Exit 187. In an unfriending mood.

So I could be sitting here writing about how much I don’t care about this year’s Super Bowl, because I don’t particularly care for either of these two teams, and because I’m a little disgusted at the state of the NFL with all the protests and stuff like that.  But I kind of wrote about that already last year, when I also didn’t care much about the game.  I just now missed the Super Bowl kickoff by a few seconds because I was peeing; I suppose that says a lot about my level of interest in this game.

So instead, I’ll write about something else, continuing my post from last week.  Where we left off a week ago, I was contemplating unfriending some people on Facebook.  I had six people in mind specifically when I wrote that, and about a day after I posted, I pulled the proverbial trigger and unfriended five of them.  It felt like time to burn those bridges.  I’m a little hesitant to write this, because I feel like I’m airing other people’s dirty laundry behind their backs.  I generally feel that if you have a problem with someone, the best approach is to go to their face and have a conversation.  And I didn’t do this.  I thought about it, because I would have wanted to know why if someone was unfriending me.  But I didn’t, because I didn’t want to open myself up to any more hurt or disappointment.  Also, I’m going to write mostly in generalities, so I’m not gossiping behind anyone’s back.

I know that at least one of the people involved here used to read this blog occasionally a long time ago, and I know that the person on the chopping block who I decided not to cut off reads this sometimes as well.  On the off chance that you, reader, are one of those who got unfriended and you feel the need to confront me, you know how to find me.  I apologize for not talking to you first.  But be aware that I might not reply right away, or at all.  I don’t know if I’ll be ready to have that conversation.  I”m feeling hurt and confused about a lot of things right now.

Three of the people involved, my issue with them stems to an incident that happened approximately two years ago.  I talked to all of them around that time, and one of the people I was even on somewhat good terms with again for a while, before this person found another social circle to associate with and we grew apart naturally.  The main reason I cut off contact abruptly is because I wanted absolutely no lingering hope that things would ever again be the way they used to be.  Because they won’t.  These people are not who I once thought they were, and they have disappointed me one too many times.  I know that I should let things go after this much time.  But it’s hard, especially given the nature of what happened.  I feel too deeply, I care too much, and my life is not such that I can easily move on from this kind of thing and find other people to fill the void.

One of the other people is someone who mostly posts angry political rants against people like me.  There are lots of people who I have unfollowed for this reason, but kept on my friends list, just in case, and they don’t make me consistently angry.  And the fifth is his wife; I have no direct reason for unfriending her, except that I don’t really know her in a context apart from her husband.  So why unfriend them and not simply unfollow them?  I honestly can’t give a good answer for this.  I think part of it was just that I was in an unfriending mood after unfriending the three people I mentioned above.  Also, the way I know them, the role they played in my life, is one where the fact that this guy posts so many immature and angry political rants makes me particularly sensitive to what is going on.

I know that some of my friends are still friends with some of these people.  If you know who I’m talking about, I don’t have a problem with any of you staying friends with them, of course.  And don’t stop inviting me to things just because one of the people I unfriended might be there.  I’ll put on my big boy pants and deal with that when it comes up.

I might be willing to go into more detail in private conversations, but that’s all I’ll say publicly.  Maybe someday I’ll feel healed and ready to move on.  Part of me wants to say that maybe someday I’ll be on good terms again with all of these people, but honestly, I don’t know if that’s best, and I don’t know if that’s what I want.

4 comments

  1. Ahh, the political rants 😬 That is one reason why I like the blogging community, actually. I feel like more people want to connect and converse, rather than militantly convince.

    And you highlight a real difficulty in unfriending. I’m curious to know how it worked out for you looking back.

    I think that’s part of why I drastically deleted my account, because it was easier than singling out and clearly burning those bridges. I could still keep in touch with true friends in other ways, but I left behind a lot as well. Going back, I just choose carefully who to follow in the first place, but there are definitely still some I wish I had the courage to reach out to, still that “lingering hope”. Food for thought. And prayer, as you’ve said.

    1. I’m an introvert, and since I never settled down with a family, my social circles tend to come and go every few years. So I have hundreds of friends all over the world that I genuinely do want to keep in touch with. That is the positive good of social media to someone like me. But I’m a lot more selective in who I reach out to now. I used to pretty much add any friend of a friend whom I’d said more than hi to, or any friend of a friend who was at an event with me (especially if it was a cute girl). But now I tend to wait to see what the person in question is really like before initiating a social media connection. Last month, I was at a going-away party for someone from one of my game groups, and my friend (I know I’ve mentioned her on here, but I don’t remember her fake name) and I were talking to someone else whose name we recognized from Facebook mutual friends but had never actually met. My friend said she could add her on Facebook now, and I said I would too and reached for my phone… I scrolled down about two posts on this person’s page and saw “For my birthday I’m raising money for [an organization which I’m having a hard time putting into family-friendly words how much I detest]” and never did add her as a friend. I don’t know if she noticed, or cared.

      I was going to answer the rest of your questions, but I’d rather keep those private. I’ll message your Instagram inbox in a few minutes, now that you have one. If you’d prefer email in the future, let me know.

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