BeFriended…DeFriended and UpEnded

What a week last week was!  I had three  people “friend” me.  This increased my “friend” total by an amazing 10%.  Or so I thought.  After reveling in this exciting explosion of the number of people who may or may not show up at my funeral, I reviewed the new inventory of my Facebook friends with the idea of planning a seating chart for the occasion.  And then I saw it…or rather didn’t see it.  One of my “friends” was missing!  Gone…as if she had never existed.  I, apparently, had been “de-friended” when I wasn’t looking.  No words exchanged, no “I can’t be your friend anymore”, no “You disgust me”, no…well, you get the idea.  No nothin’!

This upset me in any number of ways.  Of course, with the very small number of “friends” I’m working with here, any loss is a big deal.  Also, the incident begged the question: are my Facebook friends indeed my friends or are some (or most)  just too lazy to “de-friend” me.  Is it possible that the “defriending” that I  had accidentally discovered is just the tip of an iceberg?  An iceberg that might upend my entire Facebook voyage just as happened to the Titanic (but without the nice silverware).  If I were braver, I’d write to each of my remaining “friends” to see if they still want to continue our relationship… such as it is. Or maybe Facebook should look into developing some kind of protocol whereby, every so often the parties would have to “renew their vows”.  On second thought, that may not be such a good idea.

 Facebook and I have  a love/hate relationship.  My sole purpose when I joined was to promote the blog.  Unlike a lot of people my age, I had no desire to snoop on my kids.  Which, it turns out, would have been  impossible since neither of them are on the site.   If they were, I’m not sure I would have “friended’ them; after all our relationship is child/parent.    (“If you want a friend for a father, go live with Uncle Manny”–Sam Stein: circa 1951-53, 1956-57, 1959.  Believe me, you so didn’t want to live with Uncle Manny.) 

The truth is, I rarely visit my Facebook page.  Because when I do, it invariably depresses me.  Everyone who posts seems so upbeat and engaged in their life.  And all their friends just seem sooo cheerful and supportive.  My life (and my “friends”) pale in comparison.  The feelings I get are  similar to the ones I used to get when I would read the wedding announcements in the Style section of The Times.  Such attractive people–from the best schools, with the best jobs and the most successful parents.  Really annoying!

In any event, this episode has me thinking a lot about my Facebook adventure and the meaning of my friendships.  I never realized how risky it might be to be “friends’ with someone.  How easily  the rug could be pulled out from under me.  It raises that age-old question, Is it better to have been “friended” and then “defriended” than never to have been “friended” at all?

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5 Responses to “BeFriended…DeFriended and UpEnded”

  1. Knarf Says:

    Even thought we don’t see that much of each other these days, I consider us “Friends for life”. Better to have friended. And if I’m still around by then, save a seat for me.
    Knarf

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    i’m not sure how i’ll be able to do that. but i’m thinking B-5 would be nice.

  3. Marilyn March Says:

    Neil,
    It is high time that I let you know that I have enjoyed reading your posts. You were one of my favorite classmates in a writing class which we shared several years ago. In fact, I frequently found your feedback erudite and beneficial. I applaud your tenacious commitment to continue to blog and your modest self-assessments.
    I reluctantly signed on to Facebook in order to receive photos from friends and family. Unlike my email accounts, I do not bother to check it out very frequently. I came across an editorial in the WSJ that stated that ” you can either have or life, or you can be on Facebook.” That fairly sums up my opinion of Facebook. I have struggled with “defriending” several people, but find it easier to simply ignore them. So I would definitely vote that “it is a far better thing to never have been friended, than to have to defried at all.”

    So, keep on trucking! By best to you and your family.

  4. Marilyn March Says:

    I have no idea where the phrase “Your comment is awaiting moderation” came from. It certainly wasn’t from me. Nonetheless my sentiments stand. Again cheers to you. Kindly, MM

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