Gone With The Wind – The Facebook De-Friend

3Mar

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Ever been friend dumped? I have. Well, sort of. It wasn’t so much an abrupt termination, as it was a slow, putrid demise of a maleficent mound of mulch. Being “dumped” by this particular friend was not exactly devastating because, in truth this person was, hmmm, how should I say? Toxic. And really, he/she/it was more of a fair weather type of friend. The end was right in front of us, but I had too much indifference respect for the past friendship to pound that final nail in the coffin. Now, although my friend dump was some time ago, the issue recently resurfaced as I was comparing notes with my friend D, who’s been newly friend-dumped. He, unfortunately, is not taking the friend dump in stride. He’s pissed and confused. D’s case is different. He didn’t see this coming. He thought things were “fine”. He was Facebook de-friended. I feel for him. It’s never easy getting dumped.

Anyhow, the point is, we started to compare notes. Where did the friendships go sour? Was there a pinpoint-able spot to lay blame upon? Was one person clearly in the wrong? Was proper friend-dumping etiquette followed? Is there proper friend-dumping etiquette? The more we discussed the phenomenon the more we realized that, compared to being dumped by a lover, friend-dumping is generally FAR more passive. While both can clearly occur in passive-aggressive manners, romantic dumping is more on the active end of the spectrum, and friend-dumping on the passive end. The “talk” happens far more consistently with the breakup of a romance. There is rarely an, “It’s not you, it’s me,” moment in a friend-dump.

Even less common, is the passive-aggressive behavior of the dumper who acts like such an ass that the intended dumpee becomes the actual dumper. It seems most friend-dumps come in a slower, passive manner, proceeding to passive-agressive behavior. Phone calls are returned with less verve. Plans are cancelled at the last minute, with increasing frequency. Text message responses such as “cool”, or “ok” become the norm. And then comes the green mile. You notice, first, that you have limited access to the dumper’s Facebook profile. It’s ok. Maybe they just limited their profile to everyone, you tell yourself. Then comes the inability to see any current pictures or status updates. And then, the de-friend.

Personally, I find the Facebook de-friend to be a tacky, worm-like way of weaseling out of a friendship you no longer wish to be a part of, (I’m referring to once meaningful friendships, and not a casual acquaintance.) If there was no head-to-head, no major blowout, then be a fricken adult, grow a set, and just talk to your intended dumpee. Maybe they did something that legitimately crossed a line. Or maybe you are just bored of them. Whatever it is, what the hell does it say about you that you can’t directly offer an explanation as to why you’ve been m.i.a. all of a sudden? It is the romantic equivalent of Berger’s post-it note. If the best you can do is slowly faze them off your Facebook page, you are a Class A douche, and deserve to be branded.

In D’s case it is clear, to me at least, that D was a perceived threat to his dumper. So, actually, D should be laughing at this pathetic dimwit, and I reckon, after our little pow wow, he soon will be. Frankly, if a once “real” friend de-friended me on Facebook as a way to declare the time of death, it would only reinforce the caliber of lame loser I was “losing”.

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