Every now and again, I go through my list of “friends” on Facebook and delete people.
I was especially conscious of the fact that I didn’t want just anyone to see photos of the baby or in general, have access to that part of my life to potentially share that with others.
Unfriending those folks wasn’t hard.
But there were some people I kept around for unexplainable reasons.
I suppose it was because I felt some sort of guilt about severing the tie. To me, it felt extreme to purposely disconnect when they hadn’t done anything and probably weren’t looking at anything I did or said anyway. Chances were slim that any of them would notice or take offense.
I hate even admitting this because it places an importance on Facebook that I’d rather it not have. Then again, I use it to share what’s going on with me, even if that’s on a fairly superficial level.
Recently, I unfriended two people for very different reasons.
The first I accidentally did on their birthday. I felt like a huge asshole for the timing and swear up and down it was not intentional. But subconsciously it wasn’t entirely coincidental as they must have been coming up more in my feed because of it.
We haven’t spoken in well over a year. I’ve known this person for quite awhile and we’d managed to keep in touch even after we’d lived in different cities and pursued other paths. The last time we saw one another we had a really uncomfortable conversation, one in which I think they felt hurt. Enough so that they pretty much stopped contacting me. I suppose I was waiting for some sort of confrontation or for them to express their anger/sadness so we could have a meaningful discussion. But time kept passing and it never happened.
I realize I could have been the one to make the first move. I could have said I knew they were upset about something and assumed it was that last interaction, etc. But I didn’t.
Perhaps we both decided on our own that this friendship was over and there was no need to hash it out. It happens all of the time.
So why get rid of them now? Well, a selfish reason really. Maybe we’d never bury the hatchet or become the friends we used to be. But when I got pregnant and have now had the baby for over three months and never heard a word from them, that hurt. I know I have no right to say that my having a kid should somehow trump their feelings or be the reason they “give in” first. Except that is how I feel. Even one “Like” on any of those posts would have at least seemed like a gesture to say “I know we haven’t been in touch, but I’m still happy for you.”
Perhaps what I said back then was unforgivable. Either way, it’s obvious they aren’t interested in being friends. so why did we need to stay connected on Facebook?
The second person I met through a friend of a friend many years ago. We haven’t seen one another in about that long. I have no real attachment to this person, not personal or professional. They were nice enough from what I remembered and I had no reason to keep them from seeing stuff like baby pictures or dumb posts.
I noticed they would comment on my statuses a lot. And not in any kind of fun, supportive way. Instead, it was this weird humor that seemed to try to knock me down. At first I didn’t really think much of it. But the longer it went on, the more I realized: This Person Is A Troll.
It was a weird conclusion to come to, but it was true. Why would someone I hadn’t seen in over a decade single me out in what I can only imagine are tons of posts on their Newsfeed just to make a dumb comment on my status?
In my gut, they always made me feel weird and kind of bad.
At first, I added them to a list that I use when I don’t want to share certain things. That already sort of seemed like a lot to do for someone I wasn’t actually friends with.
When it happened again recently, it finally dawned on me that I didn’t have to sit there and decide if this ONE PARTICULAR PERSON WHO I DID NOT CARE ABOUT should be excluded from seeing something.
I could just unfriend them.
I didn’t have to feel guilty about it or worried that I’d have to explain myself because even if I had to, what was the big deal? Besides, it might feel good to point out to this person that they were trolling me.
And just so I don’t let on that I’m some Facebook saint, not too long ago I discovered I’d been BLOCKED by someone I wasn’t even friends with. I won’t deny that I did like to hate-read their public statuses, so it made sense that they decided maybe I shouldn’t even get the pleasure of that.
However, a friend of mine will send an occasional screen shot of their posts so I can eye-roll-lol-are-you-serious for a good laugh.
I know, I’m terrible.