Earlier today, I realised that two of my Facebook friends had gone to the trouble of de-friending me… and I felt absolutely crushed. It felt like I was back at school, being excluded from the groovy gang all over again.
I spent the next hour biting my nails down to the bone as I tormented myself with what I could possibly have done to upset them so badly that they didn’t even want to be friends with me on Facebook! Surely, being removed from Facebook is the highest insult to your history with a person that there can possibly be? And therein was the problem. I was making it too personal and taking it way too personally.
The truth is that the real ‘friendships’ had been allowed to fizzle out a long time ago. If we weren’t all connected on Facebook, I might not have given a rats arse about ‘what’s on their mind’ and there would have been no harsh ‘de-friending’ to deal with, we would have simply all gone our seperate ways and that would have been that. No drama. The final nail in the friendship coffin came when they pressed the remove button and although it stung initially, maybe I had simply been using Facebook incorrectly all along.
I found unexpected relief in Anna, who shrugged and told me that a friend cull is not uncommon. She explained how people use Facebook differently and like to keep their social networks tidy. A lot of people use LinkedIn, for example, for work colleagues, Facebook for their closest friends and Twitter for a little bit of both.
Still new to this, I had no idea that it was perfectly acceptable to defriend Joe Bloggs from School who I don’t really remember anyway and who gives me the creeps a little bit. The same for all those friends who update their status 20 times a day and clog up my news feed.
If I had been smarter, or braver, I could have culled my own friends list months ago and beaten them to the punch.
Only, these two particular friends probably would have made the cut. Maybe that’s the harshest part of all.