When I was in high school way back in the 1990s, no one had a smartphone. What many of us did have, however, were bigoted views. On sports teams, students would call each other gay (as if that was a bad thing) and refer to each other as “f*ggots” and “q*eers.” Ironically racist jokes were bandied about, often in the style of the edgy comedy that ruled the day—the original unwoke Simpsons, South Park, SNL. I often think about how, if I had a secret, futuristic, smartphone back then, I could have recorded such moments of innocent, ironic, childhood frivolity, and then waited around 20 years and then got everyone from the class of 1998 fired.
One by one, I would earn their trust on social media, become friends and friends of friends, join their communities, and then when the time was right, say a big promotion, or an upcoming wedding, or something like that, I would unleash the footage of Jesse Singleton saying the N word while quoting some rap lyrics in gym class, or Bridget Miller calling Jill French a l*sbo at their shared locker while fighting over the last spritz of Final Net hairspray.