Dear Fakebook,

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Dear fakebook,

It’s time for us to break up and I need to start seeing other people. It’s not me it’s you.

I’m tired of wading through the endless sea of advertisements for stuff I don’t need. If I wanted to see advertisements, I’d pay for cable and buy magazines. And even though I tell you that I don’t want to see your ads, they smack me in the face every time I login.

I also hate how you prey on the very real need for human connection. Although I know I’m one of those people who are happy regardless of how many likes or followers I get and I’m secure in who I am and what I want out of life; I know there are people out there who are struggling with that. They needlessly compare themselves to everyone else. They end up feeling even more alienated than they did before they even got on Fakebook! You make a lot of money by making people feel bad about themselves while under the illusion that they are building lasting and meaningful relationships.

You constantly change your interface so that you are increasingly more addictive. You have a team of people who understand what it is that attracts us to your product and they make changes accordingly. You give us a dopamine rush every time somebody likes something that we post—The same reaction that we we get from using illicit drugs. Dopamine is a fascinating chemical and while we can get that kind of rush from Fakebook or illicit drugs; nothing is more powerful than the dopamine rush from true human connection.

In my opinion, fakebook helps to play into our current opioid epidemic. You see, I have come to understand that part of the reason why people use illicit drugs is because they are lacking real and meaningful human connections in their lives. I believe that addiction is a disease with a genetic component but also a self-love, self worth and cultural component.

It’s ironic, you see we think of people who take pictures of themselves as people who love themselves maybe a little too much but is that really the case? Maybe some of these people are individuals that actually don’t love themselves at all and they’re looking for ways to measure their self worth. Or maybe these are people that actually love themselves and are very brave and vulnerable by posting exactly who they really are, just to be bullied and mocked with opinions that don’t really matter.

You started out as a great way to connect people and to organize events. I can’t deny that your events calendar is on point. But the thing is, you’ve taken a very wrong and dark turn. You actually add to the degradation of our societal values rather than creating an online version of those exact values. People feel like they can say whatever they want from behind a screen on your platform. In reality, you’d think that people wouldn’t say these things other peoples faces and it used to be that way. However, we gotten so used to how we communicate on Fakebook that it’s creeping in to our face-to-face conversations and our social behavior.

For example, people have zero patience and they cannot wait 30 seconds for their turn in line; bypassing minor annoyance and going straight to enraged. I was in a clothing store last weekend and after the customer in front of me paid and walked out, the sales person begin to ring up my order. The person in front of me came back because the cashier forgot to ring up one of their items. Which I thought was fantastic; it was amazing to see someone else’s honesty. However, this other person claimed that they were in a hurry and didn’t want to get back in line so the issue could be resolved. Although the sales person was halfway through ringing up my items, she voided my transaction, rang up the other persons item and then got back to me. When I left the store the person who was apparently in a hurry was outside talking on her cell phone while her child was running around in another store. This person was so “busy” that she had time to make a phone call while her child was leisurely browsing through shoes. And this brings me to my next point about this adventure…

The cashier lost focus of what was happening during my transaction. She forgot to remove one of the security tags. So I had to go back and have it removed after being publicly shamed by the stupid alarm. What does this have to do with Fakebook ? Fakebook fragments our focus. It trains us to focus for smaller and smaller units of time. It tricks us into thinking that multitasking is a real possibility. Multitasking and loosing ones focus can be dangerous, this is how accidents happen. I also find that lack of focus ruins the quality of conversations when you have the rare one…face-to-face. People have forgotten how to listen and we end up repeating ourselves over and over again needlessly. People find that they have to fill silence and fidget if they are not constantly entertained. Has customer service gone down that drain, or is it really customer behavior that’s the issue? Both? I made a terrible waitress and I still “suck at customer service”. No, the customer isn’t always right. I’m not down with you disrespecting me, I don’t care jack crap that you are paying. I still run my business this way today, quite successfully I might add.

