Why I’ll Never Comment On Your Facebook Status

Because I have seen you. I have seen you sleeping in the garden on a rare warm day, feet up on a chair and headphones in your ears; I’ve seen you laughing in a pub with a second beer in your hand, more relaxed than you’ll ever be again once a few more years have passed. I’ve seen you, a sweet boy at age 12 or so smiling squintingly into the camera, which I’ll bet was held by your mom. I’ve seen you as your father, somehow still gangling and awkward in middle age but aching with love for his children. (I watched him find an excuse to tousle your hair one day long after you were too old for that; you’ll do the same someday, exactly the same).

I have seen you tripping over words as if they were strange, unwieldy artifacts in your mouth; as if they were from a language you weren’t yet fluent in, and you wished that someone, somewhere spoke your mother tongue (whatever that is). I saw your relief in moments when it became clear that words were not what was needed; your uncertain but intuitive forays into deeper forms of communication; your careless and abrupt withdrawals. Eventually someone will teach you how to be gentle in your departures, as gentle as you are in your approaches.

I’ve heard you persevere through impossible conversations, looking for words that would soften your message. Sometimes you do more harm than good trying to hold back what will hurt; some injuries can’t be avoided, but it will be awhile longer before you can see the compassion in inflicting them quickly, when they must be inflicted at all.

Despite your more or less consistent inability to know where to put yourself, how to arrange your person comfortably, I have felt you offering love through your body, your hands and lips. Although you are not entirely at home in it, you have learned what it is for, your body; you’ve let me read it like a book while you waited to learn what I found written there.

I’ve seen you sit in silence with a grieving friend, reassuring through simple physical presence, like elephants.

Naturally I will not ever look at your Facebook page: a fragmented but thematically unified documentary telling me that you went to the pub tonight, you played video games all afternoon, you had to clean up the apartment this morning after that party. You are hungover; you are looking forward to getting trashed. You heard a new album; you watched an old cult film. You hate that one professor too, just like the girl who left a post on your wall complaining about the exam, littered with smiley faces and hearts. You ‘like’ her post.

Naturally I will avoid your photo albums: the large hole in your dorm room wall that you (drunk) and your roommates (drunker) created while playing beer pong, you at the bar with two attractively vapid girls (Who are they? But madness lies that way.) And your tagged photos: photographic evidence of pranks pulled, bathrooms passed out in, frat parties crashed.

There’s no way to know (and I won’t venture a prediction) whether these mark the end of a golden age, or are just glitches in the transition from beautiful boy to good man; for you, the best I can do is ignore them. The best I can offer you is that I’ll remember, probably much longer than you will, what you were like in these moments – before you finally developed those protective accretions (cheerful conformity on top of apathy on top of anxiety) that most people grow much sooner, but that you somehow did without for a few extra years into adulthood.

When it’s time, find me; ask me and I’ll tell you about yourself. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://twitter.com/oscarraymundo Oscar Raymundo

    Freakin’ fantastic!

  • Crystal

    Incredible writing. 

  • Anonymous

    Says the silent observer, who doesn’t know when to let go.

  • Alyssa

    Gotta say, had tears in my eyes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647307612 Nina Thomas

    I liked this a lot!  It kind of makes me rethink our ‘Facebook culture’ where everyone knows exactly what everyone else is doing.  What ever happened to the good old days when we just learned things about each other?!  

    • Anonymous

      With wider horizons, come shorter attention spans. An acceptable trade-off, don’t you think?

  • Sam

    You are an EXCELLENT writer!

  • Lindsay

    this was beautifully written. it really touched a nerve with me and made me think about the alternative culture and societal norms facebook has created

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    ex fb statuses can make you cry. I did yesterday

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    ex fb statuses can make you cry. I did yesterday

  • Kgb

    On one hand, tech is a good way to keep tabs on your kids. It’s replaced digging through bedrooms looking for diaries and cigarettes. But at what point do you stop? When it hurts too much to know what they’re doing?

  • best guest

    Lovely. Really, really lovely. 

  • guest

    this just wreaks of condensation, it sounds like this guy moved on, meanwhile your trying to dismiss someone having fun in college as immaturity, as you see yourself in your ivory tower above it not having any fun chastising the object of your obsession… boom

    • Jack


      • As

        Lol & reeks

      • Beauty Reductionista

        And your.

      • guest

        this d bags comma placement is just dreadful too, am  RIGHT!?!?!!?!!

    • Jack

      I don’t think her criticism is of his immaturity. It’s more of a commentary on how false and vapid his expressions on Facebook are compared to the rich, substantive relationship she once shared with him.

  • Amanda

    Beautifully written.

  • VC

    Sounds like someone can’t deal with being dumped. And how was the author able to reference all that Facebook activity while at the same time pledging not to look at it? The author has clearly spent a lot of time stalking his/her object (“target” would be a better word) on Facebook and then justifying his/her own unhappiness by discrediting every piece of activity he/she can get her eyes on through privacy setting filters. “Beautifully written”? This writing is indulgent, redundant and junior at best, making it the last straw for me and Thought Catalog. Good riddance. The name is much better than the content of the publication.

    • Cat

      We don’t need you here anyway.

  • Keyboardtypistcomputerman

    “accretions (cheerful conformity on top of apathy on top of anxiety)” is brilliant.

  • Jeremie

    Its nice to know that no matter what facebook or other social networking sites do to our relationships, true friendship and love has something that they don’t. Amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/sodiumsepia Rick

    Absolutely amazing. This is why I weather the banal and self-indulgent “writing” that makes up the bulk of ThoughtCatalog. Please keep writing.

  • Lowly

    I thought it was meant to be as if Jesus was saying it

  • Asdf


  • Tanvi3639

    i love it!

  • http://aehelmke.tumblr.com Alexander Helmke

    Big ups for ‘accretions.’ Don’t listen to the assholes. Keep writing. Write away what eats away at you; write about what makes you healthy; write through what you have to. Keep writing.

  • tidalkraken

    Your language is inexact but brave. Nice.

  • http://twitter.com/AlkalineSuicide Alkaline Suicide

    This is actually one of the most brave posts I have read in a while. Well done. 

  • https://osorniocruz.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/digital-presence-now-and-future/ Digital Presence – Now and Future | osorniocruz

    […] is very important. However, I do like seeing my family digital presence. I am consider as an onlooker in the digital world. For example, I have many family who live far away and I am always wonder how […]

blog comments powered by Disqus