Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Could you be any more of a Chandler!?
Could you be any more of a Chandler!?

Oh Facebook! Your ability to create awkward social situations and turn perfectly normal human beings into needy beasts of angst is nothing short of amazing and total!

Recently I was asked by a semi-close acquaintance, via a Facebook message of course, why I had unfriended her. After overcoming mild annoyance at needing to provide a reason for my decision, to someone I’d just unfriended no less, I wrote the following response.

You’ve asked why I unfriended you on facebook. A fair question. One that on the surface may seem like a simple question but the reasons are many and varied and I do like you so I feel you deserve a real answer.

Firstly, I’m going through a gentle cull of those I don’t see IRL (ugh, I loathe that that’s an actual thing people say) or don’t communicate with through facebook.

Secondly, I’ve realised life is ours to do with as we wish. That may seem an odd thing to say now, but maybe/hopefully it will seem less odd after you’ve read my full diatribe.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t acknowledge that our last interaction on facebook was… a factor.

I understand that we disagree on, well, perhaps everything. This is actually one of the reasons I enjoy you and your thoughts. That we are able to disagree on a topic then communicate that in an adult manner is another reason I think you’re rad.
As such I’ve always enjoyed our banter through facebook and, more importantly, IRL.

However, I would like to draw your attention to our last facebook interaction. It raised a few red flags for me.

Now, I could go on and on, in dot point form, about why the interaction was less than enjoyable for me but it kinda comes down to two fundamental things.

  •  I have no time for people whom post status updates on facebook in which feedback/interaction is not desired or welcomed. This includes posts directed specifically to one or two individuals.
  •  If I am to disagree with someone on facebook I will do so in a congruent/respectful manner and expect the same courtesy to be reciprocated. This includes, but is not limited to, when dealing with “friends of friends.”

Obviously by being friends with me on facebook there is every chance that I may comment on your status. Unless I am mistaken that is the entire point of facebook.

If you wish to post specific status updates to a small amount of people without having others comment on it here’s a hot tip; Call them! Message them! Text them! Talk to them in person! Or, alternatively, change you settings so they are the only ones to see the update you are putting out there for all of your friends to see and respond to.

Now, if you were to go back and re-read our last interaction in full you will clearly see that I all but ignored your friend and her early attempts at derision towards my comments. I was communicating with you and, as such, I ignored her completely.
Over time it became obvious that she was merely responding to my responses, ignoring anyone else’s contributions. This became indisputably obvious when she attacked my last response directly and attempted to besmirch my character.

Before I go any further I would like to state in no uncertain terms; I’m cool with that.

Furthermore I’d like to point out that in responding to your friend and her unwarranted attack, I did not use offensive adjectives like retarded, or odious nouns like bitch. I responded in what I feel was a completely gentlemanly way; by dissecting her foolishness and pointing out the flaws in her intelligence/grammar. Out of respect toward you.

My restrained post towards your retarded bitch friend was not only met with condemnation and unnecessary peacemaking by your good self, her initial provocation was entirely overlooked.

I must say I was both saddened and hurt by this.

If your final word on the matter you clearly stated that your friend knew more about the situation you spoke of in your initial post, and was therefore completely justified in her actions. Somehow.

To me this is puzzling for a multitude of reasons. Including, but not limited to:

  • Why post about your gripe at all if you didn’t want people without all the relevant information commenting on it?
  • Why post a status update that deliberately leaves out significant information?
  • Was the status update in question merely vaguebooking masquerading as something more?
  • Do you know how Facebook works?

These are not necessarily character flaws or anything drastic, but simply things I myself have recognised I do not enjoy in my facebook friends and wish to remove from my life/feed.

Ergo, I unfriended you.

Unsurprisingly this was met with a follow up message full of probing existential questions regarding who I thought I was. Then after blocking her completely on Facebook I received a text message that continued the theme of indignant outrage. After blocking her number from my phone I sat down, had a beer and reflected on how right I was to unfriend her.

In hindsight perhaps I could’ve simply stated that I found her status updates to be self serving snippets of bullshit that were both childish and narcissistic. You live, you learn.

3 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Be Friends?

  1. Friendship requires a mutual desire on both ends to create and continue a friendship. More than that, friendship requires a choice by both parties.

    Sometimes, I get terrified to communicate too long with new people, because I fear situations like what you experienced on Facebook. I reserve the right the prevent, limit, or terminate a friendship between myself and another; and I respect the other party’s right to do the same.

    And yet, it seems like this point has to be explained. It *should* be as simple as saying “Sorry. I’ve chosen to un-friend you”, and then receiving the reply, “I understand. Good luck!” but *sigh*.

    It’s almost like being held hostage by the threat of a raging tirade for calling off a friendship.

    Good read; easy to relate to; enjoyed it :).

    1. I think you’re right.

      We all have the right to be friends with whom we wish to be friends with and it kinda sucks that you, and others, may be missing out on some really rewarding friendships simply because people freak out when a friendship ends.

      Ending a friendship need not be a hugely theatrical event with threats, sobbing and passive aggression.

      Once I realise a friendship is toxic, or otherwise, and I want to end it I try to get across that I’m not casting aspersions on that particular person. I’m not saying that they are a terrible person. Simply that they’re just not for me. It’s all in the combination.

      People that get upset over such things are usually hugely narcissistic and can’t fathom why ANYONE would not wish to be friends with them.

      Ah hell, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your thoughts, it’s much appreciated.

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