Your ten years of success are my ten years of failure.

Happy Birthday Facebook.

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Yesterday marked the ten year anniversary of our favorite social networking site. I say OUR favourite as a society, not mine, personally.

Personally, I hate Facebook. For some people it is alcohol, for other drugs and for many it is food. For me, Facebook is my addiction. Twice I have deactivated my profile in an attempt to liberate myself.  My first attempt lasted a successful nine hours and my second, just over two days.

My hatred for the site falls under five categories;

1) Life envy. Facebook kindly updates me on the fun and exciting things that my Facebook “friends” are up to. The size six girls taking selfies, the people traveling the world, doing amazing things and even the boring yet stable people in their high flying jobs for top companies. Meanwhile, I’m sitting in my PJs long past midday on a rainy day in England glued to the social networking site.

2) Nostalgic cringing. Have you ever stumbled across a cringeworthy status you wrote five years ago? Accidentally clicked on photos documenting that phase of your life that was dominated by your braces, dodgy fringe and unusual lilac eyeshadow? Or, worse still, fallen upon those horrendously embarrassing notes that we all insisted on completing and sharing in about 2008?! CRINGE. I had shoved these memories to the back of my mind for a reason Facebook.

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3) Procrastination. Facebook stalking itself is something of an art. People I’m close to, acquaintances I know a little and a few that I have never even met: they’ve all been subject to my stalking. Former friends I had forgotten about, ex-boyfriends and the guys I hope to date. I have a list of about 8 people whose profiles I routinely check for updates. Oh dear. If that wasn’t enough those cringey groups I “liked” back at school; “I’m a 90s kid,” “I hate when people don’t text back” and “flipping the pillow onto the cold side” are a few of the MANY that like to post random YouTube videos, BuzzFeed quizzes and pointless articles that I insist on checking out. It’s procrastination to the max.

4) Ex-Boyfriend Watch. The greatest hobby of all. Also, the most unhealthy. Stalking ex-boyfriends, guys I dated and even ones I had just the odd night of passion with. It’s me not really letting go. I know their new jobs, their friendship circles and new girlfriends. I know where they went on holiday, how much they raised for “Movember” and what they had for dinner last night. Facebook makes you a bunny boiler, stalking freak. Worse, it makes that sort of behaviour acceptable. 

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5) People Dodging. My real friends have my phone numbers and know where I live. It’s the in-between people whose lives I want to view from a distance but who I don’t actually want to talk to, that become tricky on Facebook. My mother’s friend who has taken to inbox-ing me far more frequently than I would like and that girl from school a decade ago who wants to cling onto a friendship that wasn’t even that great at the time. It’s a pain in the arse and Facebook blurs the lines of real friendship and Facebook friendship. It makes me have to dodge some people like the plague or forces e to talk to them in the knowledge that they know their message has been “read.” Thanks for that one Facebook!

This is all easily sorted though? Just de-friend the people I don’t want to talk to, unlike the groups that aid procrastination and delete all traces of an embarrassing past? Or better still deactivate for good. But its NOT that simple. Deleting people, pages and photos undermines Facebook and my history. It is a representation of my life- warts and all. A timeline (quite literally) of my school years, my university life, of the key moments and the friends old and new. It’s not just some social networking site. It’s lasted the test of time in a way that MySpace and Bebo didn’t. I have a deep psychological attachment to Facebook. This is why I truly hate the site. How can I discard my modern day photo album? Rid myself of friends that one day I may wish to reconnect with? Cut out this chunk of my life, of my history? It’s like a diary: a window into my life, into my relationships and into my thoughts…it represents not just my life, but the life of millions. In some way, it will be here forever, not just a mere ten years.

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