The overdue burial
In the grand scheme of things, embarking on a Facebook ‘friend’ cull is no big deal. Things change, people move on, acquaintances are fleeting and you’re essentially doing others a favour by ever-so-slightly lightening their burdens. You know the people who don’t ‘like’ anything you say, you know the people who probably ‘hid’ your updates some years ago. Basically, the people who can’t be arsed with you.
All you’re admitting is that, perhaps like your own sad, failed pop career or other youthful crush, clinging on to the past and trying breath life into its sagging, rotting cadaver is a pointless and tragic exercise. You need to move on, break the chains, and rejoice in hearing the Looney Tunes-style whistle as this particularly uncomfortable baggage falls off its cliff edge and moments later makes a satisfyingly distant thud.
This is not all about Facebook, though. Social networking is, above all, a trivial thing but it is representative of how life works. What I have found in this cut-throat world, is that one outlives his or her usefulness increasingly quickly. It would be all too simple to give in to sentiment, particularly where lost opportunity is concerned. There were places I should have been, rungs of the career ladder I didn’t reach, all of it all the more irritating because of what I (and others) knew to be my own capability. This, regrettably, has been the story of my life.
The people associated with my exhilarating, brief clamber up the greasy media pole were – are – mainly wonderfully talented people, most of whom were already in positions I wanted to emulate when I first met them. I have never lost an ounce of professional respect for any of them, especially those who continue to rise and flourish. My newspaper reading, my television viewing and my radio listening are still informed by and still involve many of the hugely talented people I met on the way.
So many gave me their advice, their help and, most touchingly, their time. I thank them all. I will never forget any of it and will remain grateful because of the wealth of treasured print material and memories I have. No matter how things have turned out for me, for reasons within or out with my control, I owe them all a debt because, however briefly, I had a brilliant time.
Now, while not entirely detaching myself from the work I still love, I am turning my attentions elsewhere. I have been doing this for a while because I have other work to do. Yes, you must acknowledge the past in order to have a future but, really, you cannot hold on to nothing. This does not represent a big change for me, more an acknowledgement that the past can no longer weigh me down. Like forgetting all your worst school memories and recalling only the funny ones, so you must box up the highlights of past career prospects and rejoice in what they were while putting the remainder down to experience.
It was nice knowing everyone who has already forgotten who I was. Now it is time for me to return the favour and try to forget them, as I head towards a new and more exciting horizon.