Ahh, Facebook. How it has completely changed the way people interact and have expectations for “normal” social behavior. We now have rules for things that didn’t even exist less than a decade ago. What’s appropriate to say in a status update? Is it okay to post a million selfies of yourself? Should I be “friends” with my parents and bosses? Answers to questions like this are completely new additions to the Handbook of Good Social Behavior, and it’s kind of extraordinary that this generation is almost creating a new etiquette for this era.
I’ve found that one of the most controversial and debated Facebook social behavior topics on what’s “appropriate” is the friending and ‘unfriending’ of friends. (The Facebook-born word itself is a great example of these guidelines.) Being friends with someone in real life and being friends with someone on Facebook shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, but with some people, it definitely is. You know what I’m talking about.
I know Facebook isn’t meant for you to stay in touch with your closest friends — although it helps. But I find that more and more it’s not even about staying in touch anymore. Facebook is now just a social media platform with an ego-centric formula built right in, made so you can broadcast your own life to your “friends.” Think about it.
It’s not a blanket statement, and it’s not a criticism; it’s just an observation that you can’t deny has some truth to it. We use Facebook to talk about ourselves.
So, now to the topic of all those so-called friends. Now, you may find me hypocritical when I make my next point considering this is a public blog that I do broadcast on my Facebook profile, but just hear me out. I’m not publishing my life on my blog, only select ideas and thoughts that are meant to reach an audience. You also aren’t bound to see this — it was your conscious decision to read me rant on. I use my Facebook with caution of who will see what.
Frankly, I just don’t have over 700 friends in my life who I want seeing pictures of my weekend shenanigans, complaints about the cold NYC weather and how I felt about The Walking Dead finale. My philosophy about sharing has always been that if you wouldn’t tell someone something in person then don’t tell them on Facebook. You can see the problem this presents when you have almost 1,000 “friends” and maybe 200 actual people you talk to (if that). Either you don’t share or you don’t friend.
Now I still don’t think you should be using your Facebook like a journal or a therapist. But I am really likely to care even less about your already boring trip to the grocery store if we are barely friends to begin with. It’s nothing against you, but we barely know each other! Maybe we were closer once upon a time, or perhaps there was a window of time when we could have become better acquainted, and it’s now passed. Whatever it is, I’m probably going to unfriend you now. I might not even like you (or I know you don’t like me — let’s just be honest grown-ups here — high school and college is over now. No need for that unnecessary pretending.) so what’s the use in our being privy to one another’s lives only to gossip?
I’m still not in contact with a lot of my current friends, but there are those who make an effort to leave a comment here and like a post there. To those just stalking quietly — or worse — just getting annoyed at my posts, what’s the point?
So, don’t be offended if I’ve unfriended you. It most likely wasn’t anything personal. I just want to be able to share things with people I actually talk to — even if it is just on Facebook. There’s no need for any middle school drama because there’s no offense intended. But really…sorry, I’m not sorry for unfriending you.