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A one less friend person states:

I think it’s extremely offensive to be de-friended on facebook without being told why.  Someone de-friended me, blocked me from seeing they’re on there (I know they are, because we have a mutual friend and they told me), and didn’t say a word about it.


Your friend sounds rather common, and I’ll let you figure out why.

As far as your – well, it’s not really a question now, is it? – statement on the offensiveness of being… de-friended, is it? …, I’m afraid to tell you (no, I’m not) that it isn’t offensive at all.  In the slightest.  (Sorry for all the erratic punctuation [I’ve been reading experimental literature all morning {I’ll stop now}].)

Let’s start over.

There isn’t a slippery slope here.  It isn’t offensive to select the individuals with whom you would like to spend your time.  This can be time in real life, at a luncheon, say, or at a cocktail party; or it can be time spent online, sharing videos of kittens, exploring the wonders of information at our fingertips or just using our fingertips and online porn to more conclusive ends.  In other words, it can be as communal or as solitary (and slippery) as you like.

When you’re referring to social networking, the idea that once you are acquainted with someone they must accept your virtual friendship forever is – well, a little creepy – as you yourself sound.  And not just a bit, sorry for saying so (no I’m not [there I go again]) when you talk about knowing whether someone is online or not by stalking them through your common friend (whoops).  It doesn’t work in real life, and it works less online.  Or so I have been told.

And then you go further and say that it’s not the act of being de-friended that bothers you, it’s not being informed of the rationale behind the decision.  I can definitively state that your desire to be informed not matching with your now ex-(online)-friend’s desire to tell you why or why not is not offensive.  Their choice not to tell you isn’t offensive.  Actually, the only thing offensive is your being offended and getting all wound up about it.

Who knows why they did it?  Who cares?  Maybe you posted too many aforementioned kitty-porn vids.  Maybe you spout off a bunch of stupid ill-informed political opinions (I’m assuming they’d be right up there with your etiquette ones, at any rate).  Maybe it’s some cause you champion, like an awful little business or whatever, violating the spirit, if not the terms of service, of society, and social websites by flogging your wares and not interacting with your friends.  Maybe you’ve only ever been friends-of-friends and they’re cleaning out their drawers.  Maybe you’re friends with their ex.

Maybe you are the ex.

None if it matters – the choice is still entirely theirs.

Someone else will tell you that if you want to keep them as friends, you’ll have to sweeten that sour attitude.  Tell them you like having them as friends online, they’ll say, and ask what you could do to make it worth their while to have them back as a friend.  And then they’ll tell you to think long and hard about why they did it in the first place, and to accept their answer at face value, and move on.

Since they blocked you (yikes!), I doubt that’s going to be a fruitful conversation.  I’d cut to the chase of that awful advice and say just move on right away.

People have a right to use these sites as they see fit.  If they choose to prune the numbers from time to time, or focus on really close friends, more power to them.  No one wants a desperate friend anyway, or an angry one, and you sound like both.  I’d worry about keeping the friends you have and think about rebuilding burned down bridges when the road that leads to them has all its potholes filled up and guardrails repaired.  Use that awful advice above on those with whom you are still speaking.

You’ve got your work cut out for you, buddy.  Hop to it.



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