I remember when we first met; me, a college junior. You, a hip yet scrappy upstart trying to find your way in a world filled with myspace, blackplanet and even AIM. But you were different. Your interface saved me from loud music and sparkly backgrounds whenever I visited someone’s page. Your exclusivity kept me safe from creepy men sending me messages to tell me how sexy they thought I was and asking if I was “smigle”. You were a safe space to share pictures and thoughts with friends. Weekend hangouts became as much about getting a good quote for a status update and a profile picture as enjoying the company of my friends. But over the years we’ve both grown and changed.
First, you dropped the .edu email requirement. Initially, this was a welcome change as I did have friends who either never or no longer had an .edu email address. I did get a few messages from weird creepy men, but generally things were sweet. But as we continued to grow, problems began to crop up. First, there was the time that my shirtless 8th grade teacher poked me (creepy. and by the way, wtf does that even mean?). After graduation, my interaction with you became as much about constantly managing my privacy settings to hide things from potential and current employers as it was about interacting with my friends. Whatever, a new way of networking. Let’s do this.
Next, came the ads. That’s fine. we all have to make money some way and those ads introduced me to the joys of ModCloth and I have to thank you for that even though some aspects of the platform were concerning at best. But, seriously the apps? Not all of them were bad, honesty box was fun for awhile. But the games? It got to the point where I couldn’t login without being assaulted by my “friends” requesting me to join them and play Farmville, Sorority Life and whatever else you were pushing. Again, to quote Erykah, “Work ain’t honest but it pays the bills.” However, given the way these games worked there was for sure an ethical dilemma. But, there were no alternatives.
Next came the parents and aunts and for some people grandparents. Umm… I didn’t sign up for this. Now, I’ve got to find all my crazy ass aunt’s profiles and block her preemptively before she friends me and starts posting crazy shit on my wall. Never mind the fact that there are certain ways that I want certain people to know me and you’ve taken that away from me Facebook.
The final straw? You decided to kick off one of my friends for not being him and refused to re-instate his profile without him sending a photocopy of a government issued form of ID. Seriously, Facebook? This is what we’ve come too? I’m sorry. We’ve had some good times dear but I’ve met someone new. His name is Google+, I’ve known him for years and we’ve been really good friends and I want to see where this goes. He let’s me organize my social life based on how much information I want to share and allows me to share as little or as much of myself with people based on how close I determine them to be. So really Facebook; it’s been real, but I’m moving on. Thanks for the memories.