It’s funny, a few years ago there was no such term as “unfriend.” There was “parting of ways” or “severing ties” or even “breaking up.” Unfriending, though? It was unheard of. Fast forward a few years, and unfriending has become the ultimate insult. For most of us, it takes a lot to call it quits with someone on Facebook. It is the last dangling thread of even the most troubled friendships.
I recently learned, quite accidentally, that someone had unfriended me on Facebook. The accidental discovery occurred when she sent me a friend request, then quickly retracted it, and so after a couple minutes of confusion I figured out she had given me the boot. The funny thing is, I probably would have never noticed on my own accord because this person’s provocative political ways had become annoying to me and I had hidden her a long time ago. I’ve hidden a lot of people, and honestly it doesn’t take much for me to do so. Too much whining or selling stuff or begging for other stuff or vaguebooking or hokey memes or whatever, really. If I don’t feel you are adding to my happiness, I will hide you. Unfriending is a very different threshold, however. Unfriending is saved only for the worst of the worst. Honestly, the handful people I’ve actually unfriended have been seriously intolerable to me – racist, classist or straight up scary. Everybody else can stay so long as I can keep them hidden and check in only when I feel like it.
So what did I do to deserve this recent random unfriending? I have a guess or two. It wasn’t anything heinous – at least in my humble opinion. But it did involve me sharing an opinion with a common friend that probably didn’t sit well with my fellow unfriender. So rather than asking to address it up front, she decided she’d show me. That’s how the world works these days. We have a ready option to communicate what we are really thinking without saying anything at all.
To which I say lovingly, respectfully: goodbye, my (former?) friend. Au revoir. Adios. And best of luck to you. The irony is that I was already busy not missing you long before you made your bold, forever move.
Happy National Unfriend Day, y’all.