By: Gabby Dunn
I can explain.
Every single afternoon (and you could set your watch by it really) I stop whatever I’m doing and I look at all of your Facebook photos.
Which. Okay, creepy. Super creepy. Totally. I get it.
But in my defense, it’s not even something I consciously think about anymore. I’ll be working on something important. I’ll get bored or sidetracked. Maybe I’ll need to check something on Facebook. Maybe my phone will ding with a notification. I’ll, in a zombie-fied state, click over to Facebook.com. Hit enter. Put the cursor on the search bar on top and type in your name. Before a thought has even entered my mind, I’m scrolling through your photos. I start at the beginning and, as I eat a muffin or pick at the ends of my hair, I look at all of them. I pause on particular favorites and skip ones I find worrisome or distasteful. I know which ones come next in certain series. I know when your hair changes or when you lost that ring you’d always wear.
Sure, I mean, like I said, I do this at least once a day.
Look, you don’t even know I’m doing it, right? It’s not like driving by your house or calling and hanging up or sending you locks of my hair or anything sinister like that. It’s my private harmless, little ritual. It kills some time and I can look at you, literally scroll through your life, and then I can go back to my own.
Trust me. I don’t mean to brag but I have seen all of your photos. All of them. The one of you holding your newborn niece. The one of you dressed in a makeshift Halloween costume. The ones of you drunk with your college friends. The ones of you and your ex Eskimo-kissing in the snow. The ones of you on a boat holding a bottle of red wine sangria. I have seen every single one.
So I have to wonder why I still, consistently do it. Why do I find it an acceptable past-time to peruse your Facebook photos every single day without even thinking about it? Can this be healthy?
I even know that rarely is there a new one added. I don’t know what it is I’m even looking for then. Information? Validation? Nostalgia? And when there is a new pic put up, it’s basically my equivalent of Christmas. GATHER ROUND CHILDREN! A NEW PHOTO HAS GONE UP! TIME TO ANALYZE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. HOORAY! SANTA CLAUS IS REAL!
For the most part though, I’m just looking at the same group of pictures I always look at. You dressed up at dinner with your mom. You opening birthday presents last year at your friend’s apartment. You holding your roommate’s cat. You on stage singing karaoke with your co-workers. And as I hit the “next” arrow, I’m smiling, or frowning, or wondering who certain people are, or wondering where this or that one was taken, or thinking about the new jacket you’re wearing now.
This is weird, right? As I’m finally starting to think about it, I’m realizing this is weird. Though you’ll never know I do it and though it doesn’t negatively affect your life at all, this is super totally weird. It’s not even proper stalking because I’m not technically bothering you. Mostly I’m just hurting myself. Or not. It’s not even emotional at this point. It’s just a habit.
So okay. Maybe I can’t explain. I don’t want anything from you really. Not really. I just want this one, small thing that doesn’t even enter your radar. What do you say, huh? What do you say, Facebook photos of a person I know? Can this be our little secret? Can we just have this?