I’m having trouble with Facebook.
On one hand, it’s this great, fantastic tool where–in the best of scenarios–it allows you daily access into the lives of people you care about. Into their successes and their families and their journeys and the tiny daily details that although mundane are the seeds of happiness that we all sow daily in our lives.
On the other hand, it can sway pretty far from this scenario.
If you go back to the beginning of my profile on Feb 12, 2005, you can see that there are posts from friends that may seem a little out of character for today. In fact, if we could look at the evolution of my profile, you’d see that I’d married multiple people, used to be interested in “whatever I could get”, most of my past quotes were borderline derogatory, and there was a plethora of photos of me doing things like shots of tequila and playing beer pong and being just generally and collegiately ridiculous*. Getting on Facebook was being a part of a like-me community. This was the norm.
It was harmless until it was harmful. Kids were being denied jobs for the very pics I just talked about. I still remember going back through and deleting every possible tag of me holding anything that might even BE alcohol. There was an assumed privacy that was ultimately broken. But our norms shifted and we became more protective of the content we put out in the world.
Slowly but steadily it continued to redefine itself. Everyone was given access. For better or worse, the college kid facebook scenario was truly over.
Over the past seven years, I’ve accumulated 1,563 friends. Not too shabby, right? I can look at most of these people and at least define the point in my life that they were a part of. A job here, an acquaintance there, perhaps we were pals in elementary school, or soccer teammates of years past.
Everyone serves a place in time, and I’m happy to honor that. But in the wake of what I’m seeing Facebook become, I think it might be doing more damage than good. I don’t care about 99% of the things in my news feed, the chain letters, or repetitive status updates, or political opinions**, or false advertising for the lives of people I’m not sure that I truly know anymore.
It’s harsh, I know. I should be nice and deal with it and toss my cares to the wind and stay on Facebook for OTHER people because they are curious what’s happening in my life. Except are they really? Or are we all just comparing ourselves to each other? I don’t know anymore. I really don’t.
So for 2013, I’m kicking the seven year habit.
I’m inviting each of my 1,563 friends to send me an email with the following:
Name, Phone number, Address, and one thing you want to say about our friendship or relationship to eachother
If you send me this email, I will call you in the year of 2013 and we’ll catch up in real life, in real terms, and as two real people. We might even catch up in person, if time and distance allow. Coffee, anyone? If this happens, it’s on me. You can hold me to that one.
I’m turning my Facebook off on Sunday, so that’s the deadline to get your emails in, and you can send those emails to:
Additionally, I’ll be writing more in this blog which you can follow via email, perhaps I’ll even write about our convo. You can still follow me on Instagram or Twitter at @NKQualtieri. And you know, you can maybe call sometime.
We’ll see what 2013 brings. Hopefully, reconnection in the best of ways.
Simple as that. Let’s be real friends.
*Sorry for partying.
**I do care about politics. Just not in this setting.