Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do

Dear Facebook,

I've been thinking about this for quite some time and can't get away from the niggling thought that perhaps our relationship has come to an impasse.

I want to break up with you, but I just can't.

Being with you is like being in a loser dating relationship. Okay, maybe that's kind of harsh. Being with you is like being in a relationship that's not all that great, but not all that bad. I mean, it's not like you're BAD for me, really. But I'm more dismayed with you than I am pleased.

At first, it was bliss. It was like, instead of having to drive all over town to see each friend individually - which would be a cumbersome activity for one day, or even one week - I had discovered it was like walking into a coffee shop where all of my nearest and dearest AND people with whom I probably never would have reconnected are all there at once!!!! And we can gab, catch up, see what's changed, get that quick update on how a doctor's appointment went, exchange that recipe, share a quick laugh, and exclaim over wedding or vacation or baby pictures. I mean, that's pretty sweet. Where DID so-and-so end up? You mean they live right down the street? NO WAY!!! Connections are made, bridges are built, you don't have to wait until the class reunion to see how or where someone ended up or what they look like or did they ever end up marrying that one guy/girl? Oh my goodness, their kids look just like fun. And on and on and on.

And then there's the coolness of wanting to shoot off a quick email to someone, but you don't know their email address. No worries, you can either look it up under their info, or just send them a private message right there.

Sometimes, Facebook, you do build a supportive little community. There are people that I do feel like I know a little bit better because we're "friends" and we wouldn't talk on a regular basis otherwise. Who knew that this person has some really great insight into ______? Or a quick word of encouragement could come from the person you least expect at just the right time? People ARE there to cheer with you, share a good laugh, offer a quippy reply that puts a situation in the right perspective, or just let you know they're thinking about you.

But, Facebook, you have some not-so-great sides. And that's why we're at this impasse. It's not all your fault, much of it IS mine. Maybe it's just ME that's changed and you've been this way all along and now I'm over you.

You're a supreme waste of time. I know I don't spend as much time on you as I could during the day, but I know I don't resist you as much as I could, either. I can get sucked into your abyss and easily fritter away a good half hour or more...and not necessarily to my benefit, but more or less walking away feeling drenched in the banality of it all. Do I know anyone any better now that I know they can't wait for the weekend (again), or that they reeeaaaalllly needed their chai latte SO BAD this morning, or that they stepped in what their cat ralphed on the floor?

Do I really benefit from knowing that someone "likes" yet one more thing, adding to a list that's longer than both of my arms? like...let me see...sleeping with the fan on even when it's not hot out. Alright. (I know, I'm guilty as charged on that particular example.)

Facebook, why should I care who accessed my profile page, or who looked me up? Yet, you make me feel like I should care...maybe I DO care...who IS that interested in my life? Hmmmm....let me click here....

You cater to the attention-seeker in all of us, and is that really such a good thing? I mean, we're such a weird culture of people who want to appear fashionably oblivious and inaccessible (note the iPod buds in the ears), but our little posts are just screaming for attention, for people to "like" what we have to say, give us a little thumbs-up, a well-thought response. I'm guilty of it. I write what I think is a scintillating status update, and then I want to check and check and check to see if anyone responded, and admit I feel a little let down when no one says anything. What - that wasn't funny enough for you? My life isn't interesting enough for you to comment on? Huh? Is that what it is?

Good grief.

But then there's the people who Vaguebook. A frowny face. A *sigh.* A gloomy song lyric. Oh friend!!! What on earth is WRONG! Keep the masses wondering...did her boyfriend break up with her? Was it a really bad day at work? Oh my GOODNESS!!! Is she PREGNANT?!

Are we really keeping it real?

Clearly other people are spending more time on it than they should, just like I do. They complain about the amount of homework/housework/whatever they have...but they're clearly, um, not digging into it if they're updating their status and adding things to their "likes." They're exhausted and need to get to bed or get going or whatever....but they're...not. And I can't judge, because I do the same. I need to wash the dishes/do the laundry/crack my Bible but Facebook, I'm on YOU instead.

I might say my priorities are X,Y and Z...but the ways I spend my time reveal what my priorities REALLY are. And you, silly Facebook, are clearly more of a priority to me than other things that should take far more precedence in my life. Ewww.

But I just can't make the break. I've thought of it. But what if I miss something? What if I miss a great picture, a funny remark, or am totally, I mean totally out of the loop? What would that be like? I get a panic attack just thinking about it.

No Facebook, I can't end our relationship yet. I may be one of those silly girls who just keeps hanging on, thinking perhaps you'll change and make it easier for me to make the break. But with every friend request, every comment, every message, you suck me in a little more.

So I guess it truly is up to me to determine how you control my life and my time. It's totally up to me to discern if my words are really necessary, if I'm just trying to get some attention or if I just need to keep my mouth shut sometimes. Because even if I did break up with you, you're still only a few clicks away from resuming our full-blown, passionate relationship again. You're static; I'm the one who can choose to move closer or farther away. For where my treasure is, there is my heart.

I guess what I'm trying to say, Facebook, is that you're really not that great, but you're not all that bad, you're kind of fun, but you're really kind of stupid at the same time, but when push comes to shove, I'll end up keeping you around. Shutting you out of my life won't change the fact that my heart longs to be captivated by a series of status updates...and that says more about my heart than it says about you.

So I'm not sure how this is going to work out. Will I set a time limit each day? Declare Facebook fasts? I don't know. I'll have to take it to the One who ultimately should be captivating my heart above all others.



Emrys said...

Can you and facebook just be friends?

Emrys said...

Oh, and I think it's spelled "ralfed," but to be honest I didn't go to the OED.

Jenny said...

Em, ONLY YOU would remark on whether I spelled a synonym for emesis correctly!!!!!!! Augh! You're such a BROTHER!!!! ;)

Emrys said...

ONLY YOU would use the word "emesis" in a blog post! you're such a NURSE!

Jenny said...

Ah, but I knew you'd know what the word "emesis" even means, so that's why I did it. *Plllppppppp*

Emrys said...

I think what you meant was *Phhbbbbbbpt!* I think you need an editor.

Ellen said...

Ah, I SO could have written this post! It's so hard resist wasting time on FB, but it's such a good way to keep up with long-distance friends and family. And yet . . . it's just so inane. I feel ya on this one!

Also, congrats on making it to full term! Yay!!

une autre mère said...

This was perfect! I have the same feelings about facebook. I'm really only on it now when someone comments on my blog (since it's networked) or writes on my wall... or sends me a message. But sometimes I feel almost like it's my DUTY to be on there because my friends announce super important things on there (like PREGNANCIES or surgeries) and the next time I see them, they assume I know about it and are offended when I don't say! Not like that's ever happened or anything... But really, it makes me feel like a bad friends that I don't check all of their status updates.

So yes, I do like being able to catch up with friends on there, but I actually kinda think I liked life better before facebook.

une autre mère said...

Okay, so I mean to say, "...when I don't say ANYTHING" and "like a bad friend" minus the "s." I really need to proofread before I hit that publish button...

Jenny said...

Emrys... ::eyeroll::

Emrys said...

Did you just roll your eyes at me? Did you just--oh, no you didn't!

I am so going to do something unspeakable to you when I see you next.

ali said...

HAHA! I love it! I couldn't agree more with you entire post...Facebook is SUCH a waste of my time, but I just don't think I'm strong enough to let go...So glad I'm not the only one! :-P Baby G's almost here!!!!!!! I am going to be stalking your blog (and your facebook page haha!), just so you know! ;)