Any of my true friends can tell you one thing about me: I do not have a Facebook. From both friends and random people alike, this declaration has been met with a variety of reactions: surprise being the first, followed closely by admiration. In rare cases, there is indifference, but the first two definitely trump all others. The responses of admiration always make me laugh the hardest internally, and typically go something like this:
“Oh, that’s so good!” “That’s not something you hear everyday!” “I can understand why!”
These responses are then met with reasons why it’s good NOT to have a Facebook, as if I need the reassurance that I am making a wise decision. I always want to say, “No likes necessary,” because that’s the type of person I’ve always been; however, it has not always been the case that I have been Facebook-less.
Rewind to that fateful day in tenth grade, when my mother busts into the house to declare that she must, I mean MUST, see my Myspace.
“Jumaane, you could be doing drugs. You could have guns in this house. I don’t know WHAT you’re doing. I was listening to the radio, and I need to see your Myspace.”
Any other time, this would not have immediately sent a rock to my stomach, save for the very sexual conversation I had had previously with an acquaintance. I had deleted this message, but one aspect of Myspace’s demise was this simple little trick: When someone responded to your message, the ENTIRE conversation popped up again. Long story short, my Mom finds that I am not doing drugs or shooting guns, but I am talking intimately about sex. I am forced to delete my Myspace account, allowed no forays into social media until three years later when I go to college. Punishment in our house growing up was REAL. Ask Monet.
So, the day when I finally was able to make a Facebook, I couldn’t contain myself. Now I would understand what everyone was talking about! I would be a part of the world! I would be able to keep up with my friends from high school! I was ready. I logged in, and posted my first comment, followed by a snazzy picture.
And then I waited. Friend requests came, likes, but I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this it?
Throughout my freshman year, I would delete and restart my Facebook three times before being done for good. At the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I was missing much, and I didn’t like the feeling of doing things for the approval of other people and not myself. I recognize that not everyone is like this, but I can only speak from my own personal experience.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night. My favorite group of International students from Brazil are leaving. I surprise them with 2 packs of Starbursts and a card (I’d given them their first Starbursts after the World C… let’s not talk about that). We take some final pictures, and then they are gone.
How will I contact them now? And then I think to Facebook.
The same website that I despised for a year of college now seems like a handy tool. I graduated from school this May, and I think about the people that I’ve met in those four years, and how I’ll be able to connect with them. Facebook. Those Brazilian students I came to adore more than any other students in the building, even if on the last day I had to ask one or two names (I’m human!). How will I know about them? Facebook.
And then I wonder to myself…
Could I be missing something now?
Perhaps I am on my way to restarting my Facebook?