A post-defriending encounter

And a week later, The Human Facebook Project is back.

I spent some of the last seven days in Ottawa, and didn’t have time to make any blog-related visits, which sucked. But, something blogworthy did happen – I ran into someone I had defriended. Here’s how it went:

Me: I’d like to buy this please.
Her: That will be $12.99.
Me: Debit.
Her: Ok, swipe.
Me: Thanks.
Her: Do you want the receipt in the bag?
Me: Ok.

And that’s it.

This is someone I went to high school with, but never spoke to. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t even have recognized her (let alone wonder whether I should try and start up an awkward conversation). I have no idea if she recognized me, if she did she probably wanted to speak to me even less than I wanted to force a conversation with her.

Ok, so why defriend in the first place? I’m sure she’s nice enough, so that’s not it. It was mostly because I find the whole Facebook experience overwhelming, which is why I started this blog in the first place.  So about a year ago I tried to pare my list down to people who would probably say yes if I cold-called them in the middle of the week and asked if they wanted to go for a drink.

I knocked too many people off – almost 100 I think. And I’ve slowly added some back, and I’m so glad that I did. But the weekend run-in was a good reminder of the inherent stupidity of social media and the false connections that are created.

I said when I started the blog I wasn’t going to drop anyone through the project, and I’m going to hold to that. And in the coming week I’ll even profile someone who added me as a friend after reading the blog. Which isn’t actually all that strange – I’ve already done one interview with someone I’ve never met but intend to as soon as possible. Or so I keep saying.

But, as Sarah Crosbie  kind of asked on Facebook the other day – why do you defriend people? WordPress has a poll feature, so let’s give that a try. Or, just comment. Or not. I’m going to go back to this vacationing business now. See you Monday.

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One response to “A post-defriending encounter

  1. I slightly obsessed with this now: There’s a girl – I’ll call her “A” who defriended me. We were colleagues for years. I never did anything mean to her, but I’m gone. Off the list.
    Then there’s someone I might defriend because it’s just too damn weird. I don’t want to know an old good friend was in town but didn’t call me. I’d just rather not know. And then there’s the friend, who can see all my shit, but hasn’t been in touch in months. Someone will do a study on this one day. But I still like you, Steve. (I think. I haven’t checked to see if you’ve defriended me or not.)

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