Feb 192012
 

Dear Courtney Simms Burnette,

Yes, I received your friend request on facebook and I chose to ignore it.  But just this once I will explain why I clicked the “ignore” button.

When I first joined facebook, I thought that people requested friendships as a way of popping in and saying, “Hello.”  I didn’t realize that they were there to stay.  And before I knew it, I had hundreds of friends all up in my business.  I had friends who I had met only once, friends who I wouldn’t recognize in public, and friends who were- well, you know- not actually my friends.  And I had friends who, in real, live life, I knew but who were not real, live friends of mine- like some of the people I know from work.  You may have the same thing going on with your facebook friends.

Visiting facebook meant that I had dozens of new things to read several times every day from people I had accidentally chosen to keep up with.  I was seeing pictures of their kids, hearing about things that happened at work, seeing their vacation photos, seeing the cute sayings and pictures that they would post, and hearing about their politics and religion.  Courtney, some people amazed me at the level of intimacy about their lives that they would share with me, pretty much a stranger.  Some dazzled me with their bad language.  Some astonished me with their lack of regard for my own politics or religion.  A few even drove me about crazy with their constant chatter, and I learned that I could subsequently hide people like that.

Then it occurred to me that they were all watching me and everything that I posted- all my photos, my status updates, my comments responding to others’ comments.  I was paralyzed with fear that I was revealing too much of my personal life to people I didn’t know, didn’t want to know any better, or maybe didn’t necessarily care one way or the other about.

So one day, Courtney, I started deleting.  It dawned on me that at some point someone must have deleted me and that I had not found out or noticed, so I concluded that a message does not appear on my wall saying that I deleted the following friends 22 minutes ago, nor does a message go to the former friend that I deleted them.  (While I was deleting friends, I saw that Maureen O’Connell Kingman from work had over 2,000 friends.  I realized that I must mean little to her.)

In one day, I deleted 70 people.

Once I started deleting, I felt freed up to post what I wanted to, to reveal myself, to share my politics and my religion, to say personal things about my day.  I didn’t have strangers needing to hear “Happy Birthday” from me.  I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes when Jenny Friedringer got a pair of diamond earrings and a 9 mm Glock for Mother’s Day.  I didn’t have to listen to Lauren Lee Smith Sorenson talk about her husband leaving his wet bath towel on the floor.  I didn’t have to scroll past pictures of Wayne Millridge’s Mountain Dew can patio sculpture to see what happened with my friend’s knee surgery, and I no longer had to hear the girl with 2,000 friends tell me how I was not saved.  I was relieved to have cleaned house.

Courtney, I want you to know that when you requested to be friends with me, I did click on your picture to see your profile.  First, let me tell you that you should adjust your privacy settings.  Second, it took me a little while to remember where I’d met you.  Third, I noticed that you and I, since we don’t already have a friendly relationship established from real, live life, are unlikely to be compatible, given the serious stance that I noticed you have on matters where I have the opposite opinion. You would, Courtney, cramp my style.  So as politely as I can, I’ve chosen to “ignore” your friend request.

I hope you understand.

Oh, and fourth, you know that picture of you and your husband on the cruise?  I have that exact same sundress.

 

 Posted by

  16 Responses to “To Courtney: Why I Ignored Your Friend Request on Facebook”

  1.  

    Too true! Touche’!

  2.  

    Did you use real names? Am I still your friend? :-)

    •  

      I doubt any of the deleted people even know to read this, but I am sure they’d understand. I did delete one real, live friend by accident- I guess it says a lot that she did not hesitate to take me back.

  3.  

    This is one of the best and funniest things I’ve read in a while! Yay! Love the blog graphics also but would expect nothing less….

    •  

      Thank you, Cathy! Great to get the high-five from you on the story (does my heart good!!) and also on the graphics- it means a lot, given our history together in the graphics department. Those were some good times! But like Colette said, “I’ve had such a good life. I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” But better late than never, I suppose. Better late than never- welcome to the good life.

  4.  

    This is EXACTLY why I don’t do facebook anymore!!

    •  

      Yep, I understand! I’m sticking around, though I did feel like I was in over my head there for a while. One thing’s for sure, you’ve got to be miss bossy-pants about your privacy over there on facebook.

  5.  

    Not even partially private on FB for me. I’m a university professor and my students will find out what I’m posting whether they are my friends or not. Some things must remain un-statused. In the end, I think that’s probably for the best anyway.

    Thanks for your sense of humor!

    •  

      Glenda- Glad you liked it! Yep, it’s a madhouse some days and some weeks- and there’s no way to see what’s just around the corner sometimes, no matter how prepared we try to be. Things like “2 dozen cookies” seem to appear out of nowhere!

    •  

      Robin- Whew! I’m not sure I’d do well as a university professor if it meant my students were all on fb with me! Thanks for stopping by!

  6.  

    So funny! It makes me want to delete some of my “friends” now. I always have to censor myself on FB.

    So in this Blogelina 100 comments things, your blog is the first that I have added to my RSS.

    Love a funny blog that makes me laugh out loud. Literally.

    Thanks!

  7.  

    too funny!! I leave you now- off to clean up my face book!

  8.  

    Love this!

    •  

      Jayne~ Just saw your comment today- didn’t mean to ignore you. Thanks for visiting here! This post has been one of my most popular- hit a nerve, I guess. ;/ I’m glad you love it!!