You know what I love about Facebook? It’s like a portal. A magical portal into the “World of What Could Have Been” (WOWCHB).
Of course I’m referring to relationships, both romantic and platonic.
Think about it: How much time do you spend on the Facebook profiles of people you’re ACTUALLY friends with? (My friends from JHS do not count. You guys spend a scary amount of time on each other’s profiles. Get girlfriends, already…kidding, you know I love you.)
But in all seriousness, I’m willing to bet that you spend a significantly greater amount of time on the profiles of people that are no longer (or never have been, not really) in your life than those that are. (See also: ex-boyfriends, ex-friends, the girl who was in your group that one time for that thing you did for class and had to friend each other to coordinate group meetings but never spoke after that but you always sorta had that kinda thing for. Hypothetically, of course.)
After all, isn’t that kind of the draw of Facebook? Yes, it helps you keep in touch with people you actually like. Yes, you can see photos of people you actually know and stay up-to-date on their current employment/relationship status/preferred movies. But it’s also a window into a world that you’re not in anymore (or, again, never have been in).
It’s a chance to see and imagine what it would be like if you hadn’t broken up with that guy in the seventh grade. Or grown apart from that girl who didn’t think you popular enough to stay friends with. Or, more tragically, if you had worked up the courage to say something to that girl in the group.
Fortunately, my portals into the WOWCHB are generally incredibly relieving. I usually click back to my profile (the stalkee none the wiser) glad that things worked out the way that they did. Happy about where I am and the path it took to get there.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to look back now and then.