I can still remember the day we first met. It was literally love at first sight. You introduced me to a whole new world, quickly expanding my present and reuniting me with my past. Within minutes, you made me feel right at home, sharing pictures and videos and even day-by-day plays of those in our circle. Those first days were so much fun, and I literally couldn’t get enough of you.
You were also quite the charmer. Any time I posted a picture or status, you showered me with bouquets of “likes”. I shared my special moments, victories, travels, and exciting times with you and was always so excited to see what little surprises you were going to leave on my timeline. You always made me smile, and you really did bring out the best in me. The more I shared, the more you loved on me. It was quite the ego booster and was absolutely perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
I don’t know exactly where we went wrong. It was a slow process, and I guess, it somehow just happened over time. Whatever it was, I eventually came to realize that you were only there for me when I shared the fun times, the details of my day, pictures, and superficial thoughts. When I started sharing important ideas and articles that were dear to my heart, you’d turn away . . . and the bouquets stopped coming. I found soon enough that my ideas and opinions didn’t really matter to you, and it broke my heart at times. I wanted so badly to share what was important to me, but instead, you preferred that I boast on the good. I found that I had to be perfect for you, and as much as I told myself that it didn’t matter what you thought, it really started to wear on me.
Eventually, I also found myself guilty of the very things you did to me. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, I started having a hard time with certain “friends” and would find myself rolling my eyes at their posts. It really didn’t happen with my real-life friends or those I interacted with online from time to time. It usually happened more with the acquaintances you labeled as my “friends.” Over time, they began to seem less human to me. I became annoyed by some of them and outright judged others. These are things I would never do in real life but somehow, the virtual started blurring the lines for me, and I was so ashamed.
These blurred lines also carried over into my faraway friendships. I started to think I was really close to people when I really wasn’t and started letting go of my real-life efforts to connect with those who were important to me. I thought that a simple “like” was actually “keeping in touch,” but the reality was that I lost touch with many a long time ago. We no longer talked, sent cards, or emailed. Our relationship was nothing but a series of “likes” and emoticons. It was no longer real.
But it also got worse. I started to find that I would not only get annoyed by some of the more offensive posts, but also those who tried to come between us–namely the two little people who kept calling me “Mommy.” They wanted my full attention, but so did you, always luring me in with a picture of an old high school friend or a post I just had to read right then and there. You’d sweep me off my feet and were so much more exciting at times than the cleaning and cooking that was in front of me. You always had such new and fresh ideas to share with me, and I started to realize that I wanted to be with you more, at times, than where I actually was. We were just spending too much time together.
That was about the time we broke up for the first time. You held on at first, making it difficult for me to leave, but after a couple of weeks, you let me have a clean break. It was awkward at first. I was so used to sharing all of my exciting stories with you, and I’d find myself reaching for my phone, ready to update you on my latest experience, my latest status. Old habits die hard, and I missed you at first . . . but then it got easier.
I focused more on the people in front of me, made it a point to call those who lived far away, and just moved forward and enjoyed my life–apart from you, the way things used to be. It was a great year. It really was. . . until you showed up on my doorstep with new promises and new ideas. I had just started my business, and you promised to help me spread the word. You told me that I could keep my life the same and that things wouldn’t change. You said that we could take things slow and didn’t have to end up the way we did before. I believed you and let you sweep me off my feet once more, and once again, it was fun at first.
But like any other relationship gone wrong once, things began to unravel once again, this time more quickly than before. You and I jumped right back into spending hours together; the annoying parts of me returned, and you started to cut into my day with articles or posts that were just too intense or offensive for me, advertisements that just wouldn’t end, and TROLLS.
You also started hiding my business and blog posts from those who were interested and asked me to pay you to share my information with them. I also soon realized that you began to take ownership of all that I shared with you. My information was no longer really mine, but yours. Soon after, a friend told me that you spied on me a time or two, even did a little research to see how you could manipulate my emotions with the feeds you shared with me. The drama was getting to be too much, but the worst part was how you threatened that I just couldn’t live without you–couldn’t even have a blog without you. You made me feel like I couldn’t stand on my own two feet apart from you. You made me believe that I needed you, and it just became too much for me to handle.
I know you tried your best, and that’s what makes this hard. You introduced me to some great groups and ideas and reconnected me with a few really good friends, but I just can’t do this dance anymore. I really can’t.
It’s not you–really–it’s me.
I want to get back to my life before you. The one where I could spend my time investing in the people I love rather than on those that are not really a part of my life. I want to be on the inside with a few rather than on the outside looking in with many. I want to be a better steward of my time, focused on that which is front of me–in the moment and present. I don’t want to be distracted anymore, constantly looking down at my phone to get a glimpse of your latest adventures.
I’d rather spend my time reading and writing about things that matter to me rather than surfing endlessly in what are oftentimes shallow waters. I’d rather spend my time sharing and connecting with people I love rather than just “liking” their pages. I’d rather get back to living rather than just staring and lifting Him up rather than lifting me up.
Yes, Facebook, it’s time that I got back to my life, my real life, my real friends, my real moments. It’s time to reconnect with that which matters most–not only in the good times but in those challenges where a hug and an actual prayer are available in the present. It’s time I take back those minutes for His glory rather than my own. It’s time to let you go.
I know it won’t be easy at first, but I do know that it will be worth it in the end. I wish you the best and know that you’ll make someone else very happy one day. Thanks for the good times.
PS I will be picking up some of my things throughout the week and will make sure to leave the key when I de-activate. Thanks!