A person I love upset me greatly and I gave in to Facebook’s “unfriend” option. I went ahead and removed them from my “Friend List”. I did not block them so that they could still see my activity on mutual friends’ walls. Oh, the wonders of the subconscious mind.
Now, I never accept friend requests on Facbeook from people I don’t personally know or haven’t met, but there’s a guy I’ve had on my “Friend List” for a few years and I don’t know why. We’ve never met and have no mutual friends. The only thing we have in common is that we went to the same university and graduated the same year. There isn’t much else. We started talking a few months ago: I gave in to his “pokes” and Facebook messages and finally responded. Either he was charming or I was foolish (most likely the latter). After talking for a few weeks, and me not encouraging “after-hours talk”, he disappeared into the blue. Made plans to go on a date with me and disappeared. Wouldn’t send me messages or call me anymore. When I messaged him to make sure everything was okay, he didn’t respond. I still did the polite thing and told him that since he was nowhere to be found I was going to assume the dinner plan was off. No word from him.
Three months later (I haven’t counted, that’s the figure he keeps mentioning.), he came back on the scene and started messaging me again, apologising for the vanishing act, wanting to talk. He was busy, he told me. Stuck in a land without the Internet, computers and phones? I wondered. (The gullible side of me always gives in and once more allowed him to make plans to meet me and, again, he disappeared. I’ve seen the pattern and next time I’ll predict it. No, wait, there won’t be a next time. That‘s the other lesson I’ve got to learn! But I digress…) While talking to him he asked me if I was upset about his disappearance. I thought about it. “No,” I said.
“Why not?” asked he.
“I don’t know. I just didn’t care.”
“Oh come on, you must’ve felt bad.” Almost as if that was why he did it.
“Nope, I didn’t. The thought of removing you off my Facebook crossed my mind, but I didn’t.”
“Oh! Because you knew you wanted to talk to me!”
“No…that’s not it.”
“That is it! Or why didn’t you delete me?”
And so I thought about that. And I realised it was because I really did not care enough about his behaviour. It did not make a difference to me and I didn’t feel moved enough to want to do something about it. I just did not care. It wasn’t important at all to me.
How quick was I to do that to a person close to me! I was wounded and I wanted them to know it. I knew they would notice it (…that’s why I didn’t block them) and I knew they wouldn’t like it. And, I’m sure, that’s why I did it. Not because I didn’t want to see their profile and not because I didn’t want to let them see mine. I did it simply because I knew it would hurt. Childish and immature, I know, but that’s what I did.
Ironic, I find it, that a person whose presence is extremely important in my life would be hurt on purpose by me and a person whose absence would barely be noticed is allowed to get away scot-free. Now, there’s a discrepancy that needs some fixing. Wouldn’t you agree?
P.S. Have you noticed how when you unblock someone on Facebook you cannot block them again for 48 hours? I think Facebook needs a similar policy for “unfriending” so that it is taken a little more seriously. I understand, of course, that it’s supposed to be just a social network, but I think we can all agree that it is more than just that. Maybe once you “unfriend” somebody you shouldn’t be able to add them back for a year. That’d make us all think twice before clicking haphazardly.