Monday, April 19, 2010


The act of unfriending is a new social trend we all eventually have to learn if we're a Facebook user. Although the results are always the same, the reasons for unfriending are not always as simple as they first appear to be.

Facebook is an interesting social media machine; some people use it to collect as many "friends" as possible while others keep their social media connections to those they would truly call friends. I struggle when it comes to ignoring friend requests - simply put it's not polite to not extend your hand in friendship, but to do so to someone who has over 500 friends seems easier - after all, don't they have enough already?

I have less than 60 friends. Some are workmates, others are social friends, none are for status. In my time I have only unfriended two Facebook friends - for entirely different reasons.

The first was in my early days of Facebook. I got a request from a girl who seemed to know me very well - but for the life of me I couldn't place her photo in her profile. Curiosity won me over and I accepted her friend request, only to find she was a friends sister. Her hedonistic lifestyle eventually got to me; she continually whined about her lot in life, at the same time only too willing to bankrupt her doting parents by getting them to pay for everything, including the very house she lived in. Unfriending her was a simple act - I just didn't like her.

The last act of unfriending was driven solely by self preservation. After accepting the friendship connection I realized that very post on her page was a reminder of a life I could not be connected to; a constant prompting that, for whatever reason, any love we shared could not be overcome to create change. In a way it provided a deeper understanding that my love for her simply wasn't enough. Contrary to any opposing view I needed to accept that - but in a way her Facebook posts were a consistent painful reminder of that fact. It was unhealthy, and for completely different reasons unfriending was again a simple act. Although in this instance she still haunts me every single day.

I look at my Facebook inbox today and I see a request from a prominent Korean businessman, who has serious financial connections to my aunt: I think I've met him once. My dilemma; should I accept a request from someone who I don't know very well, yet may take my snub personally enough to impact on his business deals with my aunt. His request hovers in my inbox, neither accepted or denied. If only life were always that simple.

Inaction often seems simpler, yet achieves nothing.


Cian said...

When assessing who to add and it is a 50/50 situation I ask myself is the person cute enough? Granted you might not be interested in doing that.

Personally I would prefer to err on the side of caution and add the person. It is possible to setup groups and assign friends to certain groups. Then you can limit by group what people can and can't see. I know it does sound like a lot of trouble. But personally I never post/do anything in facebook that I would not mind the whole world knowing.

Good luck with the decision :-)

Mark J said...

I love those lines from the Lyle Lovitt song "Here I Am"...

Given that true intellectual and emotional compatability
Are at the very least difficult
If not impossible to come by
We could always opt for the more temporal gratification
Of sheer physical attraction
That wouldn't make you a shallow person
Would it ?