I think we have all been there. Maybe you were at a party, you met some guy/girl and traded an ten minute conversation. That was in 2007. It was the summer If I can recall. You haven’t seen this person since, nor have you heard from them once. Yet you feel a slight pang of guilt at deleting them.
Or do you?
Facebook has created in some circumstances a proper monster. Relationships are not allowed the space to decay and wallow like the old days. Yet in a comforting way, it has also increased the chances of cementing new relationships with like minded individuals who you wouldn’t know under normal circumstances. So how does this affect me?
Ok. So what do you do when you find yourself on the other hand of a deletion. I’ve been there. And I have met these people afterwards. Its one of those things that people do in a moment of a power. The feeling of control that they have as they (or you) click on delete. I guess its fair to say it kinda hurts. But it can also open up a world of happiness.
I have recently gone through a fairly serious cull of facebook, deleting about 150 people off my profile. Very few were malicious removals. Most of which were genuinely folks I had no idea who they were. Now doing my job, I have had lots of people post gig have a few minutes chat with me and add me as a friend. No harm there. But the basis for the continued validity of having any form of friendship is communication. As long as they are making some form of effort, even if I dont know them…Then I tend to keep them as friends and just carry on. It takes very little for me to genuinely object to some folks though. I have a low tolerance of racist, homophobic, bigoted, thick people who only push their religious or personal beliefs in my face. I have plenty of friends from all walks of life…So I don’t necessarily pick anyone out for removal that way. I have only blocked two or three people in my time. But that was for reasons where I was concerned about nutters coming and slitting my throat when I sleep or doing something else particularly nasty. The hide function however. That I have used a lot.
I haven’t observed other people and how they use facebook. But its fairly simple for me. Its a social networking tool. That means outside of friendships, girlfriends, mates, whatever, it is also something that I use to arrange my life around. Be it going to the theatre, movies, festivals etc.. Not everyone who comments on these matters are my known friends. But I have gotten to know certain people only through facebook and their opinions view and reviews do count do count to me.
I have to admit that on some occasions mostly out of spite and anger for whatever reason (read: rejection, objection, dejection or ejection) deleted people on a whim and regretted it later. Like a few days later when you are out and about and find them in your company. I’ve done it…and I’ve hurt people’s feelings, but others have done it and hurt me too. Swings and roundabouts folks…tahts all it is.
But there is that point where certain relationships really feel superficial. Like the person you “friended” cos they were your ex’s chum. Or equally an ex. (not you jenny) but some other person who came into your life and is no longer there. Do I really want to see who you are shagging, or what parties you are going too etc? hmm…..not really…but instigating the deleting can be awkward.
I think what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the other. But I think facebook should have a few more buttons and options in there. God good its computer based after all..surely they have some mathematical equations built in that can see the difference between connections who chat, and people who hate each other.
I have some friends who are serial daters. Gone out with tons of girls. Who have friended me…Then he dumped them. And I am the one who seems left to deal with the longer term friend issue. eek. This will not do. Please facebook… Sort this out
There should perhaps be an expiry date for “friends”. Like Milk. If you have drunk from it in months, and the “relationshit” has soured. Then chuck it out.
Don’t however use social networks to get your point across when verbal communication will work much better. If you have something you need to say to someone. Say it. Don’t fanny about with deleting and blocking unless you need to. Or you will just look like a spoiled tit, who threw a strop and realised that nobody was watching or cared.