I also don’t like how when I want to delete my profile, that you kind of won’t let me…it takes 14 days for me to be able to delete a page! I am an adult (I mean, I guess you know that…because you have my birthdate) and I can make rational decisions. If I want to delete something, I should be able to delete it exactly when I’m ready to delete it! It seems like that policy is more for you than it is for me. I guess you need time to back up my information my photos etc. to keep on file.

In the process of preparing to delete my profile, I’ve actually had some really good conversations with people that I haven’t talked to in a long time. I’ve also been able to weed through my friends list and find out who actually wants to stay connected. I’m finding out who my real peeps are verses people who just kinda want to be all up in my business. While I deeply regret making a Fakebook, I don’t regret learning the life lesson that there are very few people who have earned the privilege of hearing about everything that happens in my life.

I’ve also had the experience of someone reaching out to me through some other form than Fakebook (be it a phone call, a text message or email) asking to meet up for coffee and actually following through. It’s been awhile since that’s happened. You see, with Fakebook everybody’s information is being put in a news feed and if you follow someone, it comes directly to you. We no longer have to be proactive in our relationships, we don’t have to reach out to people anymore. We expect everything to come directly to us. It used to be, that if you wanted information you had to actively seek it out. Fakebook makes us lazy, selfish and indifferent. When someone you care about deeply reaches out without being prompted, and takes the time to say hi or to wish you happy birthday, it shows exactly how much you mean to that person. They are going out of the way, being proactive in making an effort to create a lasting and meaningful relationship with you.

We have also gotten sucked into our own little worlds forgetting that humanity is multifaceted. People live in all kinds of ways that make them perfectly happy and if we really want to be great humans, we need to let them live in whatever capacity that makes them feel joy. It is perfectly fine to have differing ideas and points of view. We all lead individual experiences that we cannot replicate. We cannot fully understand another person’s experience of life. But we can learn to be empathetic of that experience because although our experiences are very different, there are common themes that happen to us simply because we are human and we are alive. My personal view of the world is directly shaped by my experiences, by the people in my life and how I choose to spend my time. Of course, my experience is not going be the same as anybody else on this planet, but if someone were to come and tell me that I am wrong, that what I know as reality is wrong and I that I should be ashamed of who I am and what I believe is wrong…well, of course I’m not going respond in a positive way. We have forgotten it’s very possible to have your own opinions and beliefs while understanding and empathizing with another persons worldview without adopting that view yourself. I do feel like I have to add that I’m a friend of facts. Facts are important and somethings are just incorrect and wrong. However, we will never change people’s minds through Fakebook. We will never change if we can’t understand each other.

We have reverted back to our animalistic always, ripping each other apart over propaganda and dogma. Forgetting that the person who you’re speaking to, is in fact a HUMAN with feelings and real needs.

I don’t like how you censor my posts. If I call out something politically, you won’t show it to people who might disagree. If I say that I’m deleting your product….your algorithms won’t show it to everybody on my friends list. This tells me that people are deleting Fakebook at an increasing rate and you’re afraid of that. You’re afraid that you’re no longer going to be able to make money. Did I mention that I hate capitalism?

It’s time to get back to the way life was before social media. I’m ready to party like it’s pre 9/11! Hashtag 1990’s, am I right? Fakebook makes us think that if we delete it, we will lose connections with all of our “friends”. This is yet another illusion. We have other, superior means for communication. When was the last time you used all of the minutes on your phone? Email works perfectly fine for overseas communication and gasp… it looks just like a Fakebook message! It requires effort to maintain relationships. See my point above again about information coming to us rather than us being proactive in our own lives. Sure, you’ll loose the friendships that you don’t maintain. It’s okay, not everyone needs to be a close friend. Also, it’s humanly impossible to have 300+ close, meaningful connections with people. It’s more like 10 to 20 as the true limit.

I think maybe one day we’ll look back and think “wow this was a terrible social experiment!” We have had many, many, many years of civilization without social media—we can survive without it.

I am looking forward to a slower pace with meaningful interactions. I’m looking forward to life without distractions that prevent me from staying in the present moment. I’m ready to get back to conversation, trying to understand people at their most deep level and to have some real discourse.

Peace,

Glenda

P.s There are places that you can store photos and videos online that aren’t Fakebook. WINK WINK ; )

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