People can unfriend you for a variety of reasons, but where does the line get drawn between rational and over-dramatic? In the rational world of unfriending, there is a variety of understandable reasons why you should dismiss a once beloved friend. But, my beef is with the over-dramatic world of unfriending where a person makes rash decisions that leave you asking, “Did they really unfriend me?”
Case in point, I have a friend who recently got engaged to her boyfriend. One of her friends got mad at her because she had to find out about the engagement on Facebook. Her friend told her that she only wanted “real” friends in her life and then deleted her. Now, call me crazy, but I find that reaction slightly extreme.
We all find out about engagements, pregnancies, deaths, illnesses, break-ups, and make-ups online. That’s its purpose. It keeps us updated on each other’s lives. So, why lash out on a friend for using Facebook as their form of communication?
Another example of over-dramatic unfriending: I once knew this girl who was in this complicated on and off again relationship with a guy. One night, he told her that he wanted to stop seeing her. She was upset, of course, but not as upset as when she saw on Facebook that he changed his status to “in a relationship.” The girl started to text me asking if we could meet up for a beer and talk. Now, I wasn’t her biggest fan, but I figured it was the “nice thing to do” so I said yes. We met up and I listened to her talk for hours about her ex and gave the best advice I could.
Later that night, she texted me thanking me so much for being there for her and that she really appreciated it. Well, two weeks later, I get a text from a mutual friend that said, “Rachel, unfriended me!” I asked, “Why?” The text back, “Because I told her she was just upset that her ex found someone before she did.” I literally said, “Oh snap!” out loud. Now, curiosity stepped in. I checked my own Facebook page and guess what? That bitch unfriended me as well.
I guess I was being too “real” of a friend to her. Remember, the Facebook game of politics can invade your real-life world. These over-dramatic unfriendings can cause a serious damage to friendships. Now, everyone else will have to walk on egg shells around them. Making sure they don’t say or do the wrong thing that would justify them from being deleted. And, who wants to be associated with someone like that?
Facebook is not end-all, be-all of friendships. It’s a tool that helps us connect to people. When you unfriend someone, you should already have cut ties with them in the non-digital world and pressing delete is the final step, not your first step.