My best friend is the queen of unfriending. She has rules that define who to unfriend. Those who make passive-aggressive comments are the first to go. The signs are clear that everyone is dropping friends for all sorts of reasons. Yet, when someone drops off your friends list, you are never quite certain whether the unfriending was personal. People quit Facebook, take breaks. A probably-myth even purports that Facebook itself will randomly unfriend people without your knowledge. I believe this myth arises from our inability to admit to someone when confronted that we unfriended them. Thus goes the drama of friends here. Of particular interest to me is when people post shout-out status update letting all their friends know that some of them are about to get the ax. The barrage of comments that follow begging to stay are particularly wince-worthy.
As a person who doesn’t like crowds, prefers one-on-one, and who cares deeply about whether people I like like me (don’t we all?), this virtual middle school can be a real downer.
So, go ahead. Unfriend me. If you could, please send me a message letting me know you’ve done so. I resolve not to give it a second thought. Nothing that happens here is personal. Which is why I also endeavor to make more personal connections here and in my life. Hand-written letters. Coffee dates. Personal messages. Post to individual walls. If I ever friended you, you are someone who I want to see happy and thriving in life. If you doubt that, send a personal message asking how I am.
Most of the communication that happens here is in our own heads as we scroll through our newsfeed and click like again and again. Chances are, we’ve missed something big in our perception of what’s happening here. Why not reach out and see?
I have a teacher friend who responds to my activity here mostly through personal messages, and I think he’s on to something. What if every time we arrived here, we send three personal messages to people who haven’t connected with in a while? How would that change our experience here? I’m going to give this a try and I’ll let you know.
If you feel the urge at all, please unfriend me. If you would, send me a note that goes something like this:
I am clearing out my friends list and you didn’t make the cut, though I wish you love and happiness, always.