Facebook, and really the internet, have fundamentally changed the way people interact with their past selves. I imagine, that before social media, someone could leave high school, remake themselves, and then really only have to look back when they went home to visit the folks. Certainly, this was my plan.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of positives to social media. For example, my students from when I was a Peace Corps volunteer finding me a decade later is awesome and has really enriched my life. And, living overseas, it is a great way to stay connected to people back home.
But (and there are always buts), there are relationships in my life which I don’t need to revisit. Some of them, because the relationship was bad for me. I really don’t want to know what the bully from high school is doing and I really don’t care about reconnecting with some pieces of my past. Usually, in these cases, I just don’t accept the friend request.
Sometimes, however, it was me that was in the wrong in the past. Me, who screwed up the relationship and hurt someone else. I still feel bad, but like with most things in life, I try to take the good, minimize the bad, and learn from what I can. I recognize that I am a different person that who I was. I recognize that people change. I changed.
Last night it was the name of a person from the later who pooped into my Facebook friend requests. Honestly, I reread it about 20 times because I couldn’t believe that person would reach out. Half of me thought, there has to be some ulterior motive. Half of me thought that this is a piece of me that I too was happy to leave behind. I mulled, but decided to accept the person. After all, I had wronged in the past and the least I could do was be friendly. I sent a two line note just saying hi and thank you and congrats on your child (which I could tell from profile pic).
Turns out, I still fall squarely in the category of person who should be left behind for that person. Fair enough. And, somehow, the invite, was a glitch or accident. We are no longer Facebook friends. It is what it is. We had stopped being friends well over a decade ago. Weird though how technology only serves to reopen the wounds of days long gone.