I've been de-friended on Facebook! Rejected. Kicked out of an e-sorority. Should I be distressed? Ignore it? Stop feeling like a pre-teen whose friend is mad at her? What's the etiquette here?
Nobody warned me of this side of social networking -- the antisocial part. Until now, Facebooking has been all fun, restorative, entertaining. I've connected up with people I haven't known in years. I see what my West Coast colleagues do when they're not working. I know what my sisters are doing on a nearly daily basis. Sure, these e-relationships aren't deep, but they are meaningful in an amusingly diverting and lightweight kind of way. Not to mention relatively effortless. I can't imagine actually de-friending someone once I made the decision to engage them. I might choose to see less of a person on Facebook, but a de-friend sure seems like a harsh, end-of-the-line measure. On the other hand, it's a quick and easy way to let someone know how you really feel...
Interestingly, I was chatting with the de-friender just a couple weeks ago at a cocktail party. She was lamenting about how all the "housewives in Williston are now on Facebook" and how she doesn't want to know everyone's every move. Little did I know that she was talking ABOUT me TO me. (Since I'm not a housewife, I didn't recognize myself in her resentment.) I could go on about why she was even talking to me if she wanted to de-friend me, but there's too much background to cover there.
So at the end of the day, as I consider the dynamics of adult relationships -- and now e-relationships -- I realize that sometimes they're really not all that much more mature than the issues my 10-year-old daughter reports about her social circles. My advice to her:
(1) address the issue head on;
(2) back off the relationship for awhile and see how it evolves; or
(3) completely move on to more authentic relationships.
Seems like that same guidance appropriately applies to my own life and times -- and that my de-friend has clearly taken path #3.
In a twisted way, I'm grateful she made the split so painless. No ugly confrontation. No second guessing. Just the click of a button that took me a few weeks to even realize, and now I clearly know where she stands. More proof of the new e-world order.