Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Friend or Foe?

So, I talked yesterday about cheapening the meaning of friendship through facebook. How I pretty much add anyone (although, I do have to say, I still prefer to add those with whom I have some relationship, even if it is all electronic.). So, here's the dilemma in reverse:

Once you've added someone, when do you unfriend them (if ever)?

I've unfriended when I never had a real life relationship. Friends of friends, people I met only briefly, etc. Never being real-life friends, I'm sure it didn't matter when we were no longer facebook friends.

But what about real-life friends, who are suddenly not friends anymore? I have two in my facebook list right now that sort of meet this definition. One is a woman with whom I was really good friends a few years ago. We spoke everyday, we exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts, and I attended her wedding. Then, we had a falling out and we haven't spoken in over a year. She was the one who was upset; so should she be the one to unfriend?

The other is a guy who I used to date, and after we dated, we remained good friends. We hung out, he introduced me to new friends who we still have in common, and we used to talk every day. Then he found a girlfriend fiancée. I haven't heard from him - not even a response to my congratulatory email. I know his fiancée doesn't approve of all his female friends. I'm not necessarily angry - just disappointed and missing my friend. Again, the rift is on his end, not mine - so should he do the unfriending?

A few weeks back I heard Peter Shankman talk about social media. One thing he said that stuck with me is that social media is just life - and your network is the people who are a part of your world. Some people are more relevant in your life than others - and their relevance can change, and then easily change back again.

I tend to agree with him. With this in mind, it seems like no one should unfriend anyone. I mean - just because we aren't relevant in each other's lives right now doesn't mean we weren't once, and might not be again someday.



  1. I've actually been unfriended (and sometimes then RE-Friended only to be unfriended again) by several people. I typically don't unfriend unless someone does something so vile and hurtful that I don't even want to be connected to them.To each their own I suppose, if you don't want to be friends with me on fb whatever, I'm guessing that we're not really friends in real life.

  2. I used to think of facebook as something I wanted to protect more, but now I look at it differently. I've unfriended guys who I met online, but never really had relationships with. After a while, it seemed silly to keep them in my friends list.

    I've been unfriended twice - once by the woman who my ex started dating after we separated. So, yeah - awkward.

    Although, my ex is in my friend list. As are other ex-type people. *shrugs*

  3. How about using groups to qualify the level of friendship? Show aquaintences less than family. I'm considering it. They never need to know they got bumped ;)

  4. I have considered that. Started it, in fact, since my friends are all grouped. It's just a matter of adjusting settings by group and maybe regrouping some. Also, I have friends who I've hidden from my feed entirely. I can only take so much preaching and/or fish feeding/barn building in my feed. Ya know? I need that space for important stuff, like videos of how cats drink. :)