Never before in the history of human interactions has it literally been so easy to keep tabs on your entire social network. With literally a few clicks and a name search, you can find almost anyone from your past or present and “friend” them on facebook…and immediately feel more a part of their lives by seeing status updates, photos and events go by.
The flip side to all of this is the fact that, literally, at the click of a button, you can “unfriend” someone – something that we’ve never really been able to do before. Most of the time we don’t go around and say to someone’s face “you know what, I don’t want to be friends with you anymore.” Previous disintegrations of relationships generally involved a fading out or a losing touch – nothing blatantly obvious that someone didn’t want you to be a part of their lives anymore.
But now, you can. Most of the time, it doesn’t bother me if someone “unfriends” me – it’s usually some far-reaching person who I haven’t spoken to in years and who I didn’t really care to keep in touch with anyway; it usually followed the same trajectory of “fading” that real life relationships followed anyway. And most of the time, I would hardly notice…it would usually take a while until a mutual friend posted a photo or something that would clue me in that that person had deleted me off their list…and I would generally give a little chuckle and move on with things.
Recently, I experienced a somewhat devastated unfriending…someone who I actually talk to somewhat frequently, who played a very large part for a very substantial period of my life and who meant a lot to me. Someone, who, when we first found each other on facebook actually told me that they were grateful for facebook, in that it allowed us to reconnect and to “not be lost to each other forever.”
So it really came as a slap in the face to me when, I went to go send said person a message and they were gone from my list and un-searchable through my page. But the thing that really surprises me is that this person has TWENTY-ONE mutual friends, one of which I see on a DAILY basis and another who is one of my bestest friends in the world that I speak to often.
I’ve really racked my brain on the possible reasoning of this drastic move to completely remove me from this person’s life, and while I have many theories, I’ll truly never know. And for someone like me, who places such a high value on transparency, honesty and open communications with my fellow humans, I find it really really frustrating that a person could just wipe me out of their life so easily and effectively.
I’m pretty sure that because of all of our interconnections and network webs (and that I actually do have their cell phone number and email), I will come face-to-face with this person one day and ask them why they chose to blatantly remove me from their online social life, but until then I am choosing to move past it without calling them out on it.
So there you have it – my thoughts on the dreaded facebook unfriend. What about you? Has someone important in your life tried to wipe you out of their digital life? And have you ever called someone out on it?
UPDATE: So literally a few days after I wrote this post, the person heard through our network of friends of this facebook deletion and re-added me and sent me a note. They said that I had “mysteriously” disappeared from their friends list — that this has happened to them with other friends too. Something smells a bit fishy to me on this one…would LOVE to hear the peanut gallery chime in with theories/thoughts/opinions on this one!!