Taking the Social Life Too Seriously

By August 29, 2013Communications

I had a moment I’m not proud of last night. No, I’m not about to confess something awful, but I’m not happy about a reaction I had because of social media. I discovered, by accident, that a family member has unfriended me. And I cried a little. Not torrents, just a few tears, but it upset me. I mean, technically, I guess this person is a former family member, being the relative of my ex-husband. (I am recently divorced.) But I’m still in the stage of thinking of them as family and certainly, still, as a friend.

As soon as I had that minor meltdown, I staged an intervention with myself. SERIOUSLY, I said to myself, you care about what your connection is to another human being on FACEBOOK?

Naturally, I was right. Whether I’m connected to someone on a social platform or not does NOT define how I feel about them. It doesn’t color or shape how often I think of them, or whether I think of them with fondness or indifference. If someone feels the need to sever our ties on a social network, I think that is less about me, than it is about them. Whatever they need to do to manage their social life is fine with me.

What do you think? Does it matter to you when someone in your life unfriends you? How seriously should we take these online relationships?


  • Erika says:

    This is a great post. I think you’re right not to let actions taken on Facebook be misconstrued as reality. When I deleted my Facebook account years ago, I had to go through and individually delete friends and family who I hadn’t spoken with in a long time, and I felt miserable doing it. It was as if I was deleting them out of my life. But, news flash, Facebook is not real life. It’s a hard reminder for some of us who spend so much time on the social web.

  • Janet says:

    A similar situation happened to me recently with an old friend I’d know for probably 30 years. My initial reaction was shock and hurt that he’d even consider unfriending me on Facebook after all of the years we’ve known each other. Couldn’t he just block my posts if he didn’t like my politics or commentary?

    But like you, I then realized, this is Facebook. Why am I so worked up about this? So I just moved on.

    PS… the FB window at right doesn’t appear to be the one for Jaggers. Might want to check that — could be a hack. Hope you’re well, and boo on that family member!

  • Marijean says:

    Thank you Erika and Janet. I think one issue is that people don’t understand that you can hide or block posts — if you really don’t want to see the updates from someone you can manage that without completely cutting them out of your online social life. That being said, meh. I’m over it. And thanks, Janet — as I was installing the box on the right I think it defaulted to another page but I fixed that pretty fast!