Logging Off: Tales from the Post Internet Era

dc.contributor.advisorGoodwin, Stephen
dc.contributor.authorHock, Michael B
dc.creatorHock, Michael B
dc.descriptionThis thesis has been embargoed for 10 years. It will not be available until April 2031 at the earliest.
dc.description.abstractNo one really knows why the Internet stopped being popular, only that one day, it simply wasn’t. The final known social media post was from hipster who posted that he was no longer going to be posting to a certain social media platform. This post was liked by exactly one person and two bots, one of which was the brand of gum he really, really liked but never bought because it was too expensive. In the wake of the internet no longer being popular, a new culture was born. Logging off: Tales from the Post-Internet Era follows four seemingly different cultures that have emerged through four, interconnected novellas. These novellas come together with one explosive revelation: that you can never really escape your past, even if you’re making most of it up. In the opening novella, ZineCast, a young folklorist works for a social media cloning company called “Yore Complete Story.” While making clones is fiscally irresponsible – they do demand rights – this company downloads the social media profiles of clients’ grandparents so they can see them during their YOLO days. Olivia is tasked with making sure that they are more or less accurate in a way that won’t scare away future clientel. However, she is soon tasked on a mission that will take her around the world, in an effort to clear the name of someone who may or may not have existed for the new True Crime delivery format: the ZineCast. The second novella takes us to a place that Only 80’s Kids Won’t Remember, and to the newest fad “Nostalgiatowns.” These towns are meant to be spaces where grown ups and kids alike can live out their fantasies of living in a different era, as remembered by the Internet. However, when a contraband tape is discovered featuring music from the early 2000’s, Sheriff Collins must face his own laziness and crankiness to discover who brought it into town. And what does this have to do with a cult? The third novella features a possibly haunted video game as three modern teenagers who only grew up with stories of the brain rotting effects of the internet enter into the Woodstm, a long abandoned virtual reality setting on the edge of town. Is it haunted by the ghost of the crazy owner who built the town around it? Or is it all an elaborate prank being played by a long dormant, lazy AI? Lastly, Cult Reclamation Bureau Agents Zee and Cass are on their toughest adventure yet in Click Like and Subscribe as they face down an evil cult started by a Social Media Influencer. They must journey into the wilds of Vermont to face down the Supreme Life Coach, and eventually figure out what their ultimate plan is, and just how that plan manages to incorporate a ZineCast, a small Nostalgiatown set in the 1980’s, and a not very haunted video game.
dc.subjectSocial media
dc.titleLogging Off: Tales from the Post Internet Era
thesis.degree.disciplineCreative Writing
thesis.degree.grantorGeorge Mason University
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


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