What can you do when someone ‘un-friends’ you on Facebook? Well nothing, it’s their prerogative to dethrone you off their list of social acquaintances. But how exactly do you act around that someone whose absentmindedly removed you when paths cross socially?
This has happened to me a good two or three times before. Someone you’ve met over a weekend gathering, a friend of a friend who you eventually notice their lack of posts appearing in your feed. A quick glance over at their account solves the mystery with that little ‘send friend request’ button.
It’s no real big deal. Hardly an issue that will get economists in a spin, a talking point for politicians or philosophers nor will it ever be studied by the worlds brightest minds. It may make headlines in the media but they tend to be as fickle as the topic is itself. I’d guess that most of us only really know about 20% of those people we’ve ‘friended’ on Facebook and probably only 5% are actually people with whom we regularly converse with and actually hang out with. And I’m not speaking of the social media kind, I mean, out in the daylight or moonlight, speaking face to face, eye contact and all. I’m not ashamed to admit that hypothesis is true for myself, though the majority of my ‘friends’ tend to be relations across the globe.
So why does it irk me so when someone unabashedly ‘un-friends’ me?
I also must admit that I used to be one of those people who would instantly ‘friend’ someone I just met. I think it was more the excitement of meeting someone new, sharing a fun connection and the possibility of a new friendship forming that had me so premature. I do restrain myself now however, thankfully. Though they were hardly strangers. The the thing is, they would accept the friend request then delete me a while later. Following that our paths cross yet again through mutual friends and the end result is just plain awkward.
Well, maybe I’m the one being all awkward and such, but how exactly does one proceed? What’s the acceptable norm or the social etiquette for such encounters?
I’ve been known to freeze them out slightly. Kind of ignore their presence with a simple “oh I didn’t see you there,” manner. It’s hard to be amicable when you know the truth and the sudden eye contact between the two of you revels to them that yes, they know what you did kind of cements it all.
Obviously I haven’t handled it well in the past. I’ve allowed my awkward self to charge and lead the way in the most disastrous of results, results that would put Kristen Stewart to shame! So with another encounter looming over the weekend what the hell am I going to do? Or more appropriately, how am I too act?
Go with the ignore approach, pretend I didn’t see them and avoid them like the plague or simply act nice, pretend like I don’t know and all is good. Maybe make them regret removing me?