Defriends No More

Et tu Facebook?

While it’s not exactly betrayal, being defriended can feel like it is, especially when you’re still friends with the person in real life.

Friending, liking, fans are new – well newly adopted at least – concepts that have invaded our popular culture.  We find out more about our friends through status updates than through actual dialogue.  People post their likes, their gripes and their desires faster than you can read them.  Suddenly, you realize how much or little you have in common.  Fascinating how some are willing to share intimate tidbits about their lives over the Internet, but remain cloistered in real life.

So when a friend gives you the virtual heave-ho, can you salvage the friendship in real life?

Let me first say that I rarely post on Facebook.  Every once in awhile, I’ll update my status or respond to another post, but for the most part, internet savvy people would label me as a lurker, someone that follows the forum, but doesn’t post.  So when I get defriended, it makes me wonder why.  What’s even more puzzling is when real-not-acquaintances-who-I-talk-to-friends defriend me.  No fights, no falling out or brewhahas that would result in my dismissal.  What went through their minds as they moused their way over to the Unfriend button?  Was the decision made with guillotine swiftness or delayed like the long pause before nuclear warheads are launched?

One click, poof…friendship’s disappears faster than a magician’s rabbit.

It’s irreversible, once you unfriend someone, you can’t un-unfriend them.  Even if my friends regretted their decisions, there is no way to friend me back without my approval.  Facebook doesn’t allow you to see who or how many people defriended you.

The last time I found out I was defriended happened when a “friend” instant messaged me.  The conversation started out with the usual pleasantries until I mentioned that I hadn’t seen any Facebook posts from him.  Long pause…cue the crickets.

“I defriended you,” he finally wrote.

“Interesting,” I replied.

When questioned, he said my negativity and bitterness didn’t mesh well with him.

“Fair enough,” I responded.

“Don’t take it personally,” he added, “it’s only Facebook.”

Truthfully, I didn’t take it personally.  He was right, it was only Facebook, but what troubled me was that he still wanted to be friends with me outside of Facebook.  I guess I’m only negative and bitter online, in real life, I was rainbows and wagging puppy dog tails.

I wondered if we could still be friends, if I resented him for excluding me and that my no longer wanting to be friends in real life was retaliatory.

Defriend me will you?  I’ll show you

And if I that was true, do you blame me?  Nobody takes rejection well.

In the end, I concluded that all was not lost.  Friends exist because of connections, real ones, not the ones that plug into our computers.  I don’t know when the lines of virtual and real friendships got crossed, but I much prefer to lose the virtual one.  So what if I have one less Facebook friend, it’s not a popularity contest.

Or is it?

Sigh…I guess that’s a question for another time.

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