Sunday, July 1, 2012

Facebook and Passive-Aggressive Friendship

I'm one of those people who will friend someone of Facebook only if she knows that person or if said unknown person can plead a good case for why I should accept their request. I don't usually unfriend people, collecting them like so many human baseball cards. But lately, things have changed, and not just with me. I think this clicked when a friend outright blocked me (I actually caught them in the act, as I was typing their name in the search bar it showed them still but then I clicked and got an error message. I logged into a dummy account I have an saw that their account was, indeed still active). I sneered (yes, I actually sneered) because I know this person and their tactics and this was attention-getting at its finest. I was annoyed, amused, tempted to hack, then I went to bed.

"You're not Dickens," you say, "you're not getting paid by the word, so get to the point!"

My point is, is that we are actually using the various functions of Facebook to forgo actual social interaction when appropriate. Granted, I recently blocked someone on Facebook that I've known for over 10 years, and if I run into him in public I won't be talking to him civilly, because he crossed a line online into douchebaggery. The kind of douchebaggery that said I was mooching off the state and I should just accept a minimum wage job, even after I explained why I needed a certain wage range to fit my rent and household budget. After asking him to stop several times he kept badgering, so he got blocked. Other people have simply gotten unfriended because I realized I added this person, I don't know them, have nothing in common and their posts annoy me. That's fine too.

But then there's the puzzlement to realize you've been unfriended by someone you thought you were pretty good friends with. I'll use an example. There was a girl I worked with at my last job. We were together for 2 shifts (so a year). She was geeky, funny, sweet as pie, loved the Golden Girls (yes!) and we got along pretty well. I ended up getting fired and a few months later I read on her Facebook that she gave our company the ol' F-U. I texted to congratulate on her liberation. All was well. At some point recently I noticed that I hadn't seen anything from her recently, so I popped over to her page. And there it was, the "add as friend" button. Had I offended? Did I post too much? Why? Another girl from work unfriended me too, but that actually bothers me less; she was a huge bitch, talked behind my back, and I actually almost got into it with her at lunch once. No loss there.

As for the friend that blocked me. That came on the heels of my mania post. At the time I was going through that manic phase, she was moving in to my exes house. I wasn't liking it. I also voiced my opinions on groceries purchased because my ex was to share them and he has high cholesterol and I didn't feel he should be eating crap. She got all offended and emailed me and said I was being rude and I said I was manic and didn't apologize for anything, which I know was what she was looking for. So, the mania post must have triggered something. She's only made things awkward for herself with the blocking. My ex and I still hang out (much less than we did, I probably won't see him until our next roleplaying game) and they're still living there so... yeah. Cut off your nose to spite your face, much?

So. Friending on Facebook does not replace actual interaction, especially when breaking up with friends.


  1. Defriending and passive aggressiveness seem to go hand in hand very well. What hurts the most is that you don't get a say in it... and it's subtle so FB doesn't tell you, so when you find out it's a rude shock.

    I had a friend (who I'm still FB friends with) that said a few things that hurt during a FB conversation/argument. Some of her friends came and joined her defence and I wanted to just block her to make it simpler/end the fighting and hurt. But I figured it would be better to tell her how I felt before doing that, you know let her know I was upset enough to defriend her, and a huge back story came out. I didn't know the full context to what I was talking about and it was really eye opening. It completely changed how I read what she and her friends had said and thankfully she accepted my appology. She was really upset that I wanted to defriend and since we don't have contact outside FB, kind of end the friendship entirely. So that was a lesson to me in defriending.

    Hope things don't get too awkward between you and the girl. Seems like there should be some sort of conversation about how you guys are doing...

    1. There's definitely an element to communication that's lost with social networking sites, and that's the ability to interpret tone and expression. We're left with words on a screen and as I have learned before, what might seem like a simple phrase can be blown way, way out of hand.