Like most people, I periodically clean out the friends list on the ole Book of Faces, removing people who don't interact with me, log in very often or not make one of the Bucket Criteria. In general I'm unfriending people that don't fit one of the criteria for being a friend/connection on FB. I discovered doing that breaks the FB algorithms and I see more of my active friends stuff.
I guess I was caught by surprise that anyone would reach out to me to confirm if I unfriended them. Sidenote: is it unfriend or defriend? hypen or no? Discuss in the comments.
It probably seemed arbitrary to TGC that I un-friended them. So why would I unfriend TGC but keep TG or FG who I know from the same circle? Well FG and I have a common thing now as we are both parents of twin toddlers. That is a connection. Plus he was one of the few attorneys at BigName Law Firm 1.0, that treated me like a human being. TG was always a decent person to me and even came to one of my house parties back in the day.
TGC on the other hand didn't always treat me like an equal. In 2000 or 2001 or so, while working for the No-Name Software Company, I was a training class around the corner from where we use to work. I emailed to see if TGC was free for lunch and if it was no trouble to meet. TGC accepted my invitation but asked if SM could join because SM only worked part time at that point and would also be in the office that day.
Being the naive inclusive person I was, I said sure. But that was a mistake becuase after 5 minutes of catching up on my latest and greatest life unlocking achievements, TGC and SM started talking about things that didn't' include me and made no effort to bring me into their conversations. And the thing is, it's not like TGC and SM didn't hang out already. They probably could have had this same conversation over drinks that evening or the next day that SM was working downtown or they could have been less rude and brought me into the conversation somehow. It was truly a case of why the fuck did we bother?
After that I never emailed TGC again and I only connected on FB because that's what everyone was doing back in 2008.
After I explained to TGC my motivation for culling my friends list, they wrote back "That's too bad. I enjoyed seeing pics of your kids and cute family. Take care."
Talk about not getting it. Let me translate: "That's too bad. I enjoyed putting no effort into maintaining our relationship or acknowledging any of your Life Event Unlocking Moments, but when the fancy struck me I enjoyed being able to jump on FB and see your kids."
News Flash: I already that with my Friends That Really Matter. In other words, you're not offering me anything I already don't have but are expecting something from me. Seriously? Even a dog expects to be fed. You don't have to wish me happy birthday or High Five me for unlocking every Life Achievement, but over the course of a year, I'd expect some acknowledgement that I exist and have value.
About that History Repeating Itself Thing:
A similar thing happened recently at an event that reunited me with many from the No-Name Software Company. Someone else I thought was a friend decided that it was better to spend the company dime on catching up with a friend they just spent the last weekend with and will likely spend some time with in the near future instead of sucking it up and talking to me for 30 minutes during the dinner portion of the event -- even after promising that we would do so and I burned one of my rare hall passes to be out instead of home putting my kids to bed. Yes technically it was my decision to stay out but it was influence by a promise someone apparently never intended to fulfill.
I did not wait 8 years to unfriend that one.
Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.