About three months ago, I went onto my person Facebook account and defriended over 100 people in the course of about three days. I deleted without thought first. Then I deleted with a little bit a thought. Than I deleted everyone who was left that I had to admit was only on my friends list due to some morbid, voyeuristic curiosity I have about their life after high school. And ya know what? Not a single one of those 100 people noticed. I haven’t gotten a single friend request from them. Why? Because I’m confident I get defriended on a regular basis and I never notice, because we probably weren’t that good of friends to begin with. If I don’t notice within a day that you have removed me from your news feed, than I probably haven’t noticed you being in my news feed for months, maybe years.
The interesting thing about this is that I did this whole process without once announcing it to the world. I never once magnanimously announced to all of those who I graciously kept on my list that they made the cut. Why? Because I don’t look at it as some special entitlement or honor to be my friend. In fact, it’s probably a big pain in the butt to be my friend. I’m a hermit-like woman who rarely ventures out into daylight. I can be flaky when I’m not that committed to what you’ve invited me to and I maintain more superficial relationships than I care to admit. Working in an industry as small as mine (my day job), it can be challenging to defriend everyone and sometimes, you just gotta be nice to people.
So, writing some self-serving status update about how I made bunch of cuts and if you are reading this status update you were not one of them just makes me want to unfriend you on the spot. But to be fair, most of the people I know who would do something like that are people that I have probably already placed in a group that has been blocked from seeing my status updates, of which I have a handful. I can’t have every random person I meet at a conference or worked with 5 years ago being that privy to my life. Groups are great for that. Being able to exclude specific people and groups from seeing my status updates is even better.
But this whole phenomenon I’ve been seeing of these mass friend removals with the gracious announcement of how honored you should feel that you weren’t removed doesn’t seem to serve a purpose to me… well, other than to show the world that you are kind of a self centered douche.
The next time you want to unfriend the 100 least favorite people on your friends list, be nice and just do it. Don’t make the big announcement. It’s unnecessary to tell me that I should feel privileged and lucky to be your friend, it makes me not want to be your friend, and it only serves to ensure that all the people you did unfriend will find out about it. Which is really, just kind of mean.
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