**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
Recently, I was deleted or unfriended as someone’s friend on Facebook.
Was this person who unfriended me a really good friend of mine with whom I spoke outside of Facebook on a regular basis? No.
Most of my really great friends are from the days when there was no such thing as Facebook and they’re either not plugged in because they are living “off the grid” or they just don’t go online very much.
Then there are the other people I know such as old work colleagues or extended family members who consistently post on a regular basis as well as comment and engage with my posts, essentially “liking” everything I do. I rarely see any of these people in real life.
Additionally, there are acquaintances I have as Facebook friends who I barely know at all. Many of them rarely engage with my posts so there is not much interaction with them either in real or online life. Occasionally those people will comment or like something I post but, generally, they only break out the “likes” in lieu of something really noteworthy.
There are people I know who are constantly scrolling on Facebook but don’t go mad liking everything they see on there because it could potentially make it appear as though they have nothing better to do. In truth, millions of us spend hours upon hours each week sucked into Facebook or Instagram, scrolling and deciding whether or not we should “like” something.
I’ve had some run-ins with social media revenge deletions. This could be a friend I hung out with who decided to delete me over a misunderstanding, or a guy who realized I was not going to date him and deleted me. All’s fair in love and war I guess.
We all have that one friend or family member who goes on a Facebook deleting cycle when they’re feeling offended or displeased with certain people.
I noticed that whenever I posted more politically driven, I started losing more online friends again. I’m not going to lie, I was half expecting it from certain people, but it still makes me wonder about the way in which we treat each other online and off.
Facebook has now come up with a feature where you can "snooze" people who annoy you while still technically remaining friends with them. You can simply put them on silent and not see any of their posts for a given amount of time.
This means you can literally be a Facebook frenemy without anyone knowing it. One of your Facebook friends may think you guys are friends and that you see all of their status updates in your news feed but, in fact, you "snoozed" them months ago because they annoy you, but you don’t want to deal with the awkwardness of deleting them.
Imagine if you could do this in real life.
In the end, people will do what they will on Facebook and other sites like it. No one has to participate if they don’t want to.
In the real world, you could never get away with just dismissing someone you're talking to because you don’t agree with their opinion like you can on social media. Well, you could do it, but there would be actual consequences and awkwardness because the person would be standing right there in front of you.
Talking directly to your boss in person as opposed to ranting about him/her on Facebook is entirely different. It’s non-confrontational to slam someone on Facebook, not to mention passive-aggressive. But all of us Facebookers do it at some point. And at some point, we will be victims of it too.
The choice to participate is ultimately yours.