That is a heavy sentiment. Regardless if it is conveyed through words or actions. Someone has done something to emotionally distress someone else. The end of a relationship. For whatever reason, these people can no longer cohabitate or interact. Hopefully, they were diligent in getting their loaned out belongings back. This is a life altering event, that should not be taken lightly or done in haste. So, why the hell do people do it on social media so easily?
Every now and then on facebook, you may see a post in your feed. Someone is cleaning house. Getting rid of noninteractive friends. They may keep you, if you reply to the post and let them know you still care. Perhaps they don’t even announce it, you don’t even get a chance, and at some indiscernible point in the future you discover that you have been dumped. Why? It takes effort to unfriend people. Furthermore, it can cause the dumped to feel rejected or feel that they have done something wrong.
I believe the main reason is the perceived line that some draw between internet life and real life. I suppose these are the kind of people that still have active yahoo accounts and type in hotmail.com in order to be redirected to outlook.com. It is an outdated view that has been widely accepted throughout the last twenty years. It needs to stop.
There is no line! There hasn’t been one for a long time. What is facebook, if not one of the best examples of this. This platform has augmented our daily interactions and communications. A majority of facebook friends are actually people we have met in real life. Sure, some are more acquaintances than friends and some haven’t been seen in person in over a decade, but does that matter? Facebook’s algorithms help tailor your feeds. Unless you are constantly interacting with someone’s profile by clicking it or corresponding, they will eventually go away. If they aren’t going away fast enough, you can manually tailor them.
If someone shared a link on urban falconry, you can opt to see fewer posts on the subject. If someone constantly posts NSFW images that you definitely want to see later, you can hide these posts from your feed. If you just are completely tired of someone, just unfollow them, you can still be friends. So when the need arises, you can still easily get in touch with one another. Just because they are annoying on social media does not necessarily mean they are annoying in person. When you are with them in person, do you listen to everything they say? When they start talking about the impact that My Little Pony has had on Obama’s Foreign Policy, do you actually listen? You probably tune them out, not unfriend them.
I somehow doubt that back in the, eighteen whatevers, when the phone was in it infancy, that there was such a perceived line, between real life and the new form of communication. I doubt that Orville Reginald Moorehead would request the operator connect him to Hoobajoob Joe Brown Johnson III and once connected say, “I am sorry good fellow, I can no longer be your phone friend as I have far too many. See you in real life at the pub!”
There is no divide between internet life and real life. If you do weird stuff on the internet, you are doing weird stuff in real life, that goes through the internet and ends up in someone else’s real life. The sooner society accepts that, the better. Quit unfriending people, unless they have truly wronged you! You both have over four hundred friends. You do not interact with one another. You are not on each others radar. Although, someday you might be and how awkward will having to re-friend be?