After a couple of days of seeing a steady stream of statuses and pictures from a particular person on my Facebook timeline, I should’ve noticed when their notifications stopped appearing in my feed. When it finally crossed my mind I hadn’t heard anything from them in a while, I searched their name, found their profile, and, in my discovery, also found I had been unfriended.
It should be said this person and I weren’t/aren’t particularly close, just an acquaintance I’d seen around from time to time, yet anxiety still gnawed at my stomach. I was legitimately upset over this and the fact that I was upset over this fascinated me.
It’s not like I had never unfriended anyone before. I had – for multiple reasons. Whether it was the fact I didn’t know the person or felt it would be better if we didn’t speak, I’m no stranger to deed. In fact, it’s not like I hadn’t been unfriended before either. I have – for multiple reasons. Yet, for some reason, this one actually hurt. I’ll be the first to admit we often use social media as a way to paint our lives a particularly rosy hue and more often than not our Facebook friendships are about as deep as the kiddie pool in the backyard. But for all the reasons of why it shouldn’t have mattered, it did. Even if our friendship on Facebook was superficial, in this instance it felt as if I wasn’t even worthy the ambiguous hope of getting to know one another better.
Regardless of whether or not we’re close friends or distant strangers, to friend someone on Facebook is an invitation to join in relationship with each other. If I friend you it means I’m, at least, mildly interested in your life and open to inviting you into mine. As dumb as it is and as much as it shouldn’t affect our real life interactions, it does. To unfriend is to bar someone’s presence in your digital life and to express no interest in theirs (which is interesting because even though social media can be used to distort the picture of our lives, it’s still a window into our souls nonetheless).
Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact I’ve become selective as to who I friend on Facebook. The one time I act in faith and friend someone, I find myself unfriended a week later. The worst part though is the betrayal. Someone crosses your mind, you try to let them know, only to find you’ve been deleted their life. No message, no explanation, no nothing. That hurts, man.
I recognize this post is ridiculous. Somewhere someone – if anyone – reading this is shaking their head at how dumb this is. I totally agree. It is dumb. I just needed a place to let that out. It’s like when the heartbreaker finally gets their heart broken and they realize they’ve inflicted this kind of pain on others and vow to never do it again. Getting legitimately and unexpectedly unfriended has somehow changed my view on the act. I don’t think I want to do that to other people. Not without an explanation at least.
If the person who deleted me happens to read this, though I highly doubt they will: well, this is awkward. Let’s make an agreement: you pretend as if you didn’t delete me and I’ll pretend like I didn’t write this. Deal?