Sunday, December 22, 2013

Farewell Facebook - My Open Letter to Facebook

Dear Facebook, We Need To Talk. It's Not You, It's Me.

December 22, 2013 at 2:22pm
Facebook, you came into my life in 2009.  Wow, nearly 5 years now.  At first you were cool, neat and even a bit mysterious.  Over time I learned more and more about you.  I discovered how to find and connect with people I'd long forgotten.  People who I'm sure had completely forgotten me.  I searched for names of people who had passed through my life.  It was my curiosity and a bit of my personality flaw to enjoy searching (I' would have made a great treasure hunter).  At the point of discovering that lost name, we'd do the dog dance.  You know that bit of walking around each other, sniffing each other over...of course there was no actual sniffing online but we'd exchange cordial greetings, and request the proverbial update.  We'd share the highlights (some shared way more of the lowlights to the point of making me depressed more than I normally am).  We'd look over each other's minimal collection of photos, because in the beginning most people hadn't shared much.

These connections grew and expanded to really forgotten names connected to the formally forgotten names, so forgotten I had to either look them up in a dusty yearbook or just accept I'd known them at one point.  Never absolutely certain.  Then the connecting seemed to take on a kind of hording mentality.  A new sport was created.  How many forgotten names can I connect with.  It was easy then.  Just start asking everyone and anyone associated with another name or dug up from memory.  The connections grew and grew.

As the hours, days, and months passed the excited small talk of re-connecting faded.  The mundane and idiotic started to grow and saturate my news/update feeds.  Pictures of foods, pets and kids.  Self congratulatory messages and bragging became the norm.  I continued to marvel over what comments spurred the most feed back and comments, likes and shares.  I've yet to figure out why one person's statement about breaking a shoe lace this morning would get 100 "oh sweetie that's too bad", "Yea I know the feeling", "I'm sorry", "LOL, wear loafers" and another 100 shares, but a comment about current events, socially, nationally significant and insightful thngs get at best a couple of "LIKES".  I once even tested this observation by posting sequential post about pulling into the garage, rushing to the bathroom, enjoying a satisfying poo and the sadness of the good-bye flush.  This series of post yielded more response (eventual censoring by my loving and concerned wife), then a post previously made about some real event.

I eventually concluded I needed to cull my "friends" to those who's comments I enjoyed the most.  I started adding connections to companies who's service or products I enjoyed reading about.  Now I get more advertising self imposed upon me than I care to admit.

Yes, I know there have been times when you could assume I love you FB.  I posted drunk, or during a football game.  While enjoying a cigar or relaxing alone.  Maybe it was just me reaching out for companionship.  Maybe I'm the classic self described loner who really isn't.

FB you've forever ruined my desire to attend any type of reunion.  I've seen and heard whatever would of made be inclined to attend.  There are forgotten names that I've never been able to find in your mass of humanity.  I'm not sure if these individuals have foregone your allure or I'm not really good at finding them.  I think the former, because neither have they reached out to me.

I tried to use you to grow awareness for a business.  This fell flat with a total of 33 LIKES of which very rarely do any of them acknowledge or comment upon my "business" page.  They are merely strangers who I've rub shoulders in a crowd.  No more significant.  I even tried to use you to connect everyone sharing my last name.  While I collected over 100 it never really became anything resembling a community.

So, after 3 years I'm going to break this relationship off.  I'm going to make a clean break in 2014.  I wanted to share this before I deleted you from my life because obviously you'd never see this after the fact.  It's been interesting.  I'm sure I'm forever change by you being a part of my life, but I just don't think we need to continue. It is best for me and I'm sure you will realize it to be good for you in the long run.  We just are not right for one another.  Really, it's not you.  It's me.  I'm sorry.


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