That I’ll be back on Facebook was something I thought would never be possible.
I’m a very stubborn person, and I pride myself with being able make a decision and stand by it no matter what the consequences are. When I deleted my Facebook account more than a year ago, I was so certain I want nothing to do with it anymore. Now as I’m writing this, it appears I’m not as very stubborn as I’d like to believe. Now that I’m back on Facebook, there goes my pride — flushed to the toilet bowl.
That I’ve mustered enough courage to make a 180-degree turn from the trailblazing path (so I thought) I have chosen to tread deeply bothered me. What does this comeback signify? Why the change of heart?
It would be a grave mistake to treat this comeback to Facebook as an isolated case. A fastidious introspection of my decisions and actions in the past posits a glaring disconnect between what I pride myself to be — that I’m too hard-headed so as to be unable to change my mind — and what I really am: a fickle, volatile wanker.
Take for example, my being zealously spiritual during high school and college. I could spew out bible verses after bible verses, and was so fired up with my faith I could ignite a conflagration if I wanted to. I wrestled with the world, with myself, to remain sexually pure, and even vowed to kiss dating goodbye.
Fast forward to post-college era: I can’t even remember the last time I prayed, and instead of kissing dating goodbye, I have mastered kissing my dates goodbye as soon as I’ve gotten what I wanted from them.
The more I glean and examine my previous beliefs, my written reflections, the more it becomes apparent that the glorious certainty that arises from a night of introspection is only but a passing show. The radiant glow that envelops me after triumphantly subduing an internal mayhem suddenly morphs into a dark shadow of guilt the next day. My beliefs, my epiphanies, are as fickle as the Icelandic weather, or the girl next door.
This ever-changing nature of self, this ephemerality and fluidity, has come into direct collision with my quest to finding my authentic self.
Be real, I always remind myself. Stay true to yourself, whatever that means, whatever that may cost. Fuck what people think.
But if the self is liquid, if the self changes with every mold, what then is the authentic self? Would it be a quixotic pursuit to find your one, stable, authentic self if you change from time to time?
My comeback to Facebook has led me to ruminate on these things: the fluidity of self and its constant undoing. Does my comeback to Facebook signify that I have betrayed my “authentic self”, the one who decided to get rid of Facebook more than a year ago?
Perhaps the answer lies in accepting and making peace with the liquid nature of one’s self.
When I decided to get rid of Facebook, I was being true to myself back then. I got fed up with the superficiality and banality that proliferated on Facebook. I was overwhelmed, oftentimes annoyed, by the deluge of nitwitted status updates. But mostly, I got fed up with myself, and hated myself for allowing Facebook to consume much of my time.
Although I found the Facebook-free life utterly liberating, I have to admit that it was also hard in the sense that most people I care about are hundreds, even thousands of miles away from me. They have been used to the convenience of Facebook in communicating and sharing their photos that it was too much of a work for them to send me updates and photos via email. I remember my siblings always prodding me to create a fake Facebook account (and I did create one) just so I could see their latest pics, and my Ate Violy expressing in her email how she wished I did not delete my Facebook account so I could easily see all the pics of her new house in Iceland and her vacation in Greece.
But that was all in the past. Now that I’m back, I’d like to believe that I’m being true to myself as well, the same way I was being true to myself when I deleted my Facebook account. The self that got rid of Facebook has now evolved. After more than a year of Facebook-free life, I’m convinced that I have finally learned to use Facebook for what it is, at least for me: a tool to communicate to the people I truly care about, and to be updated on what’s happening in their lives.
This clarity on the purpose of my use of Facebook entails that I create an exclusive group for the Facebook friends I deeply care about: my three siblings, my Tolo-Torres family in Iceland, a high school classmate in Singapore, an older brother (not by blood) and his wife in South Korea, and about five or so other friends. Also, I’m now excruciatingly selective on approving friend requests, making sure that the Friends I add are real-life friends — people I’d like to talk to in person (yes, there are casual friends to whom I don’t really give a damn about their lives). I rarely post a status update since I have this blog as an avenue to unload all my rants and musings. If there’s something I want to communicate to someone, I send a private message to that person. Or call, and meet up if possible. The principle I try to abide is fairly simple: use Facebook to communicate directly.
This method of Facebook use may seem extreme to other users, but it’s just what I need Facebook to be (lest I forget, Facebook has also been an efficient tool in stalking hot chicks and ogling at their profile pics, but let’s pretend I don’t do that).
More than a year ago, I deleted my Facebook account. Now, I’m back. Some time in the future, maybe I’ll delete it again, only to create another account years later. History repeats itself, right?
I believe in something today, write about it, and tomorrow I can’t recognize what I’ve written. It’s frustrating, this gnawing feeling that I could never be able to fully know myself, that I could never put myself in a box. But at the same time, it’s liberating, knowing that I could adapt, evolve, and change as time flows.
Even as I write these epiphanies down, even as I spin these musings on what made me come back to Facebook, at the back of my mind a familiar voice gently whispers: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Tomorrow, you’ll see, you’ll believe something else entirely.
That was all I needed to hear. Writing about my comeback to Facebook has been a pointless exercise in futility. I guess I better get back to my favorite pastime nowadays: stalking hot chicks on Facebook.
But again, let’s just pretend I don’t do that.