Apr 042012
 

Dear Ryan Halstead,

In your defense, I can understand that you may have been unaware of my stance on Facebook friends.

But the picture you posted on Facebook today, the one that was photo-shopped to portray the President as anti-American… no explanation to actually prove anything, just a “See, there you go, Just-Say-No” kind of thing?

That is why I unfriended you.

When we were at the high school reunion this past summer, next thing I knew, I had accepted friend requests from people I hardly remembered, even after I looked them up in the yearbook. It seemed like a good idea at the time, such was the spell that showing up at my high-school reunion for the first time in 30 years had cast on me. That and the leopard dress and lucite shoes I wore.

Ryan, you were one of these vaguely familiar people from the high school reunion.

And since friends on Facebook tend to accumulate quickly, I admit that I now do routine maintenance on my friend list.

I’m hovering at around 200 friends right now, Ryan, which tells me that it’s time to do some housecleaning. I figure that by unfriending someone whose posts make me want to smack the computer screen…

I’m doing all of Facebook a favor, sort of like paying if forward.

Because once I did get into an ugly and getting-uglier exchange by responding to a hateful post on a friend’s wall from some woman who used Sarah Jessica Parker’s picture in place of her own. After a few posts back and forth I realized that she was eat up with meanness and I was in a lose-lose situation, so finally I told her that she had washed out to sea for me.

I wanted to throttle her.

I realized that the same thing could happen on my wall, instigated by someone whose friendship I’d accepted, only to discover that no, we are not friends after all.  So given the choice between offending you by unfriending you- or offending those I choose to keep on my friend list, I’ll unfriend in the blink of an eye.

You know, for the greater good.

So, Ryan, while I understand that you may not have been aware that I am just this side of ruthless with my Facebook friend list, I still want you to know that I am disappointed in you.

I am disappointed that you don’t seem to think for yourself. That you’ve bought into forming allegiances based on fear and peer pressure, that your politics and religion both seem to be rooted in dogmatic rules about who is Good and who is Bad.

And I am disappointed that you trust Fox News.

I thought when we left high school that we were all going forth to grow into magnificent individuals, that we would change the world with our open-minded and bright outlooks. I did not foresee that some would trade in the soaring spirit of youth to become fearful and stagnate.

So I’ve become protective of my little Facebook home.

I see no reason to extend my hospitality to fear, ugly accusations, prejudice, stupidity, or meanness. Not that you meant all that back when I was still seeing your posts, but if you’re actually a more loving person than what you were posting on Facebook, just let me know in 10 years at the next reunion.

I’ll be happy to re-friend you should I find that you’ve put your thinking cap back on.

 

 

More good stuff:

To Courtney: Why I Ignored Your Friend Request On Facebook

My Dashboard Hula Girl And Her Horrific Accident

Ten Things That My Dashboard Hula Girl’s Accident Taught Me

 

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  8 Responses to “A Minimalist Guide To Facebook Maintenance”

  1.  

    I just cleaned up my “friend” list of people who posted offensive and hateful stuff on MY page! I’m glad to see your post. People feel anonymous and write vile things they’d never say to your face. Way to go…..

    •  

      Rosie- Yep, you’re right that people feel anonymous when posting… it’s just like when driving and road-raging to the other drivers.

  2.  

    Once again, good job. I hate people who have a million friends on face book because they once knew that person way back when, but don’t KNOW them now. Amen sister!

  3.  

    Su, obviously catching up on your blog tonight. So after reading “Courtney” (still my fave), I too began to reconsider my fb friends (all 50 +/- of them!). Started slow, just unsubscribing to all the ridiculousness. And in the end there were almost no subscribed friends left! So now what? There’s almost nobody left!

  4.  

    Good for you! I’ve done the unfriending thing on a couple of people who posted things that I found deeply offensive – life’s too short, you know?

    •  

      Dawn- Life is too short to harbor ill will from someone who is basically on your turf, especially when you can just “unfriend” them and put a stop to it all. When we have a choice about what makes up our environment, we simply ought to take advantage of it, even if it’s nothing more than controlling our friend list on Facebook.