We’ve been together many years now and, by and large, it’s been a fairly pleasant relationship.
I can still remember when our love was new. I spent almost all my waking hours with you. During the separations with no Internet connectivity, all I could think about was telling you this thing or that, giving you all my doctored-up photos and “liking” everything about you.
And even though the years have worn off the early fascination with our relationship, I still devote many exclusive minutes to you every day. In fact, my own pups, the McNuggets, have been conditioned to hold their marble-sized bladders until I first check in with you every morning. You remember the McNuggets, don’t you? They’re in the Halloween ’11 album.
Through the years, we’ve learned so much about each other. Thanks to you, I’ve also learned a startling amount of information about our mutual friends. In fact, it’s fair to say I’ve had a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with your revelatory tendency to put everything out there, sharing other people’s assorted afflictions and the kind of social leprosies that are best confined to a good, long stint on the psychiatrist’s couch. Was my mother the only one who dished out repeated warnings not to tell the world everything I know or do you just make me feel that way, FB?
Your eagerness to share everything you know with others is unsettling. Admittedly, my history proves I’m pretty lethargic about clearing my cookies. I’ve left myself vulnerable to those outsiders who want to come between us and who, if not for you and my sporadic cookie hygiene, wouldn’t even know I exist: advertisers.
You’ve revealed everything you thought you knew about me and made me the target of some advertising messages that make me wonder whether you ever really knew me at all, FB.
Knowing my preference and deep appreciation for doctored-up photos versus the deal-breaking, un-retouched variety, you routinely exploit my horror of aging by subjecting me to ads for various elixirs and potions, aimed right at my crow’s feet.
You’ve hit me below the belt, too. I couldn’t ignore today’s ad for an online clothier that features a rather “fluffy” woman in a muumuu, just above an animated gif of belly flab shrinking in and bulging back out. Deny it all you want, but it tells me you’ve either shared my innocent post asking whether I could pay for Girl Scout cookies with PayPal or you’re keeping tabs on the alarming number of check-ins I’ve made at Sid’s hamburger grill in El Reno. I don’t apologize.
Scrolling through my settings as I do once every lunar eclipse, I noticed you rounded up some book suggestions, based on what you think you know about me. “Little House on the Prairie” – really? “The Secret Garden?” WHAT? Am I a 12-year-old, or are those suggestions your sick idea of an apology for all the age spot salves and herbal menopause relief balm ads?
Your movie suggestions suck, too, FB. In the dark of the Preferences section, I bared my soul to you, telling you about all my favorite things. You’ll recall that my favorite movies are “Cinema Paradiso” and “The Godfather” trilogy. And the best you can come back with is “You might also like … ‘Captain Ron’ or the ‘The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again?’” If I had a suspicious nature, I’d say you’re the source of the rumors that I’m in an online tryst with the ABC Afterschool Special. Or maybe I’ve just creeped on Rob Lowe’s home page a time or five too many.
I realize that all relationships have their rough patches. (Saw an ad for that yesterday, btw.) It’s not always rainbows and sunshine – but if I click through and pay $59.99, plus shipping and handling, that’s exactly the flavor of chewable, libido-enhancing pills I can order from Dr. Oz.
All I’m saying – and you can post this to everyone in my newsfeed if you want – is that it’s getting harder to keep our love alive, FB. If I had some non-Facebook time to do some legitimate soul-searching, I might even say that what we have together is nothing more than “like.”
It won’t be easy, but maybe one day I can come to terms with your town-crier-like asides about someone’s irritable bowels or photos of someone’s fresh corneal stitches. I think we both know I’m not going anywhere, Facebook.
But let in one AARP ad and it’s over.