I remember a FB (Facebook) friend, who was a colleague in one of those workplaces I had been to, who told me to just set my privacy settings so that I will not be ‘unfriending’ or ‘rejecting the request of’ the person but instead click the privacy buttons in order not to see any of the person’s posts. It was said to that effect, not able to remember exactly his words. His concern must be that I would offend somebody knowing him to be that kind and friendly.
I did not heed the advice. There were instances where I had accepted people in Facebook who were not really my friends in the truest sense of the word, and some of them are not even acquaintances but strangers. (Well, a big part of those in my ‘FB friends’ list are actually strangers because I have not met them in person but in all its fairness to the concept of ‘FB friend’ I had gotten to know some of them through some friends, and through blogging and other forms of media, plus theirs posts or statuses). If a FB friend’s post becomes unintelligible and/or offensive, or could be something I will be undesirably involved, I decide to ‘unfriend’. Lately, I only ‘unfollow ‘ remembering that friend’s concern of offending somebody’s feelings; then decide finally, after a few days or weeks depending on circumstances, to ‘unfriend’. I am usually quiet or reticent about this decision not to cause any mess.
Just the other day, I discovered that one of the FB friends ‘unfriended’ me. I would be a hypocrite to say I wasn’t affected. The person is an idol to many but for me the person was also an internet friend, and I refused to believe otherwise until now. Actually, that FB friend is an icon in the internet world with a flair that is so unique and comic. But the FB friend ‘unfriended’ me and I thought to myself, “This is probably how it feels like to be rejected by an icon, or how others feel when I ‘unfriend’ them in FB (not that I think I am an icon, too)”.
Two days passed with me moping about the whole thing and finally I decided with this thought, “For whatever reason the person had ‘unfriended’ me, I do think it does not matter anymore. I can think of a lot of reasons (that could be worst for all I know) but would it bring forth satisfaction knowing if the reason(s) are valid enough for me to say “Oh, it’s okay to ‘unfriend’ me if that’s case”? I guess not. The act of rejection is still rejection. It is very clear that I am not an important part of the person’s FB circle of friends. It’s just that simple. No need to complicate.”
On deciding to ‘unfriend’ or ‘unfollow’
I believe it is everybody’s right to ‘unfriend’ or ‘unfollow’. No need to be guilty about it. Just think of a scenario where your boyfriend or girlfriend continuous to be a burden for many years. Would you stay in the relationship if you think there is something wrong about it? Practicality demands you to consider drastic options. I know that there would be many ‘what ifs’ that will surface but reason has it that you should not torture yourself. Love thy self first, as what the well-known and unknown people say.
It is somehow similar with a social media network like Facebook. You start to build relations that you think could be beneficial to you, one way or another, you exchange/share posts, statuses, and PMs for a time, and then discovered there is something wrong. You ‘unfriend’ then the other party gets upset, or insulted, of feels snubbed, most probably. It could be possible that you receive e-mails of hatred, too, but should you be guilty of your decision? It was your decision. Unless, you decided out of impulse, it is your choice that you think is best for the current situation. Nobody should question you for it.
On the other hand, to ‘unfollow’ is more subtle. The person will not immediately know that you do not want to receive any of his/her posts/statuses. The discovery will be later, or you can fake knowing the posts/statuses when the person asks you about it. It might be a better option for some but for me, there are reasons one decides to ‘unfriend’ instead of ‘unfollow’ and they are varied in nature.
There is much about the real world. Facebook is not the real world. We cannot be dependent upon what transpires in a social media network. It is just a tool. It is just a device to connect you with people that you have not
seen for a long time, that you have lost, that you desired to know (more), etc. etc. but the truth is, you get that feel of friendship more when you meet in person. There is nothing better than exchanging hugs, kisses, stories, endearments, sympathies, salutations, etc. in real life. Virtual exchanges sometimes give those falsities that could be disappointing or frustrating.
Go ‘unfriend’ or ‘unfollow’. You have every right to do it.