Dear Facebook Friends:
Hi. How is everyone doing?
I'm writing this letter to all of you, my 723 closest, bestest, most wonderful friends in the world. It's true that I don't remember who some of you are, but I'm sure we shared an unmistakable bond that led us to become Facebook friends in the first place. Tom, are you the guy from Coppersmith's on 52nd? If so, I'm sorry again I threw up on your shoes. Trish, I believe you're my cousin's best friend's plus-one to the 2004 family Christmas party? Boy, did we hit it off. And Miguel... Miguel... Miguel... I don't think I know you, but you are my only friend named Miguel, so you are staying. Yay, FRIENDS!
The reason I'm writing this letter is that I know I haven't been a great Facebook friend lately. You guys have poked, messaged, commented, "liked," appointed me to your mayor's office in CityVille, but I've given you nothing in return. You deserve more. Much more. Especially you, Miguel. So, I am writing to apologize to everyone who I have virtually offended over the years. In particular, I deeply regret the following:
I apologize to all my friends whose birthdays I've missed year after year. I know that you were just waiting for me to post a thoughtful message on your wall, indicating to you that a) I was on Facebook that day, and b)... Well, that I was on Facebook that day. So for all the walls I didn't write on, the birthdays I didn't acknowledge, and the friendships I inevitably ruined, this is what I would have written: "Happy birthday!!" See? There. The double exclamation mark is what really sells it, telling you that I was truly excited, that I was pumped, that I knew it wasn't just an ordinary day, but the actual anniversary of your birth!
(Of course, for my fundamentalist Christian/anti-abortion friends, you know that life begins way before birth. So, please give me the date of your conception so I can wish you a "Happy Conceptionday!!" instead. Yay, LIFE!!)
NOT COMMENTING ON YOUR MOMENTOUS LIFE OCCASIONS RE: BABIES/MARRIAGES/ENGAGEMENTS
To all my friends who have gotten engaged, married, or knocked up, here is my heartfelt message: "Sooooo happy for you!!!" And really, I am happy, thrilled, over the moon, jumping for joy, doing heel clicks down the street, shouting to the sky, arms wide, eyes closed, big grin, feeling all rainbows and butterflies and sun and smiles, so freaking happy for your happiness and woohoo yay-yay-yay get a room. So of course, I won't write that your new fiancee is, at best, a 3 to your 7. And I won't mention that your new baby's legs look like overcooked pork links strewn together on a hideous human body. And I certainly won't tell you that your new wife's nickname in college was Slutney McFetus. Instead, I will look through the 150 photos of your atrocious sausage baby and be soooooo happy for you. Yay, ACQUIRING DEPENDENTS AND THEREFORE TAX BREAKS!
UN-TAGGING MYSELF IN PHOTOS
I feel terrible when I un-tag myself from photos. I know that it took you a fair amount of time to save, upload, and tag these photos. I know that your intentions were only good. And I know that you didn't mean for everyone to see the horrible picture of a double-chinned me eating a Wendy's baked potato like a hot dog. I realize that yes, I probably look like that (fat face) most of the time, and yes, I shouldn't care that my 723 best friends see me like that (fat face), because they will love me no matter what I look like (fat face). However, you may have underestimated my incredible vanity and desire to have an acceptable photo for the news if I'm ever sensationally murdered. I want my headline to be, "Friendly, Respectable Woman Brutally Killed" and not, "Wild-Eyed Asian Chick Bites It." And so I un-tag, utilizing North Korean-style censorship to fool people into thinking I'm a decent human being. Yay, OVERLY-SANITIZED AND MISLEADING SOCIAL MEDIA!
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but I'm-gonna-look-you-up-on-Facebook-to-see-if-we-have-mutual-interests-and-if-so-then here's my number, so call me, maybe
Finally, I just want to issue a blanket apology for generally being a creep on Facebook. I never told you this, but I have spent countless hours ghosting around like an Internet predator, going through your photo albums, questioning your relationship decisions, and trying to catch up on your life without actually interacting with you at all. Such virtual stalking is somewhat shameful and pathetic, but I take solace in the hope that everyone else does it too (... right?). And, at the very least, I've learned quite a bit about my friends over the years: (Yay, FACEBOOK TROLLING THAT MASQUERADES AS SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH!)
Well, this is it. My dear friends, lovers, colleagues, and randoms (that's you, Miguel!), I sincerely hope that with this letter, you'll forgive me for my past transgressions. From now on, I'll "like" and comment on your birthdays and babies and Instagrammed photos of food. I'll be more honest and open about my life so that I can rival your "Six inches dilated" status updates. I'll try to be a better Facebook friend, and a better person. But I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that all the times we didn't spend together have been the best times of my life. So let's keep avoiding each other if we can.
Follow Teresa Hsiao on Twitter: www.twitter.com/teresahsiao