I Don’t Know You Anymore

I was late to the Facebook scene. I didn’t make an account until the summer of 2009, a month after I graduated from high school. Throughout high school, I was constantly pestered to “get Facebook.” I held out.

I remember someone was Facebook for Halloween at school. I thought it was weird. Looking back, that was probably a sign from above that social media would soon control us. It was a Catholic school, after all.

When I finally caved, I was so confused by the concept of Facebook.

You mean to tell me that now when I want to talk to someone, I have to post a message on their “wall” and let everyone else see it? Why is everything so public? What if I want to tell them I threw up my dinner last night? Hundreds of other people would now know.

I also didn’t understand the whole posting on someone’s wall concept. Someone posted on my wall and I didn’t know how to respond. I asked a friend if I was to reply on my wall, or if I had to go to their profile and write on their wall.

I was told I had to write on their wall, thus breaking up a conversation into two locations. It was dumb.

Slowly, I adapted and figured out what I was doing.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t always have my eye on my friend count and was comparing my number to other people’s number.

“How do they have 987 friends?”, I asked myself. Such a number seemed ridiculous. It still does.

As the years went on, Facebook became fun. I wasted too many hours, during university, scrolling through my news feed and seeing what people were up to. No one was afraid to write on walls, or comment on posts, or share pictures, or hilarious stories.

There was so much content to soak in at all hours of the day.

My role on Facebook slowly turned into “the guy who will post a witty status, a sports status, or a sentimental status.” And that’s what I did for a few years, until recently.

I felt like a broken record. And, looking around, a lot of other people had already gone silent on Facebook. No one was funny anymore. Everything was so dark and serious. So why should I bother with a witty joke? Who would care?

Lately, I’ve been spending less time on Facebook. I find myself only logging on if I receive an email telling me that one of the three people I exchange messages with, has sent me something. And maybe I’ll scroll through a few posts and check the “On This Day” feature. But that’s it.

About a month ago I made the decision to unfriend a bunch of people. I had never really unfriended anyone before because I felt too guilty about it. What would they think if they saw I unfriended them? Now, I don’t care. I was probably also concerned with boasting a high friend count.

I had 376 Facebook friends when I realized I didn’t really have 376 friends.

I went through each person and asked myself when the last time I talked to them was. Then I asked myself if they were someone who’s posts I normally “like”, or vice versa. If the answer was “No” then the majority of them were met with the unfriend button.

This process took me down to 237 friends, which is still too many, but unfriending 139 people is a good start.

A part of me feels bad because these were people who I went to school with, or worked with, or met somehow. I didn’t really have any friends on Facebook who were friends of a friend’s friend.

Then again, I don’t know these people anymore. I only know them through their profile picture, their latest status, or when Facebook tells me it’s their birthday.

Chances are, I’ll never talk to most of them again. Social media ain’t so social, is it?

I didn’t need, nor want, details of their life anymore. It’s nothing personal, I wish everyone the best in life. But do I really need to know everything about someone I went to high school with seven years ago, but haven’t heard from since? No. I don’t. No one does.

I’ve found myself enjoying Instagram, Twitter, and WordPress much more than Facebook.

Instagram is a good mix of friends and other accounts that show me pictures concerning different topics around the world.

Twitter is where I get most of my news from, though I go through phases where I don’t feel like posting anything. Again, who really cares?

And WordPress, this might be my favourite place on the Internet. It’s a place where words still mean something. It’s given me friends all over the world who don’t really know me, but are there to support me one blog post at a time.

I can write anything here and know that someone will take the time to read every word.

I always got the sense on Facebook that statuses longer than three or four lines were frowned upon. Or that I was disrupting someone’s precious news feed because I wanted to show my excitement over a sport they don’t care about.

The only thing keeping me on Facebook these days is the Facebook messages feature. If MSN were still around, my Facebook account probably wouldn’t be.

Knowing about what’s going on in hundreds of other lives, on a daily basis, is exhausting. And it was always easy to compare my life with others. That was a mistake.

Life is all about who you surround yourself with. I can manage just fine with a small circle of friends, as well as my WordPress community.

I no longer need to know what Person X from Grade 10 history class in 2007 is up to. Facebook was harbouring a false friendship. I don’t know them anymore. And they don’t know me.

