Facebook scared me for a while after the breakup. It was just full of little landmines of “My life is great without you in it!” and IEDs of “Who the f- is that girl and why is she posting on his page/in that picture with him/friends now?” So I stayed away. And now it’s like I’ve weaned myself off an addictive sugary heroin. I don’t need it anymore. I don’t have the OCD impulse to constantly be updating, refreshing my feed, knowing every single detail everyone I know ever posted.
There’s a completely unexpected side effect, though. People expect you to know things solely because they’ve posted them on Facebook. I lost count of how many times I had this exact conversation last weekend:
Me: “Oh, you did [something interesting I vaguely knew they were up to]?”
Them: “Well yeah, I posted the picture on Facebook. [pregnant pause, sideways WTF look]”
I couldn’t tell if they were surprised I didn’t know all the details about whatever they were doing, or if they were offended that I didn’t know, or if they were irritated at having to explain it all over again in real life. It was definitely odd looks and reactions, though, when I admitted I hadn’t seen whatever they were talking about on Facebook.
It was the same way when I told people about the breakup. Other than my local friends, almost every single person’s first response was, “You were dating someone? But I never saw a relationship status change on Facebook/saw any pictures of you with a guy.”
I find the debate about Facebook pretty dull, actually, but these little things have been striking me as so odd lately. I finally understand all the people who don’t want to be on Facebook. The creepy factor isn’t what Facebook does with our information, but what we crazy humans do with our Facebook information.