OK. This is pathetic, but I’m going forward with it anyway. I got “unfriended” on Facebook.
Yes. There, I’ve said it.
So I’m on Facebook, not minding my own business, when I get notice of another app (the use of that term shows you how hip I am to the computer wonk-world) that said I could be notified when someone unfriended me. Sure, I’ll do that. Dumb move.
So then I get a notice that a longtime friend of mine unfriended me. “What the ?!?!” I quickly started reflecting on what I had done and/or what I had not done.
I was suddenly remembering that Temptations song (with a later version done by Delbert McClinton).
“I’m standing on shaky ground
Ever since you put me down.”
This wasn’t a person who posted much at all. He was more of a Facebook Voyeur – like a person who goes to a nudist colony but won’t take off his clothes.
But why did he unfriend me? My reflection went to recent posts where I thought that something I had said might have been taken out of context. I hadn’t mentioned him in anything. Maybe I gave him a thumbs-up about some tragedy in his life, and he thought my thumbs up meant that I liked tragedy coming to him, when all I meant was that I was an empathetic person.
I could have done something deeper and more meaningful, like sending a card or a Starbucks gift certificate, but at the moment hitting the “like” button seemed like such a sweet and caring gesture.
Sometimes you can be empathetic on Facebook by sending a “like” message, but they’ll think you are being mean or cruel. I had a message from a lady who said her cat had been lost. I gave her a “like” because I could feel her pain (slightly). And I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone. Next I questioned that move and wrote, “That’s great.” She couldn’t hear the inflection in the voice inside my head which said it like “That’s really not great.”
I am now second-guessing my messages.
This whole affair has made me a bit jumpy.
I’m even second-guessing what I’ve just written. In fact, I want to say that when I said “wonk” I wasn’t using it as a bad term meant to be derogatory, even though many of you wonks don’t have much in the way of any social skills. In fact I often admire your withdrawn and sheepish behavior in group settings. And the way you don’t really care how you look or dress, or whether you shower. That to me shows a real strength of character which says, “I don’t understand people or really any moving objects.”
How is it possible to be unfriended without a chance to defend myself? There should be a notice of intent to unfriend. This would be followed by 30 days during which time I could find out what I am accused of and to provide some evidence of innocence or perhaps some childhood trauma which would excuse me for being thoughtless or worse.
“I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good.
Oh, Lord, don’t let me be misunderstood.”
Do you think that just because I quote songs to explain life’s complexities (like Eric Burdon and the Animals on that last line) some will unfriend me as “shallow?”
Is it possible that some people are just looking for reasons to be offended? They take whatever they hear, twist it into some snub or insult and then hold it so close and lovingly to them. Maybe I am doing that with the “unfriend” message. Come on, you big baby! OK, someone is going to get upset over that.
Perhaps I am overworking this and should just get a bit thicker-skinned. I can’t let this stuff bother me. My “friend” can unfriend me whenever and for whatever he wants. No one has to be my friend.
I am convinced that many want to find reasons to be offended, and this gives a great deal of perverse satisfaction. I really get a shot of adrenaline or “righteous indignation” out of something that I can turn into a personal insult. In fact, the more I think about being unfriended, the madder I get. The arrogance of that jerk! How dare he unfriend me! I think I’ll power up the computer right now and unfriend someone.
Turning computer on … Double click Facebook icon … what’s this? Oh! Oh! “You’ve been unfriended” message appears.
Mom?Scott Candoo, a Tacoma attorney, is one of five reader columnists whose work appears on these pages. He and his wife, Susan, live in the North End. Email him at Scottc51@nventure.com.