You 'Unfriended' Me?

I was a late-comer to the world of Facebook. It was a little over a year ago that I finally decided to see what all of the fuss was about and sign up. I have to say it’s been a lot of fun connecting with old friends. It has also been a lot of fun tapping out a few thoughts now and then. Putting those thoughts down on paper eventually gave me the idea that I had enough writing skills to take it to the next level and write a blog. Judging by the number of “hits” on this blog, I’m still the only one who thinks so!

In addition to connecting with old friends on Facebook, it has also been nice to get acquainted with new friends too. Throughout life, we meet people and instead of jumping in too quickly by meeting for lunch or drinks, it’s nice to be able to “Friend” someone on Facebook first. It’s a bit easier to get a read on someone by simply reading what they have to say. It’s much less of a time investment that way too.

One thing that confuses me about Facebook, however, is the “Unfriending” process that goes on. Now I know, for one reason or another, people sometimes deactivate their account. Sometimes they just tire of much of the drivel that many think is interesting to read. I think if I read one more of those e-cards, I just might scream. Others just become disgusted with the political opinions that are posted by some, which leads them to first glaring at the “Unfriend” button followed by a very firm click. Back in the old days, we used to get the same satisfaction out of slamming the telephone receiver down. Unfortunately, cordless and cell phones now make that little pleasure impossible.

Recently, I noticed that an acquaintance of mine from a local watering hole had not been too visible on Facebook lately. Just for the heck of it, I checked my Friend’s list…..yep, he launched me! Imagine that? Another young lady from the same watering hole, after a little too much fire-water, admitted that she “Unsubscribed” me. By doing so, she could see my posts, but only upon request. She told me that she thought I was too political. At first I thought, ‘What is she? Ten years old?’ Well I took exception to this and in the time it took me to pull up my Friend’s list on my iPhone….you got it, I launched her!!

It’s also not unusual to be “Unfriended” and then within a few days receive a “Friend” request from the same individual. Usually there is some reason why the friendship ended in the first place, such as a “computer malfunction” or “the dog hit the Unfriend button”. Whatever the case, it’s nice to have people back.

Somehow, I think Facebook has bought much joy into relationships, while at the same time it has caused as much or more grief. Facebook certainly is an easy way to start a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. First of all, there is really no time investment, there is no talking required and there is plenty of time to think of something clever to say before it is said. I’ve often said that if I had Facebook when I was in high school back in the 70s, I would have quite possibly been able to get a date! In fact, I blame my failures with girls while in high school on the absolute lack of technology available during that era.

As a kid growing up, we had one telephone in the house which hung on the kitchen wall. If I somehow managed to get the courage to call a girl on the phone, I had to sneak past my mom who was normally situated in the kitchen either cooking, cleaning or paying bills. Needless to say, it was quite difficult choke out the words to a girl on the phone, but having an active listener just a few feet away was simply out of the question. Plan B might be to use the payphone at Bowl-Era bowling alley, but I can tell you the sound of a 7-10 split in the background doesn’t do much for the overall telephone experience.

I have to say this Facebook experience has been fun and interesting. On the other hand, with all of the stress and aggravation that life brings on, I’d prefer to not be “Unfriended”. But if any of my Facebook friends have an issue and are considering “Unfriending” me, I hope they’ll call me first so that we can discuss it. It will also give me the opportunity to “Unfriend” them first and not give them the satisfaction!!

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