Entered that world once again,
and there he is, my dear friend gone.
I send a friend request, despite —
Just need a moment to pretend.

* * *

After leaving Facebook last year, I’ve struggled to keep in touch with a handful of close friends, scattered around the world. And so, I’ve rejoined, and plan to keep my account very private, and for the specific purpose of communicating with these people.

And in my browsing, as I set up my new account, I come upon the People You May Know list, and there he is. I knew he was here — for the past three years, I’ve never forgotten where to find him — and yet his profile surprises me, just for a second.

I’m grateful for this moment, this reminder, and while I’m someone who tends to purge and delete, this is one trace on the internet — from my past, from my life — that I don’t ever want to disappear.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

I am an editor at Longreads. For over a decade, I've worked on curation, editing, and storytelling projects across Automattic, including WordPress.com.

29 thoughts on “Face

  1. Absolutely true. …Sometimes for inexplicable reasons we are drawn to moments from the past that moved us and set us on the path to reach where we are today.It’s in these moments that we have truly lived.

  2. That is truly touching. We have all searched up our past on Facebook and LinkedIn and this post celebrates that guilty pleasure nicely, while reconfirming the desire to reconnect is an innocent wish to to keep the past alive. I loved the poem that you started the post with. I read it a few times and then lingered on the meaning for a while. A great technique!

  3. Friends are essential for us to live on…

    I used to add and accept only the personally known people on fb previously. But now after being a motivator & writer blogger I allow random friend requests though never send any from my side.

  4. Beautiful piece! Can imagine your feelings at that time… It seems like FB is a place where you can go searching in hope for anyone you have lost!

  5. I loved this piece. I’ve got a number of “friends” who still exist only on FB. It is strangely comforting having them there.

  6. A lovely piece of writing.. a moment of memory… and isn’t it good in a way that reminders are always there. I keep my old phone (at least 5 phones ago) because it has all my mum’s text messages and I need them still…

  7. One of such friends choose to be away from touch. I never cease thinking about her and -blue wonder if she even remembers me. She was my best friend then. The memories are what keeps them alive.

  8. Ah, yes. Something like this happened to me as well, and for a very brief moment, there was some confusion as to should I stay hidden. But to friends like this you are never truly hidden no matter what you may do/not do.

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