Letters from Elle #001
Thank you for the 14 beautiful years of connection and entertainment.
We had such a delightful relationship, and we shared many beautiful moments together.
I love how you'd help remind me of how my friends and I connected. You kept all our photos, conversations and posts and compiled them into beautifully animated videos.
When my friends and I meet up, you never forget to tag me in the photos uploaded by my friends so that I would not miss them.
When I forget to ask for a new friend's contact, you'd send a recommendation to connect so that I'd never miss an opportunity to stay in touch with a new friend.
Most importantly, you reminded them of my birthday. Every year, I'd received hundreds of messages from friends all around the world, wishing me a glorious celebration. One year, I received over 600 well-wishers that even my Mom was surprised and was oddly proud of my collection of friends. Who would'e gone through all that trouble?
Yet, you cannot deny that our relationship has soured since the start of COVID19. I understand that times were uncertain, and everyone felt nervous and insecure. Even you were not immune to these unsettling times, FB.
In your worry and uneasiness, your posts became noisy and overwhelming, spreading messages of anger and fear. You showed off the "good life" of my connections, which deepened my sense of being "not good enough".
Your increasingly toxic behaviour impacted me, emotionally and mentally, as I too became distressed, anxious and often depressed. At times, I was afraid to be without you, almost to the point of addiction.
Then, reading saved me. A book called Digital Minimalism introduced their digital detox program, 30 days without social media and other unnecessary technology. After 30 days, I was supposed to slowly reintroduce apps and technology back into my life. But, only the apps that supported my goals and life purpose. And so, I went cold turkey on you.
It was supposed to be 30 days, and then it became 6 months, 1 year, and now 1.5 years. During this time, I had learnt more about what you actually do and how you were impacting humanity. As a reminder, here are some of the things that caught my eye.
- Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie appears before MPs
- Social Dilemma by Netflix
- Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to U.S. Senate
- What's behind the $150 billion Rohingya-Facebook lawsuit?
- Social media misinformation stokes a worsening civil war in Ethiopia.
We knew it all along. Previously, I received this news (or rather warnings) about you. But, you were given the benefit of the doubt. Because you had a lot to handle and you promised to make up for your mistakes. Mistakes, after all, is part of the process of learning and growing up.
Yet, COVID19 had opened up my eyes. The illusion has shattered. I can no longer continue to be oblivious to what you are doing to the world. The millions of lives that you have destroyed. An entire generation is addicted to your "likes" and suffers from mental health issues, especially body image.
Yes, I'm aware that you helped shape the lives of billions worldwide. You helped raise funds for charitable causes, championed small businesses and provided a path for those who want to fulfil their dreams of fame and fortune.
Like a casino, the bright lights, beautiful people and free drinks cannot hide the fact that you were using us all along. Behind the curtains, too many people are in agony.
How can I continue to ignore your constant chase for profit while children's mental health deteriorate? How can I agree to support the lives of the privileged few while millions of others suffer?
This can no longer be ignored. Despite everything that we had gone through together in the past 14 years, I cannot, in good conscience, stay.
So, it ends here.
Farewell, FB. Thank you for everything you have given me over the past 14 years. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.
Wishing you all the best with your new life as Meta.
Miss Elle Tea
P.S: To who would like to stay in touch,
- you can still reach me on LinkedIn, please send a connection request there
- Or sign up for my newsletter to receive updates on the projects I'm working on.
- If you're interested in leaving FB without deleting your account, you can follow Aaron Parecki's instructions here.
- Most importantly, if another FB or IG profile with my name tries to add you, it's likely a hacker/scammer. Don't add them.