Holy cats, it’s our ten-year anniversary. And, uh, I didn’t get you any diamonds. Instead I got you one of those rants that you sometimes like. See how it shines like your white face, though?
Ten years together Facebook, can you believe it? I admit that when we met, I was a little skeptical. People kept telling me to try you, but I was like, uh, no. I’d been hurt in the past. I really don’t want to talk about Friendster and MySpace. (Insert mean joke about what MySpace looks like now.) Now I can hardly imagine life without you. Funny how that works, eh?
Ah, Facebook. When we first hooked up, George Bush was President. Then we saw each other through the Obama years. And now we’re stuck with Trump. What the heck happened? Facebook, did I change you, or did you change me?
Remember those early years when we’d poke people? And then there were all the games we played. Maybe we invited one too many people to play along. But that was fine, because we got more into memes. Okay, maybe we could give the memes a little rest.
I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I feel like you’ve grown so much in the last ten years. In the old days you sorta liked everything I did. Now I feel like you’re in touch with my emotions, whether I’m happy, sad, angry, loving, laughing, or just wow-ing. It’s like you really understand those, uh, six emotions.
Birthdays are the best with you. I know I say that every year, but that doesn’t make it less true.
I love you even when you tell me that instead of sharing, I have to copy and paste. I get you even when I don’t actively do whatever you say. You know that, right?
Some people say it’s wrong for me to “check on you” all the time throughout the day. I guess they’re right, but I can’t help it. I get a little dopamine hit to the brain with every “like,” with every notification. There’s a weird way in which things aren’t official until you know about them. My friends like things I post, but it’s you that somehow makes that real. It’s like the Beach Boys said, God Only Knows what I’d be without you.
Sometimes I wonder: how did you change me most? I’m gonna go with something Pamela Druckerman said: “You is the new me.” (By the way, Facebook, I never linked to so many think pieces before I met you. Thanks for that too!) Basically, Druckerman says that as recently as the 90s, it was hard to know if anyone was really thinking what I was thinking. But now that I can wake up in the morning, see your bright face, and find out that someone is doing the same mundane, half-ass, insecure shit that I do, I feel way less alone.
Did I say that wrong? Tone is so tricky online. You still haven’t helped me with that! What I’m saying is, you complete me. Or, uh, you show me that I’m as complete as anyone. It’s a compliment baby!
Did I even bother taking many photos before I knew you? I think you’ve taught me to live out loud.
The truth is, you’ve expanded my horizons. You know all this stuff happening around the world and in our area that, if not for you, I wouldn’t have found out about. You encouraged me to re-connect with friends that I might have lost touch with forever. Thanks for all the baby photos. Uh, I think.
Baby, I also love how concerned you get when one of my friends is near a disaster. You’re not happy until the friend has checked in as safe. That is one of your best qualities. And even when one of my friends dies – we both know it has happened – you keep their flame alive.
If you’re not exactly a hedge against mortality, you’re at least confirmation that my decades-long social life hasn’t been a complete waste of time, you know?
It’s not too much to say that you’ve made me look at most of my friends in a whole new way. Now I think of them as “likers” and “lurkers.” How did I not realize that before I knew you?
Then there are those edge-of-social-circle friends we never added to our lists. After ten years, that ship has sailed, hasn’t it? We would look silly to ping them now, right? Very silly.
It still blows my mind that: of the friends I had before I met you, half of them still don’t get you. What are they thinking? I assume it’s: “Oh, this fad will blow over soon, and then I’ll look like a genius.” Ten years of that. I assume they have similar thoughts about smartphones. And cronuts. And Priuses. And TED talks. And drones. And teenagers watching YouTube. And saying something is “not a thing.” It’s all going out of style ANY DAY NOW, some of my friends say to themselves. Really?
For some of my friends who avoid you, it’s almost like they’re saying, “Well, of course I wouldn’t have done that earlier in my life if I had known there’d someday be Facebook”? Of course they’d never say that to your face, baby. Which proves me right. Or, uh, them.
Face-face, some people complain that because of you, people over-sanitize and “curate” their lives. True, but one could say the same thing about clothes and grooming. People want to look their best for you; is that a bad thing?
The photos I show you…they’re certainly a truth. Maybe they’re not my only truth. But you were the one who insisted on such transparency early on, using my whole name and all these personal details. Sure, I might have reacted by saving another side of me. Is that why you always want to know more about me? Preferably as part of a meme? I was hoping it was because you loved me.
Maybe I don’t love it when you point out how I “spend time on” Twitter and Instagram. Baby, they’re not even in the same category as you. I mean, they’re fun to have around, but I think we both know that what you and I have is more special. More real.
For example, Twitter remembers everything I ever said; instant recall. With you, Facebook, it’s like I share all these intimate details and then it all goes down a big memory hole, unless it’s some anniversary of something cute I once posted.
You are the beautiful, shiny-white, blue-tinted, always-on memory hole of my life. Ah, sweet forgiveness. Uh, I think.
A ten-year anniversary has come to mean diamonds, but traditionally it was the “tin” anniversary. That reminds me of you, Facebook, you glow like diamonds, but you’re also beautifully functional and transactional like tin!
Face-face, did you know people say that you distort the news? That you only tell me the news I want to hear, and that you separate my friends into different political bubbles. Damn, I guess that is true. Oh, you say you’re working on it? Well, I’m not really sure that’s enough.
After ten years I have to admit something: sometimes I think that your only job is selling me to me. Telling me how great I am. You know, it’s like you’re just this sucking need-ball that exists only to repackage my pre-existing life into something shinier and glossier that suddenly has to pay for all this shit we don’t need…
I’m sorry, Facebook. I didn’t mean that. Really. I’m sorry. I take it back.
Are we still friends more than friends?
What do I like about you? Are you serious?
Besides everything I just said, look at all the things you like. You’re a liking machine. Anyone with this much positivity…how could anyone not like you?
One thing I know for sure: this ain’t one of those ten-year anniversaries where one of the partners is looking for a way out. Just because I never imagined you 15 years ago doesn’t mean I can imagine a life without you 15 years from now. No way. We’re stuck with each other. We’re like peanut butter and jelly. Uh, if the peanut butter was smeared all over the entire globe and I was one tiny piece of jelly inside it.
Here’s to the next tin ten years.