I realize that, living in this day and age, I have to accept certain realities regarding my personal privacy – that is, that I no longer have any right to it.
And that’s fine with me. I’m not particularly interesting, so I’m not threatened by the idea of Internet stalkers finding any dirty details on my Facebook page. My Tumblr is nothing but page after page of Parks and Recreation gifs. And my Twitter is largely inactive, save for the occasional tweet announcing the weekly posting of this very column.
I’m not bothered by advertisers searching my personal information in order to better sell to me – try all they want, I’m still only spending my money on coffee and the occasional avocado treat. Mostly it’s all amounted to a minor annoyance where I scroll past tacky sweatshirts that read, “I’m dating a hot massage therapist!” Every once in a while I’m tempted to sell my eggs after a smart-looking woman in glasses informs me that some company is willing to pay $7,000 for them.
However, over the course of the past year, this Internet surveillance has taken an insidious turn. Beginning when I first check my Facebook after my alarm goes off, and continuing well beyond my twelfth press of the snooze button, I am bombarded by nonstop information regarding America’s favorite quiverfull family. Apparently Facebook has decided that The Duggars are, in some way, extremely relevant to my life.
My life has become richer, in a sense – I possess a deep well of knowledge thanks to these constant ads. Were you aware that Jessa and her husband Ben Seewald are planning to shirk tradition and adopt children? Did you see that time that Michelle and Jim Bob demonstrated how to kiss in front of their children because they have no fucking clue how human bodies work together? Were you aware that the Duggars took the laws of Bomont to heart and have chosen to ban dancing in their home?
Well I am aware of all of this (and more!) because the fucking Duggars keep popping up on my Facebook timeline! What did I do to deserve this? I haven’t watched 19 Kids and Counting in years – and even then it was more of an anthropological study than genuine entertainment.
Could it be my constant Google searches regarding the misogynistic overtones of the purity movement? Was it the week I pinned every couponing tip I could find on Pinterest? After all, Michelle Duggar’s motto is, “Buy used and save the difference” (which I only know because she won’t leave me alone)! Could it possibly be related to my drunken misadventures on Ancestry.com? Did the Internet misconstrue my 154 member family tree as a sign that I may be a member of the infamously-oversized family?
Could it possibly be that the Duggars have become so numerous that there’s simply no room for a world outside of them? Does it really matter what I post if the Big D overlords continue to reproduce at such a rapid and uncontrolled rate? Am I to just accept that in between my Jezebel articles and Jon Stewart quotes will be lists romanticizing shame-based sexuality?
Whatever the case, I need it to end. The amount of time I’ve committed to thinking about the Duggars for the sake of this column is simply unacceptable, and this was for the purpose of emotional catharsis. I will never be cleansed if I am forced to restart this cycle day in and day out.
Molly Regan is an improviser and writer in Baltimore. She likes chicken pot pie, Adam Scott’s butt and riot grrl.