Dear Ever-Present Friend: It’s Not You, It’s Me

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My dearest Facebook,

You and I have been friends for about as long as I’ve been married – 8 ½ years. I was absolutely smitten with you when we first met! The idea that I could look up distant family members, friends and former elementary school classmates floored me. With merely typing in names and a swipe of the finger, their photos showed up in regal colors!

It was, as one friend described it, “a wonderful waste of time.”

I was hooked! You were present at some of my life’s most important events, post-marriage, like the the birth of my three children, among others. You, family and the aforementioned former schoolmates all had front-row seats to my life. I recognize the importance of having witnesses in my life. And I ate this up! Every morning, I reached for my phone, ecstatic about the red notifications alert. I was so eager to see which of my photos or posts my friends had liked (or loved) best.

We continued like this for a couple of years, resulting in me becoming a little too dependent on my phone. It buzzed, I checked it, regardless of what I was doing: reading a story to my children, watching a show with my husband, at a stop in my car or taking a restroom break. You get the idea. Friend, it was like you had control over me and knew where I was all the time. Also, those ads that would show up on my newsfeed? Creepily familiar.

On New Year’s Eve 2017, I reflected on what I wanted my life to be about in 2018. Sadly, friend, you didn’t make the cut. It’s now March, and I have yet to miss you.  Sure, I have to create new usernames and passwords when purchasing items online, or registering for different events as a newly-minted non-Facebook user, but I have managed.  (That’s crafty, by the way — you infiltrating different areas of our lives).

What is most noteworthy is the incredible peace I have found since quitting you, coupled with the laser-focus on my purpose, and who and what to give my time to.

Unlike FriendI believe your intentions are pure, and I truly thank you for making it possible to reconnect with so many that have been influential in my journey. You have done what you set out to do.  (Also, I do appreciate that I can still use messenger and keep up with friends that way, even with a deactivated account). I will continue to live in the “olden days,” as my children call it, 100% confident that those who want to keep up with me as true friends will find me.

In short, “it’s not you, it’s me.” I have broken things off with you with no intention of (permanently) coming back. It’s been real. It’s been good. It’s been really good.

I really do “like” you,

Your friend, Giana

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Giana Gallardo Hesterberg is a native RGV (Brownsville) mom. After graduating from Central College in Pella, Iowa (2004) with a degree in Elementary Education, and residing in the midwest for 7 years, she returned to her roots and married her love. Happily married for 9 years (to Beau), with 3 children (Jack-7, Cecily-4, and Felicity-2) and 1 dog (Hershey, a Chocolate Lab), she is currently living the dream. She is a teacher for VIPKID, a company that trains American teachers to teach ESL to Chinese students online. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, gardening, baking, traveling, and dancing to 80’s music whenever and wherever it’s played! She has written for Woman’s World, The Mighty, Earnest and God-sized Dreams.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Way to go on cutting the cord. We don’t always see the strings that start to tie us up until it’s too late. I’m happy for you!

  2. Bravo Giana! Your article struck a major chord with me. I too have contemplated deactivating what you eloquently call “a wonderful waste of time.” While social media has offered me an instant connection, it is unfortunately too many times a superficial one, and I too realize the attraction easily becomes an addiction. I’m so glad to read you are “laser-focused” to a higher purpose. I applaud your personal goal and happy you are still writing!

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