It’s not me, it’s you.

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

I hate to put it so bluntly (kinda), but lets be honest, we both knew this day was coming and the final straw I guess for me, was your  more recent shenanigans. I don’t blame you so much as your “handlers”. Needless to say, though I simply don’t feel appreciated anymore. Now I really feel like only a commodity to you, and I would never wish that feeling on anybody. I really don’t think you even “like” me after all these years together.

It’s been ten years, Facebook, but I’ve been feeling this way towards you for quite some time. I hung in there to “stay connected” with family and friends and because I belong to a couple private Facebook groups that I really enjoy. Because of those groups, one of which I pay for, I’ll likely need to create a “faux” profile. Now it feels like you’re forcing me to lie to my friends.

And don’t get me started on how your “fake news” influenced a national election. Hell, thanks to you, my own uncle unfriended me. A couple of times! All is well right now, but I fear as the mid-term election cycle begins again I’ll find myself stressed out over all the hate and I’ll “lose” him again.

And now I learn that even though I never visited This is Your Digital Life (i.e.. Cambridge Analytical), before you broke up with them in 2015, that because a friend did and shared their news feed with them, that my public profile, page likes, birthday, hometown and current city also landed in their greedy little hands. Who really knows what damage that caused in my life–maybe none–BUT collecting my page likes so you could just better sell things to me was enough by itself. This was just the final straw.

I still remember the first time I found myself browsing shoes online. When I came back to you, there were the exact shoes I was looking at on another website. Blinking away at me. Always with the damn blinking.

But now, you’ve gotten even more creepy, Facebook. Watching (& listening?) to every single post, conversation, and photograph, and yet for all that, you never even liked them. Hrmph. Talk about feeling like this relationship was one-sided.

I recently reviewed all that information you’ve been collecting on me through the years. Yup, ALL of it. Wow. Now, I’m smart enough to know that nothing online is ever private nor disappears into the ether, but it was another thing to see line after line, after blurry line of every single status update as well, as names on my “friends” list that I didn’t even recognize!

Saturday, September 6, 2008 9:54am

Anne Holland is…“so happy her little bro is now on Facebook!!” Sorry I dragged you into this, too, Andy.

Monday, January 26, 2009 2:57pm

Anne Holland “had a great time at the bonfire with Bill and Rob, sniffles and all.” Well, at least I was talking about an offline adventure.

Saturday, April 17, 2009 8:08am

Anne Holland is…“SO excited to shoot Karen & Michael’s wedding today!! Such a sweet couple and it’s going to be a beautiful day for them. Yea!” Sigh, I will miss memories like this.

Saturday, November 6, 2010 6:57pm

Anne Holland…“totally saw FB founder Mark Zuckerberg at the VA film festival tonight and no they weren’t screening The Social Network. Wild to watch him walk by a theater that was showing it though!! Anyone else see him??” Yea, more proof that I was drinking the Kool-Aid. Seeing how unethical your “birth” was in that movie (allegedly) didn’t even get me to pause my account. You had quite the hold on me, Facebook. And it continued…

Monday, April 18, 2011 8:37pm

Anne Holland…“super fun and much needed day with two of my favorite girls! Love you fabulous ladies. Thanks for such a wonderful day!!” Before the days of “being able” to tag friends so I actually don’t know really know which friends I was talking about. Sigh.

Saturday, May 4, 2012 11:45am

Anne Holland…“thanks so much for the b-day wishes everyone! Rest assured, there is a margarita with my name on it tonight after our wedding coverage! 😉 Happy Cinco de Mayo!!” Warm and fuzzy memory to be sure. Who doesn’t love Facebook on their birthday especially?

Sunday, June 23, 2013 9:59pm

Anne Holland is…with Bill Holland. “Cocktails in hand for the Mad Men season finale! Won’t hear any spoilers from me though. Thought it was a fantastic and crazy episode!” Can now tag people and implicate them in your drinking while facebooking while watching TV. (Sorry, Bill.) And thanks in large part to Facebook, “spoilers” became an every day “bad” word in our vocabularies.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 3:27pm

Anne Holland is…with Bill Holland. “Scenery on a little overnight to celebrate B’s b-day this past weekend. #wow #justwow #abincolorado #latergram #nofilter” Holy crap! Hashtags have been around since at least 2014?!? Definitely didn’t need to know that! Way to make me feel old, Facebook.

Friday, August 21, 2015 4:23pm

Anne Holland…“shared Holland Photo Art’s photo.” Ah, yes. A BIG reminder of why I justified staying with you so long.

Friday, October 14, 2016 11:22am

Anne Holland…shared a memory. “Still do. Always will.” No idea what this one was about, but apparently I thought it so important, I needed to share it twice! Oye.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 5:52pm

Anne Holland is…with Bill Holland. “Been on an unexpected, but not necessarily unwanted, break from social media for a while, but wanted to share a new post from yours truly on Bill’s blog. Exchange surgery is tomorrow and I CANNOT wait! Link is www.billholland.com/annies-surgery and IM Bill or I for the new, MUCH simpler p/w that will work on this post and all the previous ones if you missed any. He’ll also post an update or two following the surgery. <3” Actually thankful, that you made it so easy for friends and family to check in with us, but honestly thanks in large part to my surgeries/health issues/long recovery, I realized just how little I’d miss you should you no longer be in my life.

Thanks to you, Facebook, I know these things happened to me and even I find them pretty boring! Maybe not boring so much, but I never signed up for an apparently secret project: Your Facebook Diary: An Intrusive Look Back.

Sure there have been so many studies in recent years, indicating just how detrimental effect you may have on my life. But I guess I had to live it to really believe it. I felt bad for not checking you out enough. And then when I did, I felt bad for checking you out. And the mindless scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.

And, let’s be honest, I very likely didn’t give you the time you “deserved”. You made it so easy to catch up with friends and yet, also hard. Constantly scrolling and never really feeling like I knew, really, what was going on in their lives. It was a false sense of connection.

You were really close to good enough, but as with all social media at some point, the shine rubs off. My current love is Instagram, but since you also own that app, I fear its days are numbered, as well. I guess we’ll see.

You’ve simply become too controlling and I no longer desire to deal with all your down sides which vastly out number your good sides. You talk a good game, Facebook, but you don’t truly seem interested in changing your, much too often, deceitful ways.

I won’t miss you, but I will miss all the people you connected me to. Very much, but I’m hopeful that I will continue to be able to be in touch with them IRL and via text, email, blog, Instagram, etc.

I promise to not hold it against anyone else I know who chooses to keep you in their lives. (My husband is currently still sticking with you.) Everyone gets to make their own choice. And I get it. I truly do. Saying goodbye is really, really difficult. I’ve attempted to do so many times before over the years, but there’s simply more reasons to give you up than not these days.

And your pal, Messenger? He’s next on my “Dear John” list.

Anne Holland is…“non-regretfully no longer yours’,”

One of the first photos I posted to my profile back in 2008. One of our favorites by friend and incredible photographer, Jennifer Domenick.