Three years and a few days ago I created a new Facebook account after having deleted mine almost a year earlier. I had deleted it because someone had pushed me to. I am now being constantly reminded of this because Facebook keeps showing me how I’ve “been friends with _____ for three years now.” Every day lately there is a new “friendaversary” that it wants me to share…all with people I’ve known for more than three years.
So, why did he pressure me to delete my Facebook? And why did I give in and let him control me this way? He said it was because he didn’t like the social network, and since I used to not post that much (I like my privacy and would often feel the pressure to make each one an extraordinary one), he said I was just spying on everyone. I know there was probably more to it than that (jealousy? control issues?), but it’s over and done with, so I’ve moved on. And I didn’t have the energy or time to realize how wrong he was and come up with a better argument…how I wasn’t “snooping”, but how I was keeping in touch with others and what was going on around me. I was tired of the constant fighting about such a mundane thing, tired of him bringing it up in front of people to embarrass me and his exaggerating about how long I’d spend on it.
I wish I could say that on that day three years ago I had wised up and came back just for myself. But the truth was, my enlightenment wouldn’t happen for a few more months down the road. I returned because I found out someone I’d known in high school had died, and because I wasn’t online to see the announcement, I didn’t get to go to the funeral service. So I created a new account and kept it a secret for a few months.
I now realize that I gave in to manipulation. But, I won’t get into any other relationship issues. Instead, I want to turn this into something positive. With the new year coming, I am glad that I have learned by now how to be strong, independent, and not easily influenced by anyone. Call this feminism (Click here to read my Bad Feminist book review), call it adulthood (men need to be strong and not controlled by anyone either), call it whatever you want.
Maya Angelou once said (and if this is wrong, please tell me, as I know you can’t believe everything on the Internet), “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
And Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
So I leave you with those for the new year. I hope this is simply a reminder, and that you are already living your own life, not compromising to anyone else’s standards against your will. And I am looking forward to the day when I will have real friendaversaries with all of the new ones I’ve made this year. Cheers!