Monday, December 29, 2008

Antisocial Networking

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.

(400 words)


  1. I'm taking my toys back and you can never play with them again!!

    Haha. You had me chuckling from the silliness of it all!

  2. Yeah, this online world is indeed new territory -- and shouldn't be taken too seriously, which I'm afraid I may have. Good lesson learned.