We aren’t friends, we were Facebook friends.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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62 Responses to I Don’t Know You Anymore

  1. Isabella Simons says:

    It is sad; isn’t it? My closest friends are the ones I talk to all the time. Plus, acquaintances aren’t friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. carolina Bryant says:

    Unfortunately, this is true. Facebook gives you a sense of warped reality. At least you figured it out before investing even more time into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rebecak says:

    I go through phases where I feel this way but I keep hanging on to it bc I like being nosey 🙂 I am a much bigger fan of Instagram though. I love how quickly I could get through it if I wanted to go back through everything. I was sick in bed for a week a couple years ago and I noticed that no matter how long I scrolled for, I could never get back to where I had left off on the Facebook feed. Too. Much. Info.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. grammyg53 says:

    Hey Paul. Long time since we exchanged anything. I’ve become anti-social. But your post brought me out of my self-imposed “whatever”. Maybe now I’ll finally get around to posting something on MY blog. I hate facebook. Hate it. I’m slowly weeding myself off from it except for the chatting with friends thing. Funny thing is this… facebook, for all of its “social” value… it just extended the grieving process. I’m doing much better without all of those supposed friends who no longer stop long enough to ask, “How you doing?” And how many of those sarcastic, PC, P/A thingamajigs can a person take at one sitting? Not many. I’ve been bad at keeping in touch with you but I have been made aware of the errs of my ways. I’m back to reading and I’ll try to stop long enough to ask you, “How you doing?” This should make you laugh. The other day I was cleaning out some files on my computer and I found our THING from last year about June. HAHAHA!!! Happy Looney June!!! We sure can be LOONEY!!! By the way, How you doing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ahh what a wonderful surprise this is! So great to hear from you! Yeah, sometimes Facebook can cause us to dwell on things longer than we need to. Sometimes seeing a certain post, or even being reminded of certain people, brings our memory back to something we don’t want to think about. Hahaha Looney June! I think I forgot to celebrate it this year, sadly. Oh, and I hope you’re happy Stamkos resigned with Tampa Bay. We were devastated here in Toronto that he didn’t come home and play for us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • grammyg53 says:

        Oh yes…. the STAMMER is back and we’re KEEPING him. No going back to Toronto except for family get-togethers, high school reunions, shopping trips for Canadian things… Haha!!! Were you REALLY “devastated” or are you being dramatic?

        The other good thing about facebook. Word Chums. I love playing it with friends. I just scored 122 points by spelling “cadaver”.

        Let’s keep in touch now that we’ve reconnected. What do you say? I need a HUGE update on your life, Paul 🙂

        your Florida buddy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I was honestly devastated haha. A lot of people were. We had talked ourself into it that he was for sure coming here. Lol my life isn’t all that exciting at the moment, not really any updates! Hope to see you around WordPress more often though!

        Like

  5. Angela says:

    I’ve really gone off Facebook too I guess everything ‘has its day’ its the memories thing that’s really annoying me just now, people post the thing the did on this day last year, 3 years ago, 6 years ago…we’re reliving the past!
    Now if I could only press DELETE…I’m too bloody nosey! Haha

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      True. When we all get old and look back on our lives, none of these oh so important Facebook memories will be things we even think of. Haha that delete button is so hard to press.

      Liked by 1 person

      • grammyg53 says:

        Watch that talk about getting old, kiddos. I’m getting up there and starting to look back on things. For some strange reason, those “memories” don’t pop up on my page which is fine with me. Gosh. I really DO hate facebook. Delete. Delete. Delete. My new favorite word, Paul 🙂

        Like

  6. I never have gotten a Facebook, for the same reasons! ….And I also don’t need one more social media that will distract me! I’m already a pro at procrastinating. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jess says:

    YESSS. I’ve been Facebook-free for five months now and I don’t miss anything about it. It certainly disturbed me that there were certain people I couldn’t directly contact anymore simply because I don’t have a Facebook. Everything was getting too depressing and simply put, annoying. I think what made me laugh the most was on my birthday, I only got a handful of people outside of family say, “Happy Birthday”. Even some people I considered my closest friends didn’t text me because they forgot and didn’t have Facebook reminding them. IT’S ALL A SCAM. But I’ve found that it’s been so satisfying getting to know the new people I’ve met by conversation rather than Facebook stalking. It’s makes all the difference. I have nothing to compare them to or judge them on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      No one knows when anyone’s birthday is unless they have Facebook! How sad is that. The birthday posts were always the same anyways. “Happy birthday! Hope it’s a good one!” Getting to know someone without stalking their Facebook is such a ancient concept. Almost like its from 2003 or something.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jess says:

        Hahahah the Facebook birthdays are equivalent to signing someone’s yearbook. “HAGS” was always such a delightful and meaningful message to receive after a long year together. How sweet.

        I got Facebook in 2007, I think? And I will admit, I forgot about the whole getting-to-know-someone-by-verbal-association over the years. It’s been refreshing deciding whether or not I get along with a person, organically, rather than technically. Even though a lot of people say they hate Facebook, it’s too late. It’s the Black Plague of social media. It’s taken over the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Took me a second to figure out what HAGS meant lol. So so so heartfelt though. One day I want to conduct a focus group with people who get into idiotic debates and personal attacks in the comments section of group pages. And then I want to do the same for YouTube commenters, but it’ll likely be the same people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        Many times did I receive a HAGS in my yearbook. It’s safe to say, I didn’t stay in contact with those people haha

        YouTube commenters just seem drunk all the time. Facebook attackers seem like they haven’t passed elementary school.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        We always got our yearbooks the following school year in the fall! And I stood up to clap for your last sentence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        I’ve always wanted a standing ovation!

