What does Facebook even mean to me? Is "Unfriend" even a word?


To be honest and upfront, I am a people-pleaser by nature. I am working on it. Christ will restore me through it. But, for the meantime, it means that I can sometimes over-react, over symbolize and take things the wrong way. You be the judge!

Lately I can't get this out of my head. Someone I greatly admire, someone I hold with the utmost respect, someone who embodies all that I thought was maturity, someone who is wise UNFRIENDED me on facebook! Really! Straight up, without warning, unfriended me.

Now, I didn't have the closest relationship with this person but we have certainly had some strong bonds. Also, this person added me to begin with. Either way, my feelings are kind of hurt. This person never talked to me about any issue. Never told me that they were having issues with me.

I am wrestling with some reasons why this could have happened:
  • Honest to goodness technical glitch
    • Maybe, but what are the chances?
  • I moved away to Seattle for school and this person only keeps facebook friends with whom they closely interact.
    • I know this isn't true, there are other long-distant friends
  • because of a spat on facebook that we had...
    • Now, as a people pleaser I am thinking about what I did wrong. The last negative interaction I remember having was over a joke that I told. The joke wasn't dirty or inappropriate. It may have seemed personally pointed but after I apologized profusely and over many times and reassured my innocent intentions, not inferring anything about anyone, just joking, I thought the matter had been resolved. I ate my words, apologized, deleted the post and moved on. This was some time ago. 
Now maybe you're thinking that I just offended this person and they're mad. Maybe... I would just hope that someone would talk it out with me. I desire relationship over everything else. I can be crass. I can be controversial. I can seem pretentious and arrogant (I am working on this too), but certainly I would hope that I am approachable. I have never turned down a good conversation. I value constructive criticism very highly, regarding it dear to my moral character building.

What irks me more is that it is stupid facebook. I mean, really? Why am I going to get offended over facebook? It is so small and insignificant. I have had people completely disassociate themselves with me. And yet this seems more offensive. At least the other people made a stand, said their peace and walked away. They don't like me. I get it. They're absolutely wrong, but I understand. We have an understanding: I understand that they have the right to be wrong. Carry on! BUT THIS just seems ludicrous. Facebook?!?! Is this a passive aggressive way to let someone know someone is upset without actually doing the right thing of sitting down and talking it out?

Maybe facebook friendship isn't as insignificant as I thought. Maybe it points to a bigger reality. No more drifting apart, now I can just unfriend you. Clean break. Can't see my wall, posts, or general life happenings. Where is the dignity in digitally terminating a friendship? What ever happened to the falling away from each other and running into each other at the grocery store acting all "oh-hey-how-are-you?-yeah-sorry-I-forgot-to-email-you-back-about-that-thing-2-years-ago.-Yeah,-things-have-just-been-so-busy" excuse? The "I've just been so busy" excuse is perfect. We're all let down gently. No one has to feel bad. No one has to feel like it is their fault. We can blame it on life circumstances. It is so much easier to blame it on life circumstances.

I mean, where is the facebook etiquette? Even my enemies don't unfriend me. Have the decency to just hide me and all my posts. It is easy... on my next post, click the arrow in the upper right hand corner of my post. On the drop down you can limit the number of my posts to "only important" or even "unsubscribe from status updates from Jaymes" altogether. It is that simple. We will still be "friends" but you won't be annoyed by me anymore. This is far more passive aggressive without hurting people's feelings.

I MEAN have you ever unfriended someone? It is like playing "Where's Waldo?" in a candy-cane lovers and blue jeans convention (c'mon, give it to me, I am making it up as I go - that is original material). Facebook is like a gang, we are friends4life according to them. You can't just go to someone's page and find an unfriend button. You can't even go to your own homepage and unfriend them. You have to go all the way to your own page (not very intuitive) to get to your own "friends" on the left hand column then search their name or scroll all the way down (because facebook alphabetizes by first letter of first name... I know, ridiculous) and then click the icon next to their name that says "friends" and then click "unfriend" at the bottom of the pop-down menu. I know, that issssssss a lot of work. It would be easier to be room-mates at this point then do all those steps. But one thing it does mean is that when you unfriend someone, you are mad enough to perform a facebook triatholon just to do it. It is not a simple flip of the wrist. It is not by accident. For people who are older, I wouldn't be surprised if it took a call to the children or grandchildren to figure it out. This is a multi- sticky note instruction kind of a thing.

