The Act of “Defriending”
by Kelly Ann
Facebook has revolutionized “friendship”. I have 640 “friends” plus or minus a few. When I see the number decrease, I don’t usually know off hand who has “defriended” me. Sometimes it only becomes apparent when Facebook suggests I add them as a friend in the “Friend Finder.”
I realize different people have different guidelines they use in their Facebook or other online interactions. I am pretty liberal in that I am connected to people from elementary school, high school, college, wards, my mission, various online groups like the Exponent, a couple clubs, work, past and current roommates, family, and actual friends. I am selective in that I can tell you something specific about each individual. I like the ability to reconnect regularly or just have the option of getting in touch if someone is in town.
I have never “defriended” anyone. I will admit that I filter my news feed to include only updates of people that I would like to follow. However, I have very few filters set on my own profile as I am generally careful in what I post (whether my boss or an ex might read it). I generally try to be friendly with everyone in general and this is reflected in my online etiquette. I find the idea of terminating a connection without telling a given person directly odd.
As mentioned above, I have been defriended. It is usually by someone who I haven’t seen in years and suspect is tightening their facebook standards and I don’t really think about it. However, I was recently defriended by a particular individual twice. The roommate of my ex-boyfriend defriended me when we broke up, refriended me when we got back together, and then defriended me when we definitely stopped dating (even though I remained friends on Facebook and real life with my ex and saw both him and his roommate on occasion there-after). I realize I didn’t know the roommate well but I still found it odd and it kind of stung.
So I am curious, what experiences have you had with defriending? How do your Facebook interactions affect your friendships? How have all your online interactions including blogging changed your friendships in general?