Social media is a funny thing. Facebook in particular can be chalk full of drama not to mention, a total time suck. On the other hand, it affords one the opportunity to stay in touch with friends and family. It allows you to feel like you’re apart of their lives even from thousands of miles away through photo shares etc. For me, this is my most favorite thing about social media. The other is you have the opportunity to meet people from across the globe. People you may not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet and form some cool friendships that- though they begin online can blossom into true meaningful friendships. Also – if you’re like me – it makes staying in touch with all your in real life (IRL) friends and family across the globe that much easier.
On the other-hand, social media can provide a false sense of friendship. For instance, let’s say you add someone you just meet IRL and become “friends” with on Facebook because you’re kids may play on the same soccer team or you were introduced by a mutual friend. You think to yourself, “Ok, great – new person to get to know.” You soon realize, their probably not someone you’d have over for coffee or anything, but your friendly and consider them an acquaintance, because you’ve spent enough time with this person to have had the opportunity to get to know them well enough to make it on to your Christmas card list.
You are wise and have a gentle heart. You understand though you may not have any real common interests, you enjoy seeing what they find interesting to share – because it would – usually not interest you – and you think that’s cool. Plus you totally gave her kid a band-aid that time he fell and got kicked in the shin at soccer practice.
Then one day, you come across something- let’s say a cooking class, you know this person has an interest in and so you click over to their page to share it with them and realize – you’ve been deleted.
After the initial – “Why’d you delete me?” question runs though your mind, there may even be hurt feelings; because after all, you cared enough about them and their interest to want to share something with them. You mull it over for a few moments and realize you hadn’t even noticed their absence from your feed to begin with, so they probably did you a favor.
Yes. They did you a favor. This was a person you know IRL who felt no vested interest or in this case disinterest in you as a person and so they deleted you from their online life. They let you off the hook because when you run into them at the supermarket you can pretend you don’t see them or at your kids soccer game next season, you can be the bigger person and say hello and go on your merry way. Totally up to you. Personally I’d rather say hello and go on my way than engage in “fake” un-meaningful conversation. But that’s me. Also, I’d keep a band-aid handy -her kid is a total klutz.
The thing to remember here is that it’s okay. Trust me. Most people like a good watermelon but their are some who don’t. Someone deleting you allows you to rid your life of relationships that aren’t genuine and instead seek out, or develop relationships with those who, like you, totally dig a good melon. This is especially true if it’s someone you would see on a regular basis in your every day life. They’ve essentially said to you, I don’t like melons – or at least not the kind of melon you are…so you needn’t waste your time.
Honestly Who cares? You’ve just been given the chance to seek out a better melon. In other words, a friend with whom you’d actually like to share a cup of coffee with. A person who will take an interest in you – even if not all of your interests line up. I’ve had plenty a coffee break over Skype to understand the importance of nurturing long distance or online friendships to know – that if someone who would actually have the chance to spend time with you IRL doesn’t want you in their virtual life – you’re better off.
The important thing to remember is to nurture the friendships you have, and when someone removes themselves from your life – don’t dwell on it – especially if you haven’t been an ass. What is the point? Why waste your time worrying about it?
As far as deleting people goes, in all the years I’ve been using social media I have rarely hit the “delete” button – mostly because I like to see what my best friend from the first grade is up to, what her kids look like, even if I’ll never see her IRL again.
I’d also like to add that your “online space” is like your home. You can let who you want into it and kick anyone you wish out of it. Personally I like my online home to be a positive one. This can get difficult around political elections – the thing to remember is to keep it respectful. I won’t delete someone for having a different political point of view – but I sure as hell will if I discover they’re a closet bigot. Thankfully – I haven’t any that I’m aware of. 🙂
Let your moral compass be your guide. You’ll find the good melons.