By most people’s standards, my Facebook friends list is pretty short. I haven’t gathered them. Each has found me and sent a friend request. That’s just the way I work. Asking someone to become my friend would leave me open to rejection. I’m too sensitive to chance a rebuff like that.
Because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I’ve accepted every friend request I’ve received except for two from people I’ve never actually met. A little FB digging revealed they were friends of friends. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I can’t consider someone I wouldn’t recognize in the Tim Horton’s line a friend.
D, an actual in the flesh friend as opposed to a Facebook friend who may in fact be a mere acquaintance, has a glamorous cousin.
Glamorous Cousin lives in Europe and travels extensively. I’ve met her a few times. She’s a little overbearing, but other than that, seems okay. She sent me a friend request a while ago. Although she’s not an actual friend, I accepted because we’ve met. I was fairly confident she wasn’t some kind of creepy stalker.
She posted a few family photos. The usual stuff: New Year’s Eve in Barcelona, Easter Sunday in Rome and that mid-winter break in Paris to see the museums. I made concise comments. (Looks like a great trip. The kids are sure getting big! Did you see the medieval fortress walls in the basement of the Louvre?) She never liked or responded to any of my comments or posts.
I’m not a prolific Facebooker. When I post, it’s either extremely interesting (like a photo of a freak April snowstorm) or funny (a warning not to drink the water over a public toilet).
I thought Glamorous Cousin was taking a break from Facebook as she hasn’t posted anything in ages. Perhaps that demanding vacation schedule doesn’t leave much time to muck about on the computer.
Then yesterday D mentioned something about Glamorous Cousin’s latest trip. She’d seen pictures on Facebook.
“That’s odd,” I said. “I wonder why they didn’t show up on my news feed.”
Awkward silence from D.
“Hang on,” I said, “I’m checking my friend list. . . She’s not on it. Did she unfriend me? Can you do that without telling the person?”
“If you unfriend someone, they’re not notified.”
“But she sought me out and asked to be my friend. It’s not like I went looking for her on Facebook and then swamped her with messages. The least she could have done was send me a note to say she’s condensing her friend list or something before she chopped me.”
“Don’t take it too hard. Maybe it’s not personal.”
Not personal? How can something as brutal as being unfriended not be personal?
I googled reasons to unfriend someone. None of them are good. Some are unfriended for posting vulgar language or polarizing religious or political messages. Yikes!–I wouldn’t want a friend like that, either. Cluttering news feeds with daily (or more) photos of cute kittens, mind-numbing “today I brushed my teeth” type posts or endless boasts about your better-than-everyone-else’s life can also get you unfriended, as can threatening or abusive behaviour.
As none of those apply to me, I am left with the real reason Glamorous Cousin unfriended me: I am uninteresting. She invited herself into my online life, looked around and decided it was too boring for her. I was too boring for her.
Thanks a lot, Facebook for bringing the highschool experience of not being good enough for the popular girls to adult life!