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Help! My Partner Comments on Social Media Posts From Our Local News Station

It wasn’t always like this. They were barely on social media. It began slowly, like all terror: just the occasional comment on a tragic news story. Sometimes with a .gif. Behavior I’d associate with a kind boomer relative or elderly neighbor.

Then, the emojis began. Prayer emojis. Heart emojis. And worst of all: a cringe joke followed by a laughing emoji. It got worse with celebrity deaths. Sentences became paragraphs, and then essays, proclaiming their fondness for the deceased star as though the celebrity could personally read the tribute.

Then we entered the “hot takes” era. I could feel their adrenaline boost whenever a “topical joke” received likes. It became juvenile, name-calling city council members or quoting Family Guy. I began coming home to a stranger, alone on the couch in the dark, lit only by their phone. “What are you doing?” I’d ask. Without looking up, they would reply “Tagging corporations and demanding they ‘Do better.’”

They have become super into “free speech,” in that particularly exhausting way. Too many rhetorical questions, too many spelling errors, and worst of all, too many online fights. Somehow, taunting strangers in the comments section has become their full-time job. It has infested their mind, seeping into the person I loved like a rot or a poison. Endlessly going back and forth, always having to have the last word, blocking so many strangers.

They’re back on Facebook, unfortunately. When I ask why, they reply, “I can’t let these snowflakes control the discourse!” We’ve had to move apartments twice from all the doxxing.

Their profile picture is now a selfie in a baseball cap with Oakley wraparound sunglasses and an American flag in the background. Their comments have taken a hallucinatory, conspiratorial turn. Complaints begin about liberal sex rings under the local public skatepark. Calls for vigilante justice against undercover Antifa geese. They don’t believe the news anymore, blaming the “lying media.” All of the local stations have blocked them, even community bulletin boards.

They’ve opted for boutique far-right “free speech” social media platforms, where they are allowed to shitpost about the “crooked media” all day. My once-loving partner is morphing into a troll that I have to warn people about. The final nail in the coffin was when they began using Clint Eastwood photos in memes with misattributed quotes.

Good news on the horizon: they’re currently distracted, busy creating their own social media site. Only problem is that they are mad about people being mean in the comments section.