How to lose friends and alienate people

With a click. Oh well, not just a click. There are atleast 5 clicks required. First click on your friends list. The click on the person’s name, preferably right click and then choose ‘open in new tab’ (that’s 2 clicks for you), then click on the open tab, then click on “friends”, and then on “unfriend”. That’s already 6 clicks. And then there is pop up which tells you that the person’s removed from your list, and you click, OK.

Ok. That’s simple. But it can be tedious when there are 480 faces and names you need to go through and decide which ones to say good bye too. I did this today. I am doing it right now. And I wonder why I did not do it before.

I know, to an extent. I mean, these are people who “added me as a friend” sometime in the past 6 years. I have never been part of the “I do not do FB” cool brigade. I am not active, in the true sense, but I do post pictures once in a while. I go “like” pictures my friends post too. I even go and generally browse through albums of my “friends” and see what they’ve been upto.

But frankly, I have accepted almost all friend requests that have come my way, the only criterion being “I know the sender in person” (or in some cases through this blog). They never necessarily had to be friends in the true sense.

In essence, big mistake. Today, I decided it was high time I did a thorough round of spring cleaning. And who did I remove? Well, you know who you are, but for the sake of being polite, I thought I would offer a bit of an explanation before I bid you adieu.

Let me start with you. You did nothing wrong, seriously. You added me as a friend because your friend at work sits next to the guy who you once saw talking to me. So there’s the link! You added me, and I accepted it for the same reason (yes, kill me). But accept it, it’s been 4 years since then, and the only time we have ‘conversed’ is when you sent me a direct message out of the blue a few months ago, asking me if I remembered you (which I didn’t) and then asked me if I could please help you find a job in my present company (which believe me, I am not sure I will, because I cannot refer you just because of this amazing FB connection we have). So I am sorry, off you go.

Then you, we share an alma mater. That is big. We love our college. And when you added me, I saw we had 14 mutual friends, all of them from college. So I accepted it. But tell me one thing, what is the point? Do you really care about when Zo started walking? Or when I had my 2nd anniversary? Or when I went on a vacation and showed it off to my friends through photos? Do you really want that bother? I don’t. I wouldn’t, I know. So, in a way, I am doing you a favor. It was nice knowing you by the way, or actually, it was nice knowing your name. That’s about what I ever came to know anyway. And if this is about networking (which I suck at, so really no advantage here), go to Linkedin. I will add you back. Promise.

Ah, and you. Now you still had a good reason to be on  the list you know. We shared a bay, a floor, or the coffee area, and yes, we did say hello to each other when our paths crossed. So it just made sense that you also know all that’s happening in my life otherwise? Hmm. Not so much. It’s been years since I moved out from my work place, or perhaps you did. And we have nothing in common we’ll ever discuss. Zilch. I mean, I seem to only talk about myself and my family. And you about how awesome Pawan Kalyan is. So there. Nothing in common. So lets get rid of this one last link too. No point.

There you are. You, by the way, are going for a weird reason. I know you actually, pretty well I think, at some point. But there is this thing, I actually do share a bit of my life here, through pictures, sometimes updates. So you actually get know what I wore, where I went, how I look, how cute Zo is, how cool The Dude is. I know, I am sharing this out of choice. But you, you’re a closed book. You don’t even have a profile picture for heaven’s sake! So looks like this is just your way of keeping a tab on others’ life, rather than keeping in touch. There is a difference. I know, it’s your choice, and I might be overreacting. But now, I choose to not share anything with you either. So, bye?

Hey! You’re from my school! And look, seems like we were in the same class too! How do I know? Well, one, you added me. And two, we seem to have a truckload of mutual friends, all from school. So you have to be my classmate right? And that’s why I accepted the request. You’re nice, harmless, you share your family’s pics, your vacations pics, even tag me on some (what is with that really?) and you like what I put up too. So there, all is well. But there is one fundamental issue. Thing is, I have absolutely no freaking clue as to who you are! I cannot place your name or your face, and that is an issue because I have an awesome memory! So it is just unfair of me to act like there is nothing wrong in calling you a friend, facebook, or otherwise. I will just do us both a favor, and unfriend you. No hard feelings.

