People Pleaser Ponderings

Thursday, June 23, 2011  ::  

What I'm about to write isn't an original thought.  Many people have processed through this quandary. There are a jillion articles on it if you google the topic. It's just been bugging me lately, so I thought I would share. 

To defriend or not to defriend, that is the question. 

I was looking through my facebook newsfeed, and realized there are a lot of people that I'm "friends" with that I've maybe only spoken to once, or came to Second Mile for a month or so then left, or knew many, many moons ago, but we don't really interact now at all.  It's kinda strange when you really think about it. 

But, alas, I'm paralyzed, hovering over the delete button. 

The pros of facebook for me:  
  • I can easily communicate with people in my church.
  • Posting pictures is easy and helps grandparents get their grandkid fix.
  • Reconnecting with a few people from long, long ago is interesting and fun.
  • Reading snippets of people's lives is entertaining. 
  • I feel so popular having so many friends. (I'm kidding.) 

However, lately I've been bombarded with friend requests from people I haven't seen in 20 years that I'm pretty sure hated my guts all those years ago.  I think it's that dumb "people you may know" side bar. I've actually accepted a few requests from people, write them a quick note asking how they are doing, and then don't hear a word from them.  Am I being used in some weird way? Is it cool to have a huge number of facebook friends.  Hmmm, strange indeed.  

And then there is the "I'm going to come to your church then leave and never tell you or talk to you again" facebook friends.  That's just awkward. I don't really know them or anything about them, but it just seems wrong to defriend a sister or brother in Christ.  

I have a couple of friends that will never defriend anyone unless absolutely necessary.  They feel like it is like severing a relationship. I've only defriended three people in my facebook history.* Two of them I felt guilty about and one requested me again.  Of course I've noticed the people who have defriended me because I keep a running spreadsheet of my facebook friends. (Again, kidding.) 

What about you? Do you ever defriend? What is your criteria for defriending someone? More importantly, what is your criteria for keeping the facebook friends you have? Do you think you will ever deactivate your facebook account? If yes, what in the world will you do with all that time.... 

*I deleted one of them because they continued to post foul and offensive jokes about women. The other two just always had the f-bomb in their status and I really hate the f-bomb. Because of the guilt I felt in defriending them, I now just hide people when they use obnoxious language.

(I'm computer challenged and my computer guru is out of the country for the summer.  For some reason the comment section under the title disappeared, but I still would love your feedback.  Just click on the title to see the comments already posted and to leave your two cents.  Sheesh. I need to learn some computer stuff.) 

4 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

christy.anne said...

I've wondered whether to defriend myself...I resist defriending anyone for two main reasons: (1) It has happened where you reconnect with someone you didn't think you were ever going to see again, and it's awkward when they've defriended you or cleared your number. (2) I think I foster a stray, possibly misguided hope that things that I say or blogs I post online may impact someone else, even someone I don't know, positively. It's a very slim chance, and I hope not as prideful as it sounds, but I think when my own finger is hovering over the delete button, usually "you never know" wins out.

I did deactivate my account for a semester my sophomore year. But in the end, I concluded that as long as Facebook is my community and my culture's primary way of letting people know about social events, it was worth it to have. People would always have to contact me specially with all the details to invite me to things. I also like the idea of a strange sort of history...if FB is still around when I have half-grown kids, they might get a good laugh from seeing their mom progress from a college kid to the person they know. I don't know...I suppose if our culture fades away from FB, then I don't have much reason to keep it around though. I admit that I secretly admire those who only have scores of FB friends - it means that they only list their real friends!

Thanks for the post, Angel. :)

Jenn said...

I go through my friends list every few months and delete people who I haven't spoken to in quote some time and those who fill up my news feed with information that has no distinct personal impact on my life (let's refer to those as the village people). I want my Facebook page to serve as a way for communication and staying connected--not as a middle school gossip circle. As a self admitted people pleaser myself it surprises me how easily I can delete people. Rarely do they request me as a friend again-I really do think they only requested me because I was in their son's second grade class and they want to know what I'm up to these days and can't see anything because of my privacy settings. That and the darned 'people you may know' feature.

Anonymous said...

I feel nothing when I defined someone. It feels like I'm cleaning out the closet, and it feels good. I defined people that I haven't spoken to or don't even remember who they are. I do it every few months. It feels like a healthy thing to do. I also don't accept any friend requests that are people from my past and haven idea why they want to be my friend now. I don't accept friend requests from other people I know I will have no face to face relationship with in the future.

I guess you are pretty cool, angel. To have all those people who didn't like you years ago now want to be your friend on Facebook......they must feel guilty for hating you years ago ; ) so now they are trying to clear their conccence. Either that or you must be so cool that to have you on their Facebook friends, it raises their popularity. must be that! Hehe.....that's secretly why i have you as my friend on Facebook. (kidding.....I kid)

Love you angel,

wearitbaseball said...

I tend to feel the way Christy does as far as "you never know" but I have no problem deleting people I've never even had a conversation with. I'm a big fan of the "Friend Request" from people that you have no idea who they even are. I think they just want to see what you look like 20 years later. Being a people-pleaser can really be annoying at times...:)

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