When Elvis died, I was just going into the second grade. Four of my Facebook friends were in my second grade class. Used to be five - until one of them deleted me. I imagine if Facebook had existed back then, the song would go something like this: “Pleeeease delete meee, let me goooo...”
This morning I deleted someone from my list of Facebook friends. Not because I was All Shook Up about something she’d posted. Just because I figured that this ‘friendship’ with someone I’d barely worked with once two years ago wasn’t connecting or benefitting either one of us in anyway.
I happened to notice I've been deleted - “unfriended” is now the official term - by at least three people, and in fact it has probably been more. One person I could’ve cared less about (didn't really know her anyway), the next such incident (aforementioned classmate) perplexed me but didn't upset me too much, and the final one actually left me feeling like I was In The Ghetto. I mean, Don’t Be Cruel - he could have at least said goodbye. Nowadays, about the worst thing you can do to a person you love is unfriend them on Facebook.
But how could I get upset about being unfriended when I’ve deleted people myself? Before you get Suspicious Minds about my friend-deleting habits, here are some guidelines I follow regarding friendships on Facebook:
Return To Sender:
If I had a couple classes with you in school - who knows? maybe I even have a unique memory of you - but have no real investment in our real-life friendship, then I just might click “unfriend” without giving you a heads up.
Are You Lonesome Tonight:
If I met you once at a friend's party five years ago and you sent me a friend request which I then accepted, and then I don't communicate with you aside from the occasional photo comment or "like", and then I decide to delete you, I'd say it's fairly safe to do so without a former farewell. I bet you probably won't even notice I'm gone.
If you are one of the several ex-boyfriends on my friend list, and I accepted or requested your friendship in a moment of weak nostalgia, I might unfriend you sooner or later. If I haven’t deleted you yet, then you’ll know that our being “just friends” is actually very important to me.
Fame And Fortune:
If I've met you in a professional sense and add you because I have a vested interest in your work, I might end up deleting you after I get tired of seeing all your Farmville posts or updates from your personal life that just don't interest me. Or maybe I’ll just "hide" you. Don't take it personally.
Love Me Tender:
If I consider you an actual friend friend in real life, or even if I've never met you but have extensive communication with you on Facebook or otherwise (like what we used to call 'pen-pals' in the second grade) and then decide to unfriend you, I should probably say goodbye. There's most likely a significant reason which merits explanation. I owe you that much, even if you are nothing but a Hound Dog. If for any reason I neglect to warn you of the impending fatal click, hopefully you'll notice that I'm gone. And I should hope that you would protest. Something along the lines of:
"Hey, where'd you go?"
"Are you mad at me?"
"Did those film compatibility quizzes mean nothing to you?"
"Didn’t you noticed I poked?"
A Fool Such As I:
If, after all your inquiries and protests (messages to my eMail address or Skype number, text messages or unanswered phone calls, or hey, maybe even snail mail), I still fail to give you a proper goodbye, then I was probably never a very good friend to begin with. Well, maybe I was in the second grade, but not now.
You're better off without me.
Now stop poking me.
Thank you, thank you very much.