The sadness of defriending

Previously, I’ve blogged an awful lot about Facebook and what it does for me. I’ve also blogged recently about a pathalogical need to be liked, which I seem to be afflicted with. Today, I am thinking about both Facebook and being liked.

Just now I happened to notice that someone has recently ‘defriended’ me on Facebook and my reaction is to feel terribly sad. While I was cooking dinner, I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from this person for a while and so I looked her up. To my shock, we are no longer ‘friends’. I never knew. I didn’t notice it happening. I feel so sad.

My response since then has to worry that I’ve said something bad, stupid, annoying or just been an annoyance in general (I’m rather good at that, I fear). I’ve tried but I can’t think what I might have said specifically to upset this person. I don’t see her anymore. Her child and one of mine used to be classmates. When our paths used to cross on the school playground we always had something to talk about. I like(d) her. So why does she no longer like me? And, more importantly, why do I care so much? Her reasons might not be that deep. She might just consider that since we don’t see each other we don’t need to stay connected.

A couple of months ago I noticed another ‘defriending’ and as with this time, I became quite bothered. This wasn’t a person I had ever met. She was someone I ‘met’ on Mumsnet a few years ago. Our paths had crossed online in our mutual grief over losing a baby. We were Facebook friends for months, years even. Now we are not. I don’t know why. It wasn’t my decision.

A while before that I spotted yet another ‘defriending’. Again, someone I had ‘met’ on Mumsnet. We’d both had babies in November 2009. I had thought we’d got on really well, ‘online’ at least. We nearly met up once. What did I do wrong? I thought she was lovely.

Years ago, shortly after I first joined Facebook, I was ‘reunited’ on Facebook with an old school friend. A couple of months later he defriended me (perhaps my first ‘defriending’). This was back in the days when we  could count our Facebook friends on one hand. I was so upset that I actually messaged him to ask him why. He was very polite in his reply. He explained that since we didn’t see each other he didn’t see that it was important that we kept in touch. I was gutted. I respected  his decision though. I was upset nonetheless and I still think about it.

There are others. I’m not sure why I notice  them. I lost another school friend after we fell out over politics. I had thought we’d been having a healthy debate. She obviously disagreed. I was also defriended by a family member over politics. That stung a lot too. That made me reconsider the way I express my passion for politics online. I have since toned it down.

I value all of these people who seem to want to be ‘friends’ with me

But am I strange in caring so much about people I don’t see deciding that they don’t want to have a connection with me anymore? I’m not sure why it stings so much. I think there are people who aren’t so bothered. I know people who regularly have ‘clear outs’ of Facebook. I’ve never done that. In fact, I’ve never defriended anyone. I couldn’t. I like people, even those who might vote for UKIP or support Donald Trump. They have their reasons. They are still in need of friendship and people in their lives.

I think I need to develop a harder skin though when it comes to people deciding it is Bye Bye Becky. I’m not to everyone’s taste and That Is Ok I guess. That is a hard thing to accept. Surely, I’m amazing!

I just want to say to the most recent loss, not that she will read this, that I’m sorry for whatever it was that made you cut off contact with me. I miss your statuses, even if you don’t miss mine.

I’ve no idea who Elie Wiesel is but I will end my mumblings with his words. It might not be quite true (love is very important) but friendship marks a life at least equally as deeply as love.

Wise words from Ms Wiesel

1 Comment

  1. It’s strange that we care about these things, but we do. I’m really starting to how second thoughts about social media though, does it make us happier or the reverse?

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