Dear Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature:
Stop screwing with me.
Every time I open my Facebook page, you’re all cheery. “PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW!” you tell me. And you show me their picture and how many mutual friends we have. That’s nice, right? So nice. So helpful.
Here’s the thing, though.
These people fall under a few categories:
- People who are dead to me;
- People who I am dead to;
- People I have never met but are friends of friends so I would never send them a friend request because they have no idea who I am;
- People who are too cool to be my friend so I am daunted;
- People who, whenever I see their face, I get very upset at you, Facebook.
Now, I get it, Facebook “People You May Know” feature. You just want me to have like a billion friends, and you’re confused why, after having been a member for a couple of years, my number is still only in the low two hundreds. Honestly, I’m stunned it’s that high, because I have weird criteria for who can be my Facebook friend. It’s only as high as it is because I’m friends with everyone I was ever in a show in, because at the time of the show we all friended each other because we would talk about the show on Facebook, and when the show ended it seemed an asshole move to UNFRIEND them, even if we didn’t stay friends. Also, it’s nice for networking when you’re a theater person. And theater people are awesome on Facebook, for the most part. What? You want to know my weird Facebook friend criteria? Fine, wait, I will tell you. There are a lot of lists in this post and I haven’t even gotten started yet. Huh.
- I have to know them in real life (and hopefully like them) OR
- I have to know them online long enough to know I love them and trust them with my personal life OR
- It would be too awkward to turn down their friend request for one reason or another.
Now, I know a lot of people friend others all willy-nilly, and that’s fine for them, but I keep The Nephew on Facebook, and also my family, and I don’t want strangers being able to see that. Also, didn’t you all see that report that most people on Facebook that friend people all willy-nilly have at least one fake friend? Someone that doesn’t really EXIST? I don’t want a friend that doesn’t EXIST. That is WORRISOME. Who is behind that imaginary person? It could be ANYONE. It could be a PSYCHOKILLER. No thank you.
Also, I am WEIRD about Facebook. After I’d known Ken for like a kajillion years (oh, fine, it’d been like, I don’t know, 4 months or something, but we hit it off like gangbusters, me and secret-sibling Ken, I most honestly feel like I’ve known him for a kajillion years, does that count?) I SO wanted to send him a Facebook friend request? But was worried that would be weird. So I totally stressed out about it for like a YEAR. (A week.) And then I was all, “Ken. Um. Hi. Can I. Um. Send you? A Facebook friend request? Unless that’s annoying? Then I won’t? Send that. Ha. Ha ha.” And he was all, “You jackass. What the hell is wrong with you? OF COURSE YOU CAN.” (No, of course he didn’t say that. He was nicer. He always is.) Anyway, I’m neurotic as hell about Facebook so I assume everyone is as neurotic as I am. NEWSFLASH: Pretty much no one is and pretty much no one cares about who they friend on Facebook at ALL, Amy. SIGH.
Anyway, in the past few months, Facebook “People You May Know” Feature, you have suggested the following people. This time, let’s bullet the list.
- the guy who stalked me in high school and part of college and every now and then pops back up, ACK;
- the guy in college I was in love with for over a year but he didn’t love me back and it ended badly;
- an ex who…um, let’s go with the last one and just say it ended badly;
- the wife of an ex and I don’t think I want to be friends with someone I’ve never met AND who got the guy;
- the mean girls from high school who made my childhood and young adulthood a nightmare;
- ex-coworkers I have no interest in ever talking to or even thinking about again;
- and for some reason, Mandy Patinkin.
I don’t want to be friends with any of these people. If I DID, probably I’d already BE friends with them. (Well, I kind of totally want to be friends with Mandy Patinkin, but I assume that one’s a mistake.)
One of these people (the second one) as a side note that’s totally not funny but kind of, I suppose, in that not-funny gallows-humor kind of way, ended up moving to another state because I was in love with him. No, seriously. HE MOVED TO FLORIDA. This was…um…I want to say almost 20 years ago now, so I guess I’m allowed to talk about it now? Eh, who cares if I’m not, I’m gonna. Yeah, so I went to his house because we were friends and we did that and his roommate was all, “Oh, yeah, he moved to Florida and I can’t tell you where he is because HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU.” (He didn’t really say that. He was more tactful than that.)
ALSO, Guy Who Moved to Florida, just as a side note to YOU, once I finally stopped all the weepery and could look at the whole thing CLEARLY, you were much too short and thin for me. And also you felt way too sorry for yourself all the time. I’m sorry I made you move to Florida and work at a TGIFriday’s washing dishes.
(SERIOUSLY DUDE? That’s all kinds of screwed up. Who the hell DROPS OUT OF COLLEGE and MOVES TO FLORIDA rather than just say, “Angsty young-adult Amy, I do not love you that way! Stop this now! We are too good of friends for this to be a thing!” Also, I suspect I was not the reason you moved to Florida, because I started hearing rumors you were flunking your classes, but that’s really kind of a moot point right now, isn’t it? Since we’re all almost 40 at this point in our lives?) But, Guy Who Moved to Florida, you were one of the best poets I’ve ever known, and that made (and still makes) me swoony as hell. Sigh, Guy Who Moved to Florida. SIGH.
That was a very long side note. I suspect I might have unresolved issues with Guy Who Moved to Florida who is now Happy Family Man Who Seems to Live in the City and Works Somewhere Reputable that is Not the TGIFriday’s Not That I’ve Stalked What I Can See of His Facebook Profile or Anything Ha Ha. I really, really, REALLY like closure. Even if closure is someone telling me “leave me the hell alone.” Closure is so much better than just NOTHING. Ugh. So much can live in nothing. Nothing can go on FOREVER. As is evidenced by Guy Who Moved to Florida, apparently.
So sometimes I am lured by the friends feature and I wander on over there and then I RUN AWAY because argh. That’s a minefield, Facebook. Why do you do that to me? That’s like a graveyard of dead friendships over there. And people I wish were dead. I’M KIDDING! I don’t wish they were DEAD. Just…um…missing. In a swamp. Filled with alligators. Bitey ones.
(Also, sometimes people send me friend requests and I can’t accept them. Sometimes the reason is benign – I’m neurotic and I don’t know them well enough, sorry, people, I’m sure you’re lovely! – or because THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.)
Here’s my thought, Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature. First, you need a new name. They’re not only people you may know; they’re people who will probably give you PTSD. So let’s start calling this section “People You Probably Have Not Friended For a Reason.”
Second: you need to get a little psychic. Because I’m going to need you to know who I never, ever want to see again. I’m seeing those people a lot in your section and their faces are MOCKING me and I don’t WANT to and ARGH. MAKE IT STOP.
Third: there are two people who don’t exist on Facebook. Make them exist. Those people are friend P. from high school and I want to know that he’s ok but he disappeared and friend C. who I grew up with and he was like a brother to me and once we graduated I never saw him again and I’d like to catch up with him and see what’s up. Who the hell doesn’t have a Facebook page in this day and age? FIX THIS FACEBOOK. I want THEM to pop up in my “People You May Know” section. Because I DO know them. Why don’t they pop up? Dammit, Facebook. MAKE THEM POP UP.
Thanks, Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. I can tell you’re trying REALLY HARD. And I appreciate it, I do. You’re just doing it WRONG. Luckily, you have me to help. And I’m VERY helpful. Just ask anyone. Except not anyone in your section. THEY ARE NOT MY PEOPLE. They are NO ONE’S people.
Love love love,