When I joined Facebook, it was not with any expectation that I would continue using it for long. It seemed to be based on a narrow and inflexible concept that didn’t appeal to me. Collecting lots of “friends,” without being able to distinguish between levels of intimacy? Posting hundreds of badly focused, party photographs? Adding a lot of gimmicky, poorly designed applications? I am an early adopter of new technologies that I expect to work for me but I reject any that don’t seem right. Life’s too short. You know. I don’t want an avatar that looks like a Japanese schoolgirl. I can’t see posting updates frequently enough to be a Twerp (as my spouse refers to those who Twitter).
Anyway, somehow I managed to make Facebook work for me. I did get in touch with some old friends. I posted the occasional photograph, though very few have an identifiable person in them (this photograph is fairly typical). I dutifully tried a few of the applications, but few held my interest until I discovered the word games. Now I regularly play online Scramble, Word Twist, and two varieties of Scrabble.
Sometimes when posting my status I realize that it gets reported to some people I hardly know. I’m pretty slow to send out friend requests but I have always accepted them from people I know, however little I know them. I have accumulated a total of 46 friends. Wait! That used to be 47!
A few weeks ago, I discovered that you could “unfriend” someone and they wouldn’t receive any notification. You could quietly drop them from your friend list without drama. Great, I thought. But I never expected that someone would unfriend me!
Now, the missing “friend” is actually someone with whom I have very little in common. Our lives intersected briefly a while ago and there was a little flurry of interactions. Then, nothing. It is perfectly reasonable for one of us to unfriend the other under those circumstances.
But I feel a slight resentment that I didn’t get to do it first.