Somebody unfriended me on Facebook today. Somebody I know in real life. For a second, I actually had a feeling about it – that same feeling when you realize, also via Facebook, that a few of your friends went out for drinks without you. (The audacity!)
And then the thought, "Huh, I wonder why she unfriended me?" Then I actually came up with a reason. Oy.
I finally came around to the fact that this is funny, and I started thinking about whether or not I would want the option to receive an update from Facebook whenever someone unfriended me. Not that Facebook offered this, but what if they did? (And while "they" were on it, maybe they could offer the much-requested "dislike" button, too).
Given the chance to know, I would be completely torn. On the one hand, I am a person that firmly believes if information is out there, I want it. It's like people who don't want to know the sex of their baby. I love these people, they want a little surprise in their lives. It's fun. But me, I'm too instant gratification-y. If that nurse sees boy parts on the monitor, I need to know this asap.
So if Facebook offered the chance to know exactly who was unfriending me, philosophically I want to know. But the insecure 13-year-old who is apparently still curled up in my psyche with a Judy Blume book probably couldn't handle it.
So my answer is no. I think. But what about you? Would you want to know?
I personally think it's not a great idea for people to be able to see who unfriends them. Usually the ones doing the unfriending aren't really your friends at all. Secondly, I see nothing but drama coming from knowing whom unfriends you. There are a slew of young kids on facebook that already divulge too much information. All we would need is for people to start spouting off about the 'unfrienders' and to possibly take the drama to school. I'm not saying that young people are the only ones that might blow this out of proportion as I know a few adults that would behave similar.
So back in the early days of Facebook you would, indeed, get an alert when someone unfriended you. It was quite the relief when they axed that feature. I just remember the dilemma when that one person you thought would be OK to friend turned into someone you wanted to keep far away from you. Trouble is, they lived downstairs in the apartment below.
Keeping unfriending secret has led me to friend "at will" and not worry about the fall out from unfriending later.
I'm always curious when somebody "unfriends" me. Usually, I figure it out when I go to write on somebody's wall, and realize we're no longer friends. Usually, the people that "unfriend" me are people I could care less about (e.g. that one girl I sat next to in that one class senior year in college who I don't even care about anyways).
Another feature I wish facebook had would be to tell me what that person's real name is. I have far too many facebook friends who change their name because of marriage, or just to be silly, or to keep themselves from showing up when an employer looks for them. Often I see updates from people I don't even recognize.
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