We’ve all seen the posts, “I’m deleting people so if you can read this, you’ve made the cut.”
What I’m talking about is the less obvious, elusive un-friending. When you don’t even notice someone’s gone.
The most egregious way I’ve encountered this is in a group post. I’m checking a notification and notice so-and-so commented. Hey, so-and-so. I haven’t seen their posts in a while [clicks their picture].
And there it is. The, ‘Add Friend’, button.
We’re not friends? When did that happen? When did I last notice their posts? How long have we not been friends?
I say this all to myself as if being connected electronically has any bearing on real-life connections. Have I engaged enough? Did I “like” enough? Did I say something outlandish to offend them? What did I do to push them away?
After the turn-style of emotions, I switch gears. Initiate stalker mode. I scroll their page for any visible information I can see. Amazing when limited to basically profile pictures how you can see the passage of time.
Left with a few options I have to decide:
Do I go on as if I never noticed? You can’t accidentally un-friend someone. They had a reason. Do I let them be?
Do I click that, ‘Add Friend’, button as if it were by mistake? Oh, hey, I (finally) noticed we’re not friends.
Dare I message them? Do I expect the other person to explain themselves? Some justification only to bolster my own ego?
There’s also the grayed out, ‘Add Friend’, button. You are no longer friends and now you don’t even have the option. Not being friends is one thing. This takes away even the possibility.
And even still there’s the Facebook Block. To you, it is as if they no longer exist.
So what to do? I admit I’m usually team ‘Add Friend’ button. Maybe they want to know you DO want to be their friend. And I’ve had some success, but also silence.
In an age of constant social media barrage, how can I possibly maintain friends? The short answer is, you can’t always. But. I encourage you to engage when you can. Like those posts. Comment. Let people know you care.