        Also, that’s a little strange in my opinion that you got the yearbooks in the fall. Did you guys even sign them? Was it like, “HEY, hope you HAD a great summer!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        They needed the summer to make them I guess. The comments were more like “Hey remember that time we were in the same class together and ____ happened. Good times!” You know, very Canadian. In grade 12 people signed each other’s golf shirts (we had uniforms). I thought that was dumb and didn’t partake. We had to go back in October to get our Grade 12 yearbook.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        To be honest, I’m not even sure where my senior yearbook is! My photo was on one page….my senior photo hahaha I avoided the yearbook cameras like a pro.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. micqu says:

    Yes to all of the above. I agree with Everything you said. Even the mention of Twitter and Instagram. Just yes. And I would close my Facebook account without the messenger too. Very well written.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I’ve even refused to download the Facebook messenger app for my phone as a sort of boycott. I don’t see why they needed a separate app from the main Facebook one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • micqu says:

        True, if you could use it without the actual app or site, that would be way better… But I guess it would be less profitable. I mean, social media is not about being social. In the end, it is about collecting as much information as possible and making the most money out of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        You’re totally right. Good for Mark Zuckerberg and the other social media creators though. They’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandi says:

    I’m only friends with certain high school people that I care to see what is going on in their life. I did what you did and later I needed to reach someone for something that I “used” to be Facebook friends with (and I don’t have their e-mail or phone #) let me check with so-and-so real quick…oh, I either unfriended them or they unfriended me. Then I have to send them an “inbox” note. So, I try not to be too hasty now. I do want to remain FB friends with parents of kids our kids are friends with or play sports with, extracurricular activities because inevitably we got pictures to share of the group outing, or need to arrange carpool or “meet up” etc. And it is so much easier to post a FB blurb to multiple people – vs. trying to text everyone. (and suck up your data or worry about the one person that you don’t have their personal number) I’m sure when the kids are older, I’ll unfriend lots of people we no longer know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      From a parent’s perspective Facebook is definitely a great way to communicate and coordinate with other parents. And it’s good to keep those relationships so it does’t affect the kids. When I worked at camp, the parents would tell each other to add them on Facebook to schedule play dates.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sandi says:

    BTW: The messenger app rocks! It’s like a text, but doesn’t suck up your data. I need it for those couple of other moms that our kids won’t allow us to verbally talk on the phone or are NOSEY. We message back-n-forth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I’m sure it’s fantastic! I’m just stubborn and was peeved when I found out I needed another app to send messages and I still haven’t gotten over it lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandi says:

        that’s okay- I refuse to “move on” with the times with all the other that followed Instagram? Pintrest? (whatever it’s called.) I was like a teenager, this Pin thing is lame…lame.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. ~M says:

    I completely relate to this and I hardly get on FB anymore for the same reasons. I love WP because it’s filled with people like you that I can really relate to. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Haha reminds me of the “a note about social media” post I did a while ago! It’s so sad. Sometimes I wish things were like the old days where you didn’t have so much access to everyone’s lives (and they don’t have access to yours!) unless you visit them face to face regularly. Meh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Me too. Everyone’s life was private and you only knew the details if you were close with the person. Now people can figure out almost everything about someone just by adding them on Facebook. Takes away the process of getting to know someone, sadly.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. anshurao says:

    Well, there are funny memes on there , but I see your point about the friends

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Is there a “LOVE” button? I absolutely loved what you wrote. It’s like you read my mind. Actually that’s one of the reasons why I kept on deleting my Facebook account over the years, but these days just “unfollow” people. The only reason why I like Facebook is the convenience with android apps and its link to contacts. I admit I don’t know much about Facebook…I don’t want to either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked this. Yeah, for me, if I was going to unfollow them, I might as well go all the way and just unfriend them.

      Like

  15. A.M.E. says:

    I was going to delete mine last year before this whole election thing got everyone riled up, but I didn’t and now I regret it. I didn’t get one either till college.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. abarn003 says:

    You’re very wise. I took a few years off of facebook and deleted my page. People were very confused and frustrated with me. Strange, I know. But taking the time off and then coming back, only friending people who I am actually close with, offered me a unique space to genuinely engage with people. And now that I have recently joined wordpress I have found that I really love it. I’m still learning how it works and how to use it to best suit my needs, but it really is a fun atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Yeah, I’d imagine Facebook being a much different/better place if all of us only friending people we actually talk to. It would be so different. WordPress is such a great atmosphere. I don’t think any other social medium compares to it.

      Like

  17. It is exhausting i’ve been like enough to make a few really good friends online. I hope those people in high esteem. For that, I am grateful to Facebook but I am so over social media. I do love WordPress and all the wonderful people here, yourself included.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Little Rants says:

    True that. Facebook feels like a nosy aunt that keeps prodding you for unnecessary info.

    Liked by 1 person

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