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article imageOp-Ed: The fine art of unfriending on Facebook

By Jeromie Williams     Nov 3, 2011 in Internet
Navigating personal relationships on the interwebs can be a daunting task at times, but deep within all of us is a fear that many of us care never to admit.
Someone pops into your head and you think, “It’s been forever since I talked to that crazy mofo,” and off you go to your Facebook page with thoughts of rekindling your flaccid love for one another, you saddle up in front of your MacBook Air and a few clickity clicks later you’re … what the … that sunnuvabitch.
You got unfriended.
Now back in the “olden days” losing social deadweight was a little bit messier, as it required you to either talk to the person directly, have a friend do the talking for you or an honest to gosh real hand written letter was about as far away from it as you could get. These days however a simple click of a button in the middle of the night after a few courage building glasses of Pinot Grigio is pretty much all it takes for the hammer to come down.
There are as many reasons for unfriending a Facebook contact as there are tassels on tits at Mardi Gras, and unless you’re proactive enough to be the first to do the culling, you’re going to let some uppity turd get the best of you. Yeah, yeah, you’ve said it a thousand times before that you just feel rude being the one to do it or that you really don’t care because it’s Facebook and not real life, but if you’re going to come out on top in the Great Facebok Game of Life you need to be proactive and you need to cut ‘em.
Listen carefully though, because before you get a chubby little bee in your bonnet and go haphazardly unfriending people without the finesse and skill required, you’re going to need to know how to handle certain personality types and the exact game plan needed for each situation. There’s an art to the perfect unfriending campaign young grasshopper, and these case studies will guide you from being the dumped, into the big fat mother dumper you’ve always dreamed of being.
The Power Poster
The name barely requires an explanation. Just out of principal you need to get them the mother effing hell off your Facebook. You know the one. The person who’s always posting about their complaints with the new Farmville layout, or flooding your news feed with those photos of arrows pointing to their name announcing to the world how strongly they believe in something or when a critical issue of something they deem of world wide importance comes up YOU FIND OUT ABOUT IT IN ALL CAPS!!!
There is as little point in trying to reason with a Power Poster as there is in maintaining your MySpace account because both of them are so far gone and so out of touch with reality that the only thing you can do is quietly walk away from them and never look back. The great thing is, they’ll probably never notice anyways unless you’re in their Mafia, so leave your guilt at the door and enjoy the silence.
The Ex
This one is not actually as difficult as it seems if you have managed to not fly off the handle already and ruin your perfectly timed exit with a huge blowup on their wall resulting in grandma and old high school buddies pitching a fit in defence of The Ex.
The key to navigating a seamless 10.0 landing on the dismount from a relationship is all about timing, timing, timing. The first step is to carry on about your Facebook business as though everything is sunshine and lollipops -even if you’ve put Someone Like You on a six day repeat cycle - and the future is looking bright and fabulous.
Next, in the middle of radio silence between you and The Ex, choose a post by a mutual friend that The Ex has already commented on and write something breezy and witty to that friend that mentions nothing about The Ex. You’re almost ready to make your move.
The very next status message you write is totally make or break on the whole thing. Make it short, make it positive and make it all about looking forward to the future. Go pour yourself a little drinkypoo, play two tracks off of Jagged Little Pill and then do the deed. Make no mention of it to anyone and then get yourself a nice little shave down there and put up the for sale sign.
Side note: If The Ex messages you, engage the block function and just walk away. It means you won.
The Black Widow
This is the nastiest and scariest person you could ever imagine trying to disconnect from, because you know the moment you do they are going to come after you with the unhinged vengeance of a red headed step child on Christmas morning.
This is the kind of person whose abuse you have put up with for months or years now because of the mutual friends you have or because they lord some sort of authority over you.
In short: this fatty gonna bite your head off on the first hint of escape and plop it on a pike for all your common Interbwebs friends to gawk and snicker at.
The first thing you need to understand is that you are NOT alone in your hatred for this person. If you’ve recognized how much of a self-centred sociopath this person is, then you are guaranteed that so has everyone else ... and this is your way out.
You’re going to need to bait the Black Widow into making the first move by insulting you in public, sending you a nasty email or embarrassing you in front of people and when that happens, you need to act with lighting reflexes.
In the span of only one hour, you need to get ahead of the game by removing the Black Widow from Facebook and sending them the be all and end all of pointed emails. List everything they have done to you, tell them exactly how it impacted you, go into as much detail and length as possible because it’s going to come in handy.
Immediately switch gears and send texts to five, and no more than five of the most intelligent people you and the Black Widow have in common telling them you’ve had enough and you’ve ended it with said arachnid and your main reason why, because this my friend, is where you win.
As the Black Widow comes in for the kill on you through character assassination and tall tales of your horribleness, you’ve already gotten word out and you’ve earned the respect of others for having done what they’ve never had the balls to do. Oh and that really long email you sent earlier? The Black Widow is going to pass it around, quote from it and pump every ounce of venom through it that they can and in the process prove everything true that you threw at them in it.
The only cure for a Black Widow, is to cut yourself free and let them hang themselves in their own douchey web.
The Debbie Downer
The Debbie Downer is that friend who perches high above the Facebook world and craps all over anything you say or do no matter how uplifting or informative it is.
You know who we’re talking about. The dick who knows you well enough to understand that because you’re a doctor and you find medicine interesting that there’s a good chance your going to post your share of smarty pants articles on your wall, and they leave you comments like: ”Whatever, everything gives you cancer these days,” or “There are starving children in Africa and they’re spending money on arthritis research” or even a “Why bother, we’re all going to die anyways.”
There is absolutely no pleasing this person – all the kitty pictures and LOL Cats in the world are ineffective – and quite frankly, you’re tired of all the private messages asking you “Who the hell is that idiot?”
You need only do three things to bang the gong on this nightmare of a train wreck and they are as follows:
- Post something on the wall of the Debbie Downer that you are absolutely certain will bait them into a “womp womp” pity party
- Once the offending Debbie Downer has dropped a steaming pile in the comments section, give them exactly what they want – call them on it, stick it to them, and let ‘er freaking rip
- Choose the block option at this point. You don’t want to give them the slightest hope in hell that you’ve seen their response. Pissy, maybe. Effective, totally.
The Tasmanian Devil
So on a whim you accept a friend request from a fellow group member, or this seemingly normal looking guy who has one distant friend in common with you, and in the blink of an eye, your Facebook lights up faster than a hooker after a frat party.
Suddenly every photo you have ever taken, every status ever written and all the attractive people in your friends list are really interesting. In fact, how someone can comment on all 46 images from your cousin’s gothic wedding four years ago in under three minutes is at first look impressive but entirely dizzying and most importantly creepy.
The only course of action here is to immediately remove the offending intruder before they get their hands on any of your friends, and resign yourself to the fact that you’ve signed up for about two to three weeks of checking up on said evictee to see if your profiles have any of your friends in common.
You were stupid enough to let a stranger into your world, you can damn well clean up the mess yourself.
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the many situations we have all found ourselves in over the years, and the remedies supplied here aren’t going to work 100% of the time. What matters is that you remain proactive in defending your Facebook profile and realize that the things people do and say on there do have real and often long lasting effects in our real lives.
Don’t put up with any kind of behaviour you wouldn’t allow in your own home, and when in doubt about whether to keep that person on your friends list don’t waste another minute of your time.
Unfriend. Move on.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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