An Intimate Examination of My Facebook “Likes”.

So. I’m back on Facebook.

Is it the triumphant homecoming of a champion whose heart longs to return to where it all began, or is it a desperate plea for help in an empty void? There’s no time to ponder such questions–I’m back on Facebook, baby!

I originally left because things were getting a little too real for me. Friends were graduating, glowing up, and moving on to bigger and better things in their lives. I realize now that I was being more than a little harsh on myself but, at the time, the comparison was too much for me to handle. This is still something I struggle with, but these days things are much less bleak. I’d only meant to hop on for a second to sell some stuff on Facebook marketplace. But you know me– I love to look. I started to check on my friends and teachers and seeing where life had taken them. Turns out, life took them to some pretty cool places! The whole thing was a very nostalgic experience; as I flipped through old pictures and statuses and thought about the people we used to be, I felt happy. I sighed contentedly to myself– I’m back on Facebook.

Then I clicked on my profile and what I saw…shook me to my core.

In order to fully understand my horror, you must first understand the kind of person that I used to be. My profile, a garbled mess of strange declarations and hot takes, paints a vivid picture of that girl: I was very spazzy, very eager to be liked, and also just generally…confused. No more clearly can this be seen than in my “liked” pages. I would like to take a moment and examine those pages through a critical lens. Come along, won’t you?

Okay. A strangely aggressive and sarcastic quip. Exactly the kind of thing I never would have actually said in high school. I might have begun saying it at the lunch table, and then bailed immediately as soon as everyone looked at me. I was not cool enough to pull off saying something like this and have people respond positively. Also, I’m not a very sarcastic person in general. It’s just not where my humor lies– I like my jokes to be unintelligible and alienating, but aggressively earnest.

Sometimes, we hate people because we see ourselves in them. I have to imagine that’s what was going on here. Never in my life have I known the words to a single song, and always in my life have I mumbled along to it, anyway. When I listen to a song, I ignore whatever intended meaning the author has put into the lyrics and just decide it is about something else entirely. That’s why I interpret Harley’s in Hawaii, a song by Katy Perry that truly no one has heard, as a declaration of freedom and youth and not as a song that includes the lyrics, “When I hula hula hula, so good he’ll take me to the jeweler jeweler jeweler (But she’s quirky so she says it like ‘jewla’)”. Anyway, people can do what they want! Mumble away!

Ah, yes. This one brings back a very visceral memory. I did not get a cell phone until I was in tenth grade. This was at a time when many of my peers already had phones but it also wouldn’t have been super unusual to be phone-less. In any case, despite the fact that my parents provided for me physically, financially and emotionally, I was of the opinion that I didn’t have a phone because they were cruel tyrants who were praying on my downfall. One day, I saw a child at target–they must have been around ten years old–pull out a phone and casually make a call. Now, I’m not saying that past-Kiana would have fought a child. But I am saying that she might have come close.

Did this happen? Seriously, is this a thing that occurred??? Please let me know. I remember even being confused by this at the time I ‘liked’ it. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know what swine flu was– I was far too busy worrying about if Sam and Freddie were gonna get together. Oh, to return to a time when I wasn’t aware of a global pandemic. I’d go back in a heartbeat– even if I had to leave my phone behind.

Today I woke up with a scratchy throat and immediately thought I had COVID. I spent the rest of the morning in a cold sweat, checking my temperature every twenty minutes. So yeah. I don’t think P-Diddy wants anything to do with this lifestyle.

Hmmm. Now, am I still “interested” in Jesus Christ? Yes. Is this how he would want me to express it? Almost certainly not.

Well! I think we learned a lot about the importance of growth. Change comes for all of us, that cruel mistress, and we must welcome her with open arms. In order to change for the better, it’s important to take a look in the mirror from time to time and reflect– just to make sure there’s nothing in your teeth. And you know, it wasn’t all bad. One ‘like’ has managed to stand the test of time.

Friends: Stay beautiful.