Facebook is like a party, only everyone’s invited.
Whenever Lent rolls around, I look for something I’ll miss and choose to give it up for awhile. There were always a handful of things I considered third rail Lent items, chiefly coffee (I drink two or three cups a day) and internet things, like Facebook.
My hesitation about giving up Facebook was rooted in hobbies like this one–writing for a blog. Publishing online, after all, requires one to have a well-sourced distribution network. Facebook is king. How could I give up the biggest readership group for forty days? (Irony duly noted.)
But this year, particularly after a political season that hounded my news feed like an abused dog, I felt more than ready to try the experiment. I changed my profile over to an ashen cross and turned the Big Blue F off.
Somewhere along the way I determined that I ought to write letters to you guys every few years on your birthdays, and just this week I was trying to figure out if this was your year.
It couldn’t be, I thought, because surely it wasn’t that long ago that I’d sat down to write a note to you. But I was wrong.
It’s very much possible that this is the last letter that I write to you that’s an open letter–one that I publish on my silly little online journal–in part because, only recently, you’ve seemed to understand that there’s a world wide web that sees so many of the things we capture with our little metal and glass phones and upload through the thin air. It caught me by surprise when I snapped a picture of you, a fun one, I thought, and you looked at it and told me not to put it on Facebook.
Your laughter spun time into a dervish, and here we are. A year old.
My dear Annie Elizabeth, you deserve to hear this from me.
As it turns out, somewhere between two and three children was the time it took to make these little videos, these little poems about your getting older. It’s not that we didn’t take ten thousand pictures—we did—it’s just that you turned out to be the tipping point in time.