It’s not you, it’s me. I need to figure things out. Like how you are sucking all my time and how you’re making me into someone I am not. Like how you make me hate myself as I skim through posts and pictures of my so-called “friends.” God, their lives are so perfect! Why is my life not as perfect as theirs? Am I the only one who have to deal with occasional bouts of jealousy and self-doubt every time I read about a “friend” who bought his own private jet, and another “close friend” who spent his holidays on the moon? I feel so pathetic.
Oh please, don’t stare at me with those wide pitiful eyes. That won’t work anymore. I know, things were going so great between us, and it’s such a shocker that I’m telling you this. But this has been on the back of my mind for months, and I’m sorry it has taken me quite a long time to finally gather enough courage to confess that you and I just aren’t good for each other.
Remember that time I was at the top of the Eiffel tower in Paris? For a fleeting moment, while taking in the breathtaking panorama of the City of Lights, I really felt like I was the King of the World, that everything was truly possible, and yes, that with a panoramic view of Paris at night, who needs drugs to get high? But that feeling of being invincible quickly evaporated and was immediately replaced by a seemingly innocuous thought along the lines of: “I need to share this on Facebook! Paris, you’ll now be Instagrammed!”
Oh by the way, I don’t have an Instagram account, so I might have slightly altered the line above. But then, altering wall posts and minor adjustments in statuses have become a staple part of our complicated relationship dynamics, right? You’ve always made me feel like I needed to make my posts and stories more interesting than they really are, so there you go, I made some minor adjustments in them. It’s not that the minor adjustments are lies you know, they are after all, just minor. I just want my “friends” to like my posts, isn’t it a noble motivation to alter, and in doing so fake a post? Everyone’s doing it, so nothing’s possibly wrong with it, right?
Listen, you’re really great. You are. And you’re way too generous, to the point that I’m really having a hard time receiving all the stuff you so generously shower upon me. How come you know that I need to get informed on what my “friends” had for dinner, or about how a “friend’s” baby just had the first poop of the baby’s life, complete with DSLR-quality pictures of the poop? And isn’t it too much information when a “friend” posted about her weird bodily functions, about another’s drunken ramblings, and beat this – about someone’s sex life?
Our relationship was founded on complete trust. We even made a pact to be totally honest to each other. You promised me that you will reveal to me all your secrets, that all the things you know I will know. You have given me the power to really stalk know someone – what someone is up to, what type of movies she likes, where she spent her weekend, what sort of jokes she finds funny, how she looks like in a swimsuit, and even when she has a period – all in the comfort of my room and with a mindless click of a button! You even told me about a friend of a friend’s family background and life history, even though that friend of a friend is someone I’ve only known through you, and wouldn’t even talk to in real life. I sometimes feel queasy about this kind of set-up. Don’t you think it’s a little unhealthy knowing too much about a person without even spending time talking with that person?
This is not easy for me, believe me. We had so much promise, we shared so many memories. But as time passes by, I feel like our relationship has become a little more than a superficial facade, a carefully altered representation of myself. It has been totally unexpected that with the ease you provide in communicating with “friends,” my relationships with my “friends” are increasingly becoming shallower. What went wrong? Is it because with your existence, I have been more concerned about what others think of me through my online persona? That instead of meeting and talking with friends and family, I have resigned myself to simply liking and commenting on their posts?
It’s not you, it’s me. You deserve someone better. I deserve a better life too – a life of genuine relationships, a life that couldn’t care less about what people think as long as I know it’s what I want, a life lived every moment without thinking of posting it online… which is why, I’m setting both of us free.
Gary, 25, is a geothermal reservoir engineer working in a renewable energy company in the Philippines. He doesn’t have a Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus account. This letter was republished from his blog “Because I’m going to die.”