Why Can’t We Be Friends? March 6, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Food for Thought.
Tags: Defriending, Do people know if you deleted them as Facebook friends?, Facebook, Facebook Friends, Humor, Jimmy Kimmel, National Unfriend Day, Social Network, Unfriending
How could I have missed Jimmy Kimmel’s call to make Nov. 17 National UnFriend Day on Facebook? Oh that’s right, I was in the middle of Parent-Teacher Conferences. That’s two weeks when I’m looking to bring people on board, not cull the herd. But last night after a few glasses of red wine, I started deleting some of my “friends.”
So far no gunshots have been fired at my house, but most of those I “unfriended” (is that the correct nettiquette?) don’t even know where I live. That tells you something right there.
Like many people, I signed onto Facebook early on when it was literally the new kid on the block. The “friending” began. I wrote about the downside of this in Being Facebook Friends with Stephan Pastis – Rats!
Fast forward four years. It occurred to me that I wouldn’t recognize some of my “friends” on the street. That’s not good. I’d even stooped to hiding others, so I didn’t have to read incessant updates about every aspect of their life. (Jimmy Kimmel provides a great example of this.) Hiding may be a kinder way since the “friend” doesn’t know that you’ve exiled them to Never Again Land, but isn’t honesty usually the best policy? Was that a gunshot I just heard?
Then there were those “friends” who were coerced by some well-intentioned technophile into joining Facebook in the first place. Left to their own devices, they couldn’t figure out how to post their picture or a status update. I think most have forgotten their passwords and haven’t revisited Facebook since I hit the Accept button. They’re in the slow lane on the information highway with their turn signal on – but can’t figure out how to exit. I like to think that by “unfriending” them, I’m just helping speed up the process.
Here’s my new and improved criteria for a mutually beneficial “friendship.”
1) I would recognize you if I saw you on the street
2) We’ve shared a significant life experience (Think “trauma bonding”)
3) You’ve commented on one of my status updates or blog.
4) You can make me laugh.
5) We share some DNA, so you are potentially an organ donor.
Actually, my son just informed me that he “unfriends” people almost weekly, and it’s no big deal. It’s not like Mark Zuckerberg shows up at their door with the pink slip. Come to think of it, some of those I planned to “unfriend” weren’t even on my list of “friends.” Could it be that they “unfriended” me first and I didn’t even notice? Sweet!