Once upon a time, I was once in middle school. Yes, back in 2009, some of my friends told me about this site I should join. “Everyone is on it, you really should join,” said a friend of mine. Apparently, it was an upgrade of Myspace, and everyone was joining it. My friends from summer camp even wanted to “friend” me online. It was Facebook.
I wouldn’t join Facebook until I was a sophomore in high school, as my parents didn’t allow me to have an online profile (at the time I was upset, now I’m grateful). I immediately started to “friend” my friends from middle school and the ones from past summer camps. I had since moved to a different state, so it was nice to keep in touch with them.
I soon discovered that I could even reach out to my elementary school friends. I could friend anyone in my life who had a profile. Heck, I even became Facebook friends with a deer that was near by Uncle’s house in New York. I started to friend NFL players, since they also had personal Facebook profiles as well.
But around 2015, my first year in college, the experience started to change. People started to become more and more irate online. “How do Republicans sleep at night?” a family member posted. “I would rather have cancer then feminism,” a former friend posted. The site became more and more political.
Some of my friends started to unfriend me during the election season, as they couldn’t stand my political affliction. These people who in the past would eat lunch with me, sit with me on the bus and brighten my day were now rejecting me. I admittingly started to cry at one point. These were people I had memories with and people who called me their friend.
It reached a breaking point after my cousin unfriended me when we had differing opinions on a highly-debated topic. I realized Facebook was no longer a site to make friends. It was a site that brings out the worst in folks.
I still have Facebook, and I still check it once in a while. But it seems as if the site has become even more divisive than before. Every time a friend reaches out to me on Facebook Messenger, I dread it. Is this another friend that has come to say goodbye? I can no longer use Facebook Messenger for my self-imposed, irrational fear of losing more friends.
Facebook has made me realize that all my loved ones have dark sides to them. I am no angel either, but I have not once unfriended someone because I disagree with them. To see former friends or even family unfriend me because they found a view of mine so repulsive, has filled my life with skepticism.
Facebook has become a place to lose friends, not make them.