In 2013, I left Facebook and just stuck to reading news. During these days, my feed was so convoluted with political views and opinions from the ongoing election around that time.
In 2015, I opened an Instagram account because, I noticed that there’s less of opinions going around and just beautiful photos posted and most of them spark motivation and positive emotions. I quickly took to liking this platform of limited sharing and only photos for admiration.
Fast forward to today, I decided to come back to Facebook.
At first, for me, it was just surviving with less needs, and just staying at home. Keep your head down, stay at home and survive. Every day, I would hear in the news how fast COVID was spreading and the demographics of where it’s most concentrated at. During these days, it was just about the numbers, and the hope that it will all go away soon.
Three months in, and it’s now a new way of life. Biking to grocery, biking everywhere I need to go. No more jumping outside for me, because I’m afraid to go brain damaged jumping with an N95 on.
Another three months later, and I’m feeling like I am alone. With all the social media going on, I feel like there’s a big disconnect between what’s happening in real life vs what I see online.
I need to see what’s going on.. In. The. Lives. Of. Real. People I know.
People I know
You meet someone, say hello, and file their name inside your head and be done with them. These are people we call acquaintances. You met them, and that’s it.
Once you add them on Facebook, you open your lives to them. They know your likes, your preferences, where you do your grocery, the colors you prefer; maybe even where you work and where you live. They become your friends (?)
But the people you know in real life, are the people you wouldn’t forget. Or would you?
After seven years of being away from Facebook, I started adding some friends back online. More than half of them don’t remember me anymore. Or, should I say, don’t want to connect anymore?
The people I know. If only they know..
Facebook shows what people care about
The things you care about are the things you post online. All. The. Time. Some post mostly memes, some posts gossips, some about pets, plants, and some about heavy political perspectives.
It’s mundane and easy to share anything you like on Facebook. Unlike Instagram, a picture is a picture. One square with a limited capability of text description is all that it has to convey what you mean. You can’t share Youtube videos, you can’t share a tweet, you can’t share anything more than what fits in that square; and most of the time, it has to be yours.
Facebook allows you to gather everything you care about and slam them all into your wall. This can tell me a lot about a person. Who are you, really?
Me, I care about people caring. Caring about things that’s supposed to matter: Life and Relationships.
Truth be told, I wanted to do service to the people I know. I want to be able to pray for someone who might have lost a loved one to COVID. I wanted to be able to say, “it’s going to be ok” to someone who needed it.
However, I saw something else… again.
Facebooks shows you how people can be ugly
Exactly because Facebook accepts (almost) anything for posting, you can share anything you like. Forgetting that, you have friends who can get hurt, who can get offended.
It can also encourage you to post when you’re in deep anger or a strong emotion when you may regret what you’ll say.
I be-friended some people I know (again) because I wanted to re-connect. Sadly, some of them added me just for the number. Some added me so they can invite me to like their pages (but won’t like my page back for some reason). My logic is all about give and take. Some added me just for kicks.
Again, I am discouraged being on Facebook. I suddenly remember the reason I left.
I’ll leave it be
There was one friend I was trying to look for. I was thinking of what I was going to say to him. He used to be a funny guy. But when I searched for him, I was dumbfounded and heart broken to hear, he already passed away some years ago.
Maybe others don’t value the connection, but these things are part of life. Not knowing when a friend is in need or is dying or just died is just leaving us in the dark. Not being able to offer a prayer as a sign of closure is just sad.
But then again, some even add us because of an awful agenda. Is this how millennials make friends now? I’m traditional. Back in my days, you make friends by offering something to the connection. It’s called friendship.
Facebook sometimes makes me feel like we aren’t humans; but to some, the connection works. So, I’ll leave it be. If anyone asks, I’m on Facebook because COVID made me do it.