends and did not have 113 likes—it was up to 115 now, in the thirty minutes that elapsed since Allie’s text.
Her page, arrested in those golden years before anybody cared how many likes your profile picture had, was the picture of adolescence: I smiled when I saw the wall posts about biology homework, the album titled “January!!” In 2008, she had attended Homecoming and a Quidditch Club Meeting.
Our Photo Booth binges are etched with permanent pixels in ways my pubescent voice-cracks will never be. Which is terrifying. So I exhausted hours upon hours to bury three years of my life in Mark Zuckerberg’s treasure chest of secrets, but only after staring down each, one by one, and casting it into the dark anonymity of “untagged.”