So, in all honesty, (1) my feelings are genuinely hurt if the action was performed on purpose, (2) I think there should have been some dialogue about this if I offended you that much, and (3) I probably made matters worse by joking around in this post... oh well, can't please everyone.

What do you think? Should I be offended? Should I let it go? Should I bring it up with that person? You decide, ABCD.


Blessings!

Comments

  1. I've been unfriended by one person... that I know of... and I can't figure out why. I never even talked to them on facebook. It was more of a we went to high school and we were close enough that I've been to their home sort of thing, so we should be friends... right? Guess not.

    It really didn't bother me though and I hadn't thought about it in a long time, but then last weekend when I was visiting another friend... in person... it came up that the unfriender was having a party around Christmas time and the person had posted the announcement on their facebook wall and my friend was wondering if I was going to go it. I said probably not because that person unfriended me on facebook so I don't get those announcements. My friend was shocked and said it must be a mistake and I said, no, no mistake because I tried adding the person again thinking it had been a mistake and they never accepted the friend request. Clear cut to me! Then I got to thinking, wow, so being friends or not friends on facebook is powerful enough to feel uninvited to a real life event where I could potentially see a lot of other friends that I would really love to see. Yep. And that is so lame!

    The idea makes me want to give up social media, but I get a ton more positive responses from the facebook avenue then negative. I've become closer to people who I probably wouldn't have without it.

    Anyways, to answer your question... I think it would be fair to send your unfriender a message asking if they did indeed unfriend you and ask why they did so if they did if it bothers you that much. It doesn't bother me enough to confront my unfriender, so I'm going to let it go and not worry about it, but I don't feel like I need any sort of relationship with my unfriender, so I'm good. If anything they'll just give you a silly excuse and you can walk away knowing that they just don't like you... and they are wrong.

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  2. Hi Jaymes! I was unfriended one time and I just messaged this person and said "Awww..I'm not on your friends list anymore. That makes me sad." And they sent another friend request to me which I gladly accepted. No explanations needed.

    It could be that your person is overwhelmed with many posts on their news feed lately, as I have been, with the newest facebook format. They may just have been trying to make sure they don't miss the ones from the people closest to them? At any rate, as you said, this is just facebook :) Miss you guys!!

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  3. Hey my brother! People unfriend for oh so many reasons. I've unfriended many people, usually it comes down to who do I really talk to. As we were saying at lunch the other day, can you really be friends with 1200 people? When I unfriend people it's usually cuz we NEVER talk. Maybe we friended each other to catch up (ie high school peeps) and that was all we needed.

    I've been unfriended before, and being a people pleaser too, my auto response was "what the heck"... but then I realized, I was pretty much cool with that. Recently a person unfriended me and I was super upset, so I asked. I was surprised at the response. It's cuz I'm in seminary and they didn't want their "unreligious" posts to show up on my newsfeed and for me to be ashamed of what they were posting. But I can still send this person messages, and I just send her an "I miss you" message to let her know that I know she is still around.

    Knowing you, I highly doubt any of the reasons you listed are the reason that you were unfriended. If it was because of the joke... seems fishy since they waited so long. It really could be that they were just cleaning house and you two hadn't talked in a long time. All I can say is- send them a message and say you miss them. That says more to them than "hey why'd you unfriend me?"... cuz really, you miss them right?

    Facebook seems to matter so much because it's taken the place of snail mail. I mean, who actually receives letters in the mail anymore? Not me, so the way we stay connected is FB. The thing is, we can stay up to date with each other without actually having to write messages to everyone. We can just see it through status updates.

    This tool is only great if we acknowledge our friends when they post. I mean, isn't that the reason for posting? That people acknowledge us?

    Okay I'm off to school soon. Jaymes, you are a pretty amazing person and I am blessed to have you in my life! Thank you for your blogs!

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