I can't remember how many years ago it is since our eyes first met across a crowded inbox. A mutual friend thought we should hook up. I took a look at your details but couldn't discover much about you without first opening up to you myself. You seemed so secretive, only giving as much away as you wanted me to know. If I really wanted to get to know you, I had to be part of you. "Just a simple registration," you said. "It'll only take a few minutes." And so I did.
I never wanted to give too much of myself away to you, but you always pushed for more. You introduced me to new people, encouraged me to befriend guys I'd only met once at a party, made me get back in touch with old schoolfriends and even threw a few randoms my way. You were certainly gregarious, like you feared being alone. After all, if you didn't hook me up with people, what would have been the point of you? You were both my pusher and my pimp. You tried to force me out of my shell.
"Share those brilliant photos from Barcelona!" "Have you told everyone about that new job?" "What about that really funny thing you thought of the other day? Don't keep it to yourself! You never know, someone may LOL!" You once threw a sheep at me. It was quirky, fun. We spent most of our free time together and you made me feel part of something. But now it's something I want to back away from. It's gone a bit weird. I used to be so excited when it was time to come and see you, but now I wince.
You've changed your look, sure, but that's not what's putting me off. I can take the endless, pointless cosmetic alterations, the tweaks and tucks that you think make you look beautiful. That's OK, I get it - you're ageing like the rest of us. I even forgive the increased nosiness and your disrespect for my privacy.
To be honest, it's the crowd you're hanging around with, the people you talk to and the conversations you're bringing my way. Maybe it's me, but I feel we're growing apart. We don't seem to be interested in the same things. You used to bring me arch and witty status updates, photographs of travels far and wide featuring hot, shirtless intelligent men, hilarious jokes and videos I may have missed. I knew if I needed a few moments of entertainment, I could come to you.
Now, you show me baby pictures, enthuse over cupcakes and white wine, tell me how tired you are, and share jokes that are so old they were first expressed as cave paintings. You encourage petty arguments, getting people to share everything 24/7 until no detail is sacred, like a non-stop, web-only Jerry Springer Show, but with less class. No confidence is safe. You get drunk on Friday and Saturday nights and drone on about the songs you love. You give me a front row seat at the nervous breakdowns of people I used to go to school with. You're always trying to educate me by reeling off quotes by long-dead writers. You organise witch-hunts, tell me that someone just farted and, best of all, make ambiguous statements and then either leave me wondering or make me resort to asking to know more - you're full of information I don't want to hear.
You've marred for ever the image I had of people I've known for decades, making idiots out of the intelligent. You say so much, but I hardly talk back to you now. There doesn't seem any point. And when I do share my secrets with you, my own inanity shocks me. You've turned me into a dullard, just like you. You're boring, reactionary and have a myopic worldview and you're utterly predictable. And I just can't see you any more.
I don't want this to get awkward. We'll stay friends, I'm sure; I just won't drop by and see you as often and the time for sharing confidences may have passed. And don't believe those rumours about me having eyes for someone else. Twitter's a boasting, needy, star-fucking sycophant and that Google+ dude might be clean-cut and hot, but all he does is talk about himself all the time.
When we do meet again, we'll pretend, laugh at a joke maybe and act as if nothing ever happened. But we both know it won't be long before you're telling me about the massive paranoia being suffered by the girl I studied French A-level with or how a childhood neighbour I barely remember has run off with her sister's husband. You just can't help yourself, can you?
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