It’s Really Over This Time

Girl holding smartphone sitting on bed

My “Dear John” Letter to Facebook

Dear FaceBook,

It’s been 10 years! Thank you for the lovely anniversary reminder. 10 years of sharing my family photos, selfies, personal anecdotes and even political rants (cringe). There were lots of highs, like virtual birthday wishes, reconnecting with old friends, discovering new friends and the baby photos! But it’s time for me to move on.

For all the highs, I feel we have been growing apart. I feel you don’t respect my boundaries. I see how you share things about me with total strangers. I feel you can be officious what with all the sponsorship suggestions. I feel you have been controlling as you decide who’s posts and content I see and don’t see.

Worse even, I feel you come between my friends and me. I see you triangulating communication and creating co-dependent tendencies. My friends constantly rely on you to think they know what’s going on in my life. At first it seemed fine, allowing you to filter the highlight reel of my life. But it all begin to feel so one-dimensional. I just find that you are not authentic and real for me anymore (if ever).

I was in denial myself. Convincing myself that the potential harm of sharing things about me without my permission were unintentional. I see how I enabled you. But it was wrong. I know that you tried to change but it was too little to late. The early denial about manipulating the details from our relationship, well, let’s just say I will know better next time.  I see how sometimes, I excessively came to rely on you for approval and a sense of identity. Classic co-dependency! I see that no longer need you to validate me, if ever.

I admit that it will be hard to get you out of my life. I’ll miss that fantastic moments of excitement when you enabled my friends to “like” and even give me emoji love for my posts. I will miss our long scrolls together through many of my friends’ lives. But, you will be get over losing me soon enough. And I, I will find time to find me again. I will find time to make real connections with my friends by actually calling them and having lunch or coffee with them, without you coming between us. I wish you all the best.

Say farewell to your FWDB (Friend w/ Data Benefits), 

Anitra

What Next? 

I downloaded and saved a file of my entire Facebook history. The main reason was for the photos. Then, I went through the process to delete my account. It’s tricky because, Facebook holds the delete request in review or limbo for 30 days in case a user changes her mind. I have found myself accidentally hitting the Facebook app many times to discover the option to back-out of deleting my account. However, I am staying the course. It will officially be gone by January 3rd, 2019. 

It’s been challenging as I recognize that I have a habit of reaching for reaching for the FaceBook icon with a shaky finger. Why keep the icon? I manage some Facebook business pages. But for the most part, it’s also been wonderful. My productivity is up. I don’t feel as if I am missing out on anything. And more importantly, I am actually back to writing for myself and not for the benefit of others. 

I’m keeping my downloaded file and will maybe open it in the next 10 years or so like a time capsule. It makes my stomach squirm to think that I will find some things that might make me feel uncomfortable like discovering your old middle school yearbook tossed up in the attic. At the initial onset, Facebook, ironically, gave me what it took away: connection. It fabricated a real connection in to a false sense of connection. I won’t be going back. I just hope it’s not too late for everyone else. Some people believe it’s a necessary evil. I am discovering for now, that this is not true. Meaningful relationships rely upon authentic, mutually beneficial connection. There is no app that will ever replace that. And, it’s up to each of us to make sure that never happens. Here’s to being connected for reals. 

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