Facebook is such a funny thing. It’s like a digital time capsule of your life, specifically your social life. It captures and records your conversations, interactions, and interests into a nice layout that is readily available at the tip of your fingers. It has everything from the moment you started Facebook 10 years ago.
Late last night, I found my bored fingertips playing with the apps on my phone and stumbled upon the Facebook Messenger app. Omg what a time portal.
It had every conversation I ever had since 2007 and let me tell you, I swear I think something is seriously wrong with my memory. I either have very selective memory or an alternate personality that takes over from time to time, because I seriously have no idea who some of these people are. You could put 3 pictures of random strangers in front of me and ask which 2 did I have Facebook conversations with and I would not be able to tell you.
As I scrolled through memory lane, I found so many embarrassing conversations where I use words like “hay” instead of “hey” and “ionno” instead of “I don’t know.” I thought I was so cool. Man. I was so cool.
Thankfully the delete button on the lefthand side is conveniently available to eliminate any trace of those embarrassing days. Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the evidence that still exists on the other person’s phone.
I noticed that in all my conversations, there was one persistent topic that glowed. Boys. Guys hitting on me or me flirting with other guys. How convenient it’s become to flirt without actually asking for their number. In fact, Facebook has made cowardly flirting a new social norm. Wait, maybe it starts all the way back with Aim. Hiding behind your computer and telling that girl from class how cute she is, but when you actually see her in person, you avoid eye contact all day until you’re back home in front of your computer again.
As I finished scrolling through my past, I became increasingly curious about what some of these people are up to now. So, I decided to use Facebook’s next greatest feature: stalking. I stalked and stalked and stalked from the friend of a friend, to that random girl from that one random class, I learned about the lives of people I didn’t know anymore.
At the end of my search, I went back to the Messenger app and started to delete conversations that were completely useless nor relevant. Conversations that weren’t worth remembering. As I found myself looking at a conversation with an old friend that wasn’t a friend anymore, I wondered what happened. I barely remember, but in the conversation it appeared as if I had ignored her request to meet up (This is over 6 years ago).
I genuinely don’t even remember receiving that message, but what if that’s the message that made us fall apart. What if I remembered to message her back, would we still be friends? How many other failed relationships are flowing through the abyss of social media, in the digital-scape because someone forgot to respond to someone’s message? What if? What if..
But I don’t live in a world of “what ifs.” I live in a world of “what is.” And there’s no point holding onto regrets and faults. There’s no point, because if any of those relationships were worth holding on to, they would still exist outside of social media. They would’ve been dealt with, resolved, and mended in the real world where we really exist. Where I really exist.
As I got ready to sleep, I realized I spent the better half of the last hour getting to know 20+ people without actually knowing anything about them. But it left me with the impression that I had just caught up with 20+ long lost friends, as I lied in bed alone.
Facebook. It will be the death of us all. The thing that’s supposed to connect us, keeps us in isolation without feeling isolated. It keeps us confined and content in a deep digital illusion called social media. If you don’t have Facebook, don’t be ignorant; this illusion takes many faces from Instagram and Twitter to Snapchat or Gchat. Facebook is just one of the many portals into the digital abyss.