Dear Facebook

Originally published Monday, 30 September 2013.


I’ve had this feeling for a while but I wasn’t sure how to tell you. I mean, our relationship started off so great. You were this awesome tool that I could use to connect with all kinds of people–new friends and old. With just one click I was instantly transported into all kinds of places and conversations, like a time machine and a documentary all at once.

But here’s the thing. Lately, I’ve just been feeling sort of emotionally manipulated. I pop into my newsfeed and my heart enters the spin cycle. I can watch a Chipotle commercial or I can see horrific pictures from Syria and then I can laugh at animals talking like humans followed by a plea from my friend to help the homeless, and then my old college acquaintance is worried about her mom and my neighbor is complaining about her kid’s teacher, and I just sort of get overloaded, you know? You tempt me. To buy shoes and covet people’s houses and procrastinate and feel bad about myself. And that’s why it’s changed between us.

I mean, it’s not you. It’s me. Some people probably handle it fine, but my heart dives right into every status update and video clip and news headline and it’s like an emotional ping pong match on steroids.

So I’ve been hanging on like things are the same between us, but they aren’t. And I know, every relationship is a two-way street. I’ve been just as guilty, putting my emotions out there for everyone’s consumption, waving my passion around expecting everybody to feel just like me and getting frustrated when I don’t get the response I thought I deserved. And that’s not fair to you.

So I’m going to need to put some boundaries on the time we spend together. If I’m honest, you are plain exhausting sometimes. I think I’m stopping by to check in with some buds and the next thing I know, we are in this hour-long drama fest. I want you to quiet down but it feels like once we get started, it’s hard to stop. So the best thing for me is going to be if we limit our interaction.

It’s been feeling intense, and I need us to just be friends, like friends who talk a couple of times a week and don’t feel all beholden to one another. I need to focus on my kids in the morning and then at work and other relationships during the day, which I know will feel like a pretty drastic change. Let’s make sure we keep checking in and keep our relationship healthy.

Plus, I don’t know if you’ve met Twitter, but she’s a little more low-maintenance.