It’s not you, Facebook. It’s me and my obsessive millennial mindset.
Oh, who am I kidding? It’s both of us. It’s my intellectual masochism and your constant availability. I may not have read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I get the feeling that I’m the Anastasia and you’re the Christian in this situation. You have your fun torturing me, and I let you because it gives me an imaginary social boost every once in a while. I’ve even signed a contract with you that states you have full ownership of whatever I put up, which includes—
See? I just stopped writing that sentence to check you. Buzzfeed posted something about what it’s like to be asked at family holidays about post-graduation plans, which does not apply to me at all, but I clicked on it anyway because “Ooh, Little Mermaid meme!”
But then I came limping back to this page, my blog input page, where I’m supposed to be focusing on breaking up with you even though I just heard the “bing” that notifies me someone liked that status I wrote two days ago about how people who say seeing The Interview is their patriotic duty might want to consider finding out just what Unbroken is about (hint: not a horse). That makes seven likes. Not as many as I wanted. Hmph.
Which brings me to one of the many reasons why I’m breaking up with you, Spawn of Zuckerberg. You’ve made a portion of my life revolve around number-based egotism: how many likes can my profile picture get? How many likes on my posts can I get? How many pictures of me do other people post, signifying that I’m both social and photogenic? My social worth is only equal to the number of red notification flags crying for attention at the top of my screen. If there’s not at least one up there, I must be a failure at being social or my friends must not like me.
None of us experienced Fear of Missing Out in such debilitating forms before you came along, Harvard-Produced Hell. You’ve made it not only easy but also natural to find ourselves clutching our stomachs in gut-wrenching jealousy at that girl’s wedding, that guy’s apartment, that group of friends’ outing to the Shake Shack. And then that envy turns to vengeance, and you post our own asinine photos just to retaliate. You think the Chicago skyline as viewed from your Lakeview apartment is so cool that everyone should see it? Here’s a picture from my San Diego hotel room balcony that no one really cares about either except me — and FOMO sufferers everywhere.
Wounding with words (and photos, relationship updates, etc.) has never been so passive aggressive until we could do it through you, Billboard of Beelzebub. And the best part? We can flaunt our achievements in front of close friends who might forgive our peacocking, and at the same time remind that girl-you-met-once-at-a-party-and-haven’t-talked-to-since why she’s happy you haven’t talked to her since.
You won’t find me hanging out with your buddies when this is all over, either. Twitter, LinkedIn and I have kept our relationships purely professional, so they’ll be staying firmly in my life as colleagues and news sources (which are the same thing if you’re a journalist). Tumblr is rude and cliquish and I don’t know how to communicate with it. Goodreads started out supportive enough but now only makes me feel inadequate. I made 74 percent of my reading goal for 2014, and I feel like I failed someone. Not necessarily myself, but some ethereal Ethernet being that keeps tallies in the sky of how much apocalypse fiction versus WWII non-fiction I’ve read in the last 365 days.*
*It also lets me know I read some really dark stuff and might want to consider lightening up my reading choice.
Maybe I would have made that goal if so much of my time wasn’t spent perusing you, reading the same posts over and over, expecting different results even though I’ve been through this stream three times in the last hour. I would remind you of the definition of insanity, but I prefer to paint a mental picture of a zombie beating its brain against a barbed wire fence.
I will be your undead scroller no more, Satan’s Social Media. I’m leaving you, and I’m taking my witty status updates with me to something that understands me and my needs — this blog, which has been around longer than you and has always been here for me, even though I neglected it all year. If anyone needs me, they can find me here.