It hasn’t happened in a while, and its hard to see it happen its so subtle. Usually I’ll find out I’ve been unfriended by someone on Facebook when I go to post something that made me think of them, or worse, to tag a photo of something we recently did together. Oops. For some reason you go to tag them and you can’t find them. What happened? Did Facebook make an error? Is it broke? Am I doing something wrong? Nope. You are getting the equivalent of knocking on the door of someone knowing they are there and listening quietly as you hear them shuffle around in their apartment. You know they are there. But now what the hell do you do?
I’m a rational man. I do understand that nobody is REALLY a friend on Facebook. I mean it’s fun and all…but there’s no way someone can be in a committed friendship with over a thousand people at one time and give each of them the quality of time they deserve. Nope. No matter what anyone tells you it’s just not possible. So I know all this. But why does it sting so much when you find out you’ve been unfriended? It’s happened to all of us. Getting dumped is something that happens to everyone…and the feelings associated with said dump (pain, confusion, irritation, rationalization, denial, and finally acceptance) are almost guaranteed to come up.
If you haven’t been dumped yet you’re either clueless and don’t keep up with your people enough to know the difference, in which case none of this will apply to you…or you are just like me and don’t realize it until it’s too late! And those stupid applications that keep telling you that its easy to find out who unfriended you are bullshit. Stop giving all of them your personal information so they can spam you AND me with it. Since getting dumped is guaranteed to happen to the best of us, let’s take a look at the best way to handle these little devastating moments.
The guys over at Gizmodo (a tech website that posts random stuff like this periodically) says the following are some things to consider; which I thought you’d love to read so here is what they say…
Factors to consider
It’s possible you’re really goddamn annoying on Facebook—lots of stupid shared “joke pictures,” confrontational political statements, mundane check-ins—in which case, who can blame anyone for unfriending you? You’re a terrible friend. Friends should be interesting. Why weren’t you more interesting? You brought this upon yourself, and now everyone is running away from you. Start being better and you’ll start making friends. That’s your best shot.
But let’s say you’re just a regular guy being cool on Facebook—posting the occasional fun photo, insightful link, amusing status update, thoughtful birthday wishes. You manage your Timeline like a pro! You’re a good person, and a good Facebook Friend.
And someone still unfriends you. You have reason to be offended. When friendship means so, so precious little, taking the time to click enough to remove someone from your list of fake friends is hugely insulting. You’re beneath fake friendship. Someone doesn’t even want to see your name written down on an LCD screen. You’re repulsive to them. Unfriending on Facebook is like being kicked out of fat camp for being too fat. And ugly. Ugly and fat.
But, don’t forget:
Unfriending is healthy
It’s a normal, perfectly rational thing people do on Facebook all the time. Most of your hundreds of Facebook friends aren’t actually your friends, because it’s emotionally impossible for a single person to have hundreds of friends simultaneously. Being unfriended might be someone simply waking up and recognizing the absurdity Facebook thrusts us into. They’re just attempting to rectify it, using features built into said social network.
We’re all petty enough to care.
Let it go, but be weird about it
If it’s someone you actually know—a coworker, friend of a friend, some peripheral talking blob—you probably shouldn’t make a fuss. Particularly, if they’re connected to someone who is actually important in your life, it’s best to just let the affront slide.
But some day, whenever the two of you meet in person again, you’ll briefly lock eyes. I know what you did, and you know what you did. It’s a moment of mutual panic, guilt, and animus. That’ll quickly subside, and you’ll go about your lives. Who knows, maybe you’ll both end up forgetting the whole thing. You might even friend one another again. And so the cycle continues.
Or, if you feel like a fight…
Call them the hell out
This part is fun. If you’re not really worried what these people think about you, publicly expose what they truly are—cruel. Cruel jerks. They’ll get their comeuppance. These unfrienders think you probably won’t even notice, and if you ever do, you’ll be too apathetic or nervous to say anything about it.
But bringing up the vile act—either online or in person—will shock them to their core. They’ll be taken aback that you’re enough of a weirdo to bring up a Facebook unfriending. Watch as they stammer excuses, stutter, and try to explain. They’ll offer to refriend you. “It was a mistake! Oh, how did that happen?” They’ll feel bad and weird and guilty. They’ll feel something, which is better than Facebook’s typical emotional feedback void. Sure, it’s trolling, but it’ll make you feel better without any kind of real moral transgression. The Internet should always be making you feel better.
I love this guy’s writing. It’s so refreshing to read something so brilliant. If you get a chance, go over to Gizmodo.com and check those guys out. They do good stuff…it’s one of my favorite websites. The author’s name is Sam Biddle. Thanks for a great one Sam!