Proper Facebook Etiquette

#598 To defriend = an insult.

Monday 7th December, 2009

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Dear Mariann,
What is interesting is that you imply that to defriend can in some situations be seen as an insult. Is this true and if so is it like a face-to-face rejection? I wonder if it is more powerful as such an act is public.
(From PepperPot in response to the post Intense Social Fruitition)

Indeed, PepperPot your observations are astute. This is a situation thing. Imagine if you were to go out of your way in public to shout ‘we’re not friends anymore’. Or to announce ‘defriend!’ to your ‘best friend’ face-to-face. Think of the social fall-out. As an aside, I do recall a rather juvenile time at school when notes were passed in the break between morning lessons and Lunch that declared something to the likes of, ‘You’re not my bestest friend anymore. I hate you’. The mid morning lessons that followed were generally teary. By Lunch things had moved on from I-hate-you-gate as friendships were reforged over skipping ropes, IT!/Tag! and Kiss Chase. By the late afternoon break you were ‘best, best friends’ again and ready to go home for Tea and Thundercats together.

I may imply that such friending negotiations could be regarded as an ‘insult‘ ant there’s a Scale of Sensitivity (SOS) we can apply here. At one end of SOS is the ‘meh‘ response. This includes those who do not notice that such defriending has taken place, and/or choose to ignore such micro-scale occurrences. At the other end of SOS is the ‘*waaaaaail* why me?!’ response. This is characterised by in-depth, and over, self-reflection. A repeated questioning of ‘why‘, ‘what does this mean‘ and ‘how could they’?! – Both alone and in great detail with numerous others. Depending on the significance of the relationship you shared with your ‘friend’ the response is a sliding scale of reaction across the SOS. Yes, these acts can be deemed ‘public’ – in the same way as the passing of a note across the school playground was public. It might not be that the contents is initially shared with everyone, but certainly the possibilities of the individuals reaction and thus the consequences may be heard by all.

To fit yourself on the SOS, there are other complicating factors. If, after three years with A Friend, you meet the lovely, caring and sensitive Other Friend, you’ll find you’ve soon forgotten all about A Friend and be on the ‘meh’ side of things. On the other hand, if, after five years of friendship with A Friend, they then go off with Other Friend and leave you all alone, it will be a defriending declaration on the SOS of *aghghghghg!* before you can even pronounce eithers name without tasting bile.

Bitter? Moi?…

4 Responses to “#598 To defriend = an insult.”

  1. Harvey says:

    Bit of am update for U 'de-friend'' – and its alternative ''un-friend'' has officially entered the lexicon, appearing on a list of new words to be considered for future editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.

  2. donthatememan says:

    Sorry scratch. Dogs found you first. SOS distress.

  3. harv O says:

    Is there a rule for dumping too. I've three people I want to get rid of. I'm getting married on new years day and want to start anew for 2010.

  4. PaddyD says:

    love SOS great rule Will always use it

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