Again, you too are from school. But I remember you. Pretty well. You were pretty popular at school. What surprises me is that you remember me. Actually, I am dead sure you don’t. And the only reason you added me some years ago was that you spotted me through some mutual friends, and let me just say it, I had a nice profile picture, and I seemed to have done ok for myself in life. And I know it sounds pathetic, but I was thrilled when I saw your request, and accepted it at once. We even chatted a couple of times where you were full of compliments, and surprise that “you never noticed me” at school, and I was full of myself. Smugness galore.  But it makes no sense now, almost seems childish. We are not friends, and I doubt we will ever be. So goodbye it is.

And some more of you. Classmates, not friends. We have never spoken beyond notes, classes, I am sure of that. But FB was the magic world which brought my old contacts to me, so you’re here. And I am ok with you being around too. Up until you started acting like we were childhood buddies of some sort. Fine, you wanted to chat, though we’d not known of each other’s existence for over a decade. Fine, you ask me for the contact details of people I have never spoken to in school, leave alone keep in touch later. Fine, you act shocked when I say I have no clue where they are. This is where it gets amusing, and you start talking about how I have wrong priorities in life and how I have ‘let go of important things in life, like friends’ and gotten busy with my ‘career’ and ‘family’. Dude. You’re right. I got my priorities all muddled up when I accepted that ‘friend’ request, knowing we were anything but that! Let me fix it now, starting with ‘unfriending’ you.

And then follow it up all the rest, 100 odd names that I removed in the last 2 days. It feels good. Rude, maybe, but I think it’s fine. So, if you don’t see any more updates from me on your wall, and actually have the patience to go check why,  don’t fret, it is just better this way.

I’m really not worth it.

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57 thoughts on “How to lose friends and alienate people

  1. Wow, commenting after so many days and that to with first comment. 😀 I don understand the pain you have mentioned, In my case I was celebrity stuck so had so many TV/film actor on my list but eventually removed them.

    Anyhow its good that I didn’t ask for your fb id in the past or else my ego would have been hurt big time with this clean up :p

    • I have done this quite a few times in the recent past too 😛 Esp. with ppl who hardly care to share anything about themselves, but wanna know everything about u 😛 (Ya, like u did that with some of them too)

      • DI says:

        True true! I actually have some fake profiles on my list of people I know, but I have no clue why they would add me through that, and even worse, why in the world would I accept. I know, duh of me. But then better late than never fixing this!

  2. Dil On The Rocks says:

    Hey DI..Good to be back to see what you are upto. And no,,I wasn’t on your fb list, So I am not worried. 🙂 I am very careful about whom I add. Friends bole to only friends. Hope I will keep it that way. 🙂

    • DI says:

      Long long time! Haha, no ya, I needed good reason to remove people. Actually, I think it scares me to think that I am sharing so much with someone who I hardly know! And it totally makes sense to just keep it ‘friends’.

    • DI says:

      Hmmm, there is one thing here. If you see, I have removed people who I think I don’t know, whose life I have no interest in, and those who I think should not have any interest in mine. And by saying that, well, I have ensured my blog friends altogether from ever being at risk 😉 Because they know me (way too much), and I know them (a lot) and it is the mutual interest that brings me out here! Right? 😀
      No we’re not connected on FB, as yet!

  3. Has this moved on to Twitter too? 🙂 Some strong sentiments here! But yes, I recently realised I was following more than 1k Twitterati, when I decided to stay focused and trimmed the list to about 600. More will follow soon!
    In FB, in doesn’t matter as much since I can always mute people or restrict what they share with me and what I share with them. However I do ensure that I do not add/accept requests from people who are adding me just because we were batchmates or colleagues once upon a time (and never talked once).

    • DI says:

      My worry is what I share too. As in, I cant see an option where I can restrict some people from seeing photos, or updates, is there? It is either friends, or not friends. And if the request is accepted, then there is nothing we can do about it. Or am I missing something in the settings!
      FB, I have accepted EVERYONE I have known just to seem polite. And in retrospect, stupid.
      Twitter, yeah, I am trying hard but I cannot seem to get active, though it should not be so tough 😦 Some day, some day.

  4. Welcome to spring cleaning lady 🙂 I’ve done this last year and trust me I’m very much happy with my life and sanity 🙂 I know whom I’m sharing my life with and you know that you are worth knowing everything about me 🙂

    so there!

    P.S. advice: this cleaning has to be done every 6 months…cause there will be another times that you might add someone on obligations at that moment, but then you won’t want that person in your ‘friends’ list 🙂

  5. Brilliantly written 😀
    The other form of spring cleaning I do is to see the ‘friends’ and put them in folders with different permissions. Like i don’t think my college professor needs to see the pics I am tagged in.

