This post should be the last of the friendship series… well, it was not so much of a narrative, but some random thoughts stretched out over three days. For the entire archive, please click here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).
When I first joined Facebook, I pretty much “friended” everyone I had ever known (and many that I didn’t) to get my numbers/ self-esteem up. Oh… how good did it feel at the time to have 1,000+ “friends…” ‘Friends’ who you could tell every last minutiae of your thoughts to in 140 words of less… ‘Friends’ who you could share interesting online articles and lousy vacation pictures with… And you knew they were your friends because they responded back to you on anything and everything with some witty remark. Or if you were especially lucky, they would WRITE ON YOUR WALL(!), validating your entire personhood… Ahhh… memories!!!
At some point, it got too ridiculous for me, and I had to make hard choices. I quit your online presence. Please don’t be hurt… but it IS personal. I didn’t like the virtual you. And here’s why:
1.) I don’t know you.
Maybe I met you once or twice several years ago and we became distant acquaintances. But for whatever reason, we never connected again. Or maybe we float in the same circles, but never got to know each other personally; and I don’t anticipate that we will grow our friendship outside of Facebook. Or maybe I don’t know you at all. You “friended” me just because… and I accepted likewise. In all cases, it was never going to last.
Just because you read my lousy status updates does not a “friendship” make. You don’t know me. And I don’t know you. And maybe it’s for the best that we stop pretending that we’re “friends.”
[Note: I don’t generally defriend people who live out of town, because it’s just a given that I’ll rarely, if ever, see you. That is, unless you piss me off. (See below. Oh, I’m not done yet!)]
2.) You’re boring
Exceptions are made to the stipulation above if you can keep my interest with your posts. Do you lead an interesting life? Do you post comments/pictures that pique my curiosity? Sadly, most people don’t do either.
For example, there are those who just keep their Facebook page as a placeholder. They haven’t updated it since poking was the rage. You don’t interact with me at all. Yes, you! You don’t contribute anything of value to my online experience. Ya, when I conducted my first Facebook purge, you were the first to go.
Or… at the other extreme, as was delineated yesterday (link above), too many others put up inane status updates. What they had for eat today (complete with pictures!) Work/home complaints. Trying to guilt me into joining causes I probably already believe in… for one hour. Every time I flush some people down the virtual toilet, my finger hovers over your name for a few seconds. If I have kept you for the time being, consider yourself lucky.
3.) You’re illiterate.
If you can’t spell or grasp basic English grammar, you are not my friend. If you say “like” in every sentence… I’m sorry, but I’m not in high school anymore – and I don’t care to go back. And the kicker: If you write posts in “text-ese,” and I can’t decipher them without phonetically spelling out each word like a third grader, you are on the cusp of oblivion on my profile.
Facebook posts don’t need to be necessarily erudite. But they do need to be readable. It would behoove you to read your status update a few times to see if it actually makes sense before posting it to the world. Don’t make yourself look dumb in front of your ‘friends:’ I don’t know about your other followers, but people like you give me fodder to laugh for days. Until I cry. And subsequently “alt-ctrl-del” you from my life.
4.) You just gave me the finger(!)
Some profile picture no-nos: I don’t want to see you grabbing your crotch… and/or you giving me a pictorial f-off every time your picture lands in my profile. Yes, I get insulted. And yes, I think less of you. And when I delete you, I don’t have to think of you at all.
And while I’m on the topic of Facebook pictures, I should not have to say this… but here I go: pictures of pee sticks showing that you’re pregnant, sonograms (sorry, kinda creepy to me), bodily fluids and scars/cuts that make me squirm have no place on public online squares. Period.
5.) Did you just use the “N” Word?!?!???
People. Be respectful of your online friends and their sensibilities. I have such a visceral reaction to racially/demographically derogatory words (you know which ones they are…) that you are guaranteed a defriendin’ if I see the word anywhere on your profile or status update. No exceptions.
6.) You “talk” like a sailor.
Personally, I believe that most words (see #4 above for exceptions) in the English language are meant to be used. I use pretty much every acceptable curse word in my daily vocabulary… but in context.
But some people apparently strive to sound uneducated, so they pepper every other word online with words like fcuk or s**t. I am not friends with obligatory cuss-ers in real life, so I’m not going to humor you on Facebook either.
7.) You find every conversation online too cute. And I MUST be involved in every last one of them.
If you constantly tag me in posts/pictures that have nothing to do with moi, just know that you are annoying me. Too many annoyances, and I’m out of your life virtually.
8.) You invite me to too many events.
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. If you clutter my newsfeed/email with invites and updates on said invitations, you are wasting my time and brainpower. I’d rather read items that gage my interest instead. Buh-bye!
9.) You’re creepy
Here are some prime examples of why some people aren’t my “friend” anymore (or were never my friend to begin with):
- You once hit on me when I was out with my friends and was rebuffed. But you weren’t quite done; you found me on Facebook and tried to “friend” me. Nice try, buddy;
- You have stalked my presence online for years; when I finally did run into you, you knew more about my life than I did. Awkward.
- You monitored my relationship status online, and only sent me a message when I was single. I finally caught on to you and put a “stop” to it permanently;
- We’re just not friends in real life anymore. And then I had to get a snappy status update/email/text message when I defriended you online. Why???? Were you really trying to hurt my feelings? Because I laughed instead… oops!
10.) You’re an ex/friend of an ex.
Like above, if you’re not in my life anymore, I don’t want to know what’s going on in yours. And really, do you want to see my face periodically in your newsfeed too?
And just so you know, I broke up with your friends too… they were collateral damage.
11.) You truly hate life.
Everybody goes through tough times in their life… I’m okay with some venting of frustrations, particularly if life has handed you your fair share of doggy doo. But true Debbie Downers: those people who refuse to do anything about their s***y life and just get off dumping all of their problems on you – are never fun. In person or online. Enough whining, and you’re outta here.
12.) You defriended me first.
My favorite situation of all: For whatever reason, you decided that I’m not valuable to you online. That’s fine… you just have your own defriend criteria list going on in your head. I know you had your reasons. You just made the first move. Well played.
But then, later, you decide that I’m useful to you after all, and try to get back into my good graces. Although it’s not a hard and fast rule, I generally frown upon letting people back into my life that left it in the first place. Both in real life and online.