I know this for sure: I won’t friend anyone I have no connection with whatsoever. Why do people send requests when they don’t have even one friend in common with me? Or an interest, or past, or anything? They’re collectors, I assume—they want to be the Facebook user who has one beeeellion friends. Ugh.
I also know this: it takes a LOT for me to unfriend someone. I’m not talking about the cleaning-up stuff, the I-barely-know-this-person-why-are-they-on-my-list unfriending, but consciously clicking “unfriend” because you are saying I DO NOT LIKE THIS PERSON.
Because, and you know this if you’re even a little bit FB-savvy, if a friend drives you nuts you simply remove them from your feed and voila! You rarely see the things they post. This is the best way to handle people you like and/or are related to but have, say, polar opposite political views. Or they turn out to be the type who needs to constantly share every one of their emotions as they occur. Or you just don’t have the heart to let them know the minutiae of their lives does not really matter to you. These kinds of friends *might* be harmless, but they also might be the people who can mess up your mood in a single post.
“Hide” is a fabulous little housekeeping tool.
Cleaning up my feed makes my visits to Facebook an absolute joy. Well, most the time. Sometimes the people in my feed share bad news. That sucks. But I don’t take it personally. (Ha.)
I avoid unfriending because it’s such a passive-aggressive way to tell someone how I feel. Although I’ve probably been unfriended more times than I know (that fbDefriended app came along long after I joined FB), there have been just a handful of times that I’ve really cared. The first time I was unfriended, I was hurt—it was someone who had become dear to me, and it showed me that we weren’t friends in real life after all. The second time someone unfriended me, I was baffled. It was in response to an exchange of emails about our kids. In talking with mutual friends afterward, we concluded that this woman is cuckoo-crazy—not because she no longer wanted to be friends with me, but because her response to our conversation was so rash… also because she continued to harass me indirectly by telling her kid that I didn’t love mine, and sending nasty letters to the school principal. WHAT!ever.
The third time I was unfriended broke my heart, and I won’t talk about it here.
I’ve got a short but powerful “blocked” list—I don’t see them and they don’t see me. There are three or four people on my list that are there because I don’t want them to find me or the people I love. The others are people I absolutely do NOT want to see when I’m going along my merry Facebook way, enjoying my very filtered feed. La la la la la la life is better if I pretend you don’t exist la la la la la!
I’ve with-malice-and-aforethought unfriended people on Facebook two times. The first time was soon after joining, when the person posted “I’m almost to 1,000 friends! Help me get there!” I clicked that unfriend button soooo hard. Not a fan of the collectors!
The second time was today. I know, I know—passive-aggressive. But, to be fair, the person I unfriended today is a complete asshole.
And yet I still feel like a total shit for the unfriending. I mean, it’s not like I wouldn’t tell this asshole to its asshole face that it’s an asshole, given the opportunity (which brings up an entirely different type of guilt, that it would be so easy for me to say that). I gave this a lot of thought; it verges on the ridiculous that I took it so seriously. While it was the right thing to do to keep my mental state in the she’s-not-going-to-explode range, I have an icky, I’m-a-terrible-person feeling, which is weird because I’m pretty sure the people who have unfriended me haven’t given it a second thought.
Geez. I like life way better when everyone’s getting along and bad stuff doesn’t happen and people are happy and nothing changes and I don’t feel frowny-faced and I don’t do things that make other people frowny-faced and the sky is sunny and blue and I’m thin and gorgeous and I don’t pop the blood pressure cuff. It sucks to pop the blood pressure cuff.