    • DI says:

      Can you, can you? I cant find that option! Bah! I am going to do this group thing, it’s even better. Even in my remaining list, I am sure there are some people who don’t need to know everything out there!
      Thank you so much, and I like it that people have similar views on this!

  6. Never was big on FB and have never been too active on it either. And then every few months they go and change their privacy settings which makes me scramble to keep up. I think that is when I really spend some time on it. Fixing the settings to what I am comfortable with and placing people in the groups I am ok with.
    But looked at my account because of your post and realized I have 250 friends 😮 I think I need to take a page from your book and do some cleaning of my own.

    • DI says:

      It just got confirmed we actually do have groups. So I will decide and fix that now!
      I had 480 Comfy! 😮 And I realised I didn’t know some at all! Too weird!

  7. Err, it is rather ironic that even though I have like, 500-odd friends on FB( don’t judge me please, I need to go on a round of spring cleaning too!) I don’t really communicate with my real friends through FB. Mostly messaging when balance gets over 😛 or just checking out pics and all.. the people who really matter to me stay in touch through phone or Skype or email even if we can’t meet everyday. 🙂

    Thanks for reminding me. I need to delete people from my list too! 🙂

    • DI says:

      That is not ironic at all! But then, I think I can count off my “real friends” on my fingers 🙂
      I guess what I was trying to say is, to be included in my life , even if it is to the extent of seeing pictures or updates, you need to be a little more than what you are, if you fall into the categories I mentioned. The real friends vs FB friends thing is, well, not even a thing!
      I won’t judge you AT all. At almost 30, I had 480 friends 😐 Seriously, you can have 2000 and I won’t judge you.

  8. Blog To Act Cool says:

    Shilpa Shetty is uncool:
    Try and understand, my priority is my baby and not weight loss. I am not looking at weight loss at all right now, ‘cos medically I am not allowed to do that.

    • DI says:

      My friend is back! Hello!
      No no, you got it wrong. Shilpa Shetty is not uncool, she is smart. Since she is taking the medical advice “she” was given.
      I like solving the little issue you have with your life , by the way! Also, I realised you’re all in awe of me not only because I “drink and dance”, but also because I lost my post baby weight. Awwww, I have a fan! 😀

  9. Manjiri Indurkar says:

    Hey there,
    Interesting piece. Made me laugh. BTW I am Manjiri Indurkar, feature writer for a magazine called Democratic World. It is a monthly magazine cutting across genres of politics, society, art, culture, food and travel.
    The magazine has a section called Social Agenda in which we publish interesting blog posts by various bloggers. After reading your post we feel that it fits our bill and we would love to publish it. Along with post we’ll publish your name, a link to your blog and your twitter handle.
    Should you like the idea, please send in your permission as soon as you can.

    Warm Regards

  10. lol! (and yay, im not one of the Unfriended :D)

    i so want to post proton’s pics but have to stop because i have a list with so many people i DONT know. now after the exams and the present line of work im freaking out even more because i could be fired for making an anti-governmental joke. i truly wish i had just 30 ppl on my fb list. kudos to you for doing it. i attempted it once and i received two long sob-emails that diagnosed me with an abnormally bloated head 😐

    the things with groups is, it does exist, but as for its working im not sure. say you have a blog friends group to whom a pic of zo is accessible, and say i comment on it, it appears on my timeline and people who are my friends(but not yours) can see it right? i gave up trying to figure this privacy thing out on Fb(and the rules keep changing!).if only i could club that zuckerberg fellow on his head.

    • DI says:

      Hehehe! I guess it is also a matter of trust! Plus I feel I know a lot of you blog guys SO much better than others from school or college!
      I doubt anyone would in my case actually come back asking why they are missing from the list. I have already had a couple add me a back (which I am ignoring, but further confirms that they perhaps don’t even remember I was on their list recently!)
      This group this is not at all working for me either. I know those messages doing the rounds about “fixing my settings” by each person, so that no one else sees their shares 😦 That’s tough!
      That Zuckerberg fellow got all the fame based on his belief that secretly we all want to show off, and know about others too 😉 I guess he forgot to draw the line :P!
      I want me some Proton pics!

  11. Dev says:

    Wonderful post. I am sure everyone who is active on facebook could connect with this post instantly because we all have added so many people whom we hardly know or remember. An instant awakening for me to go right now to my facebook page and unfriend some of the people whom i added in the past because we had some mutual friends or i met them once at a XYZ conference. So here i go 🙂

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