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All I need in life is this Facebook group where everyone pretends to be ants

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“I’m uninterested in bringing meals to the Queen to justify my existence,” a poster writes. “When does it finish? When can I’ve a number of the meals I deliver house? When will I see the worth of my labor?”

“You goddamn traitor,” reads the highest remark. “BITE,” writes one other consumer. “BITE BITE BITE,” writes one other.

“Somebody simply peed on my complete household,” says one other publish. “Relaxation in pees,” commiserates a commenter.

“Simply discovered my homie acquired crushed by human immediately RIP bro,” one other poster says. Then: 25 replies, all variations of “F.”

Welcome to “A gaggle the place all of us faux to be ants in an ant colony,” a Facebook group with over 135,000 members who’re, effectively, pretending to be ants in an ant colony. It’s been round since June of final yr.

The group is one of a giant, interconnected community of semi-satirical, semi-reverent Fb teams centered on loud and fervent pretending. One of many largest is “We Faux It’s 2007-2012 Web,” a haven for Membership Penguin references, troll faces, and long-forgotten meme codecs. There are its offshoots, “We Faux It’s 1453 Web” (“Oh, immediately’s youth, at all times dying of the plague,” reads a current publish) and “We Faux It’s 1897 Web” (“Girls, lips that contact liquor shall not contact ours!”). There’s “A gaggle the place all of us faux to be boomers,” “A GROUP WHERE WE ALL PRETEND TO BE DRAMATIC TUMBLR USERS” and “A gaggle the place all of us faux to work in the identical workplace” (“Who the fuck stole my stapler?”).

However there’s one thing particular in regards to the ant colony group. Sure, jokes and memes are exchanged. However there’s a singular earnestness to the interactions; it looks like a world. A consumer confesses that he’s in love with the Queen, and 120 commenters urge him to put aside his dalliance, keep in mind his objective, and get again to work. A member proclaims {that a} larva is lacking; commenters cut up into search events, some volunteer data, others ask for updates, and the larva is ultimately discovered. It’s foolish, however I’ll admit: I breathed a sigh of aid.

I’m a lurker within the ant colony group. I publish the occasional remark, usually a variant of “BITE.” However largely, I sit again and watch it unfold. The scene is a captivating and profoundly odd train in empathy.

I don’t must let you know that we’re dwelling in demanding instances, and whereas we’re all experiencing them collectively, their impacts on us, and the actual patchwork of the way they’ve upended every of our lives — our workplaces, our households, our personal well being — are distinctive to every of us. We’re experiencing a shared disaster alone.

Various things assist totally different folks keep sane. For me, the ant colony group is a reminder of the larger issues — greater worlds, longer instances — that encompass the tragic and terrifying microcosm we’re presently in. I take into consideration the ant hills on my garden. I consider an ant, toes beneath the bottom, standing earlier than a crowd of fellow bugs, somberly asserting “Demise water got here from the sky immediately. Many good staff misplaced. Press F.” I consider one other ant, huddled with a bunch off to the facet, asking in a hushed voice, “Alright, what’s our stance on allying with the crimson ants? Yea or nay?”

I do know that’s not what’s taking place, clearly. However in no matter non-English medium ants and anteaters and termites and fruit flies and every part else use to speak, there are issues happening on the market. Issues are taking place, continually, which can be far past my understanding. The ants are marching on. It’s most likely foolish that that helps me get by way of every day, nevertheless it does all the identical.

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