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Facebook Turns Social Entropy Into Drama
Posted Nov 6, 2009 - 9:17:35

A Happy PictureSo last week I caused some social ripples inadvertently. A person who used to be on my "Friends" list on Facebook made a comment on one of my posts that actually hurt my feelings (yes, I'm going to admit that something hurt my feelings -- get over it). I don't really talk to said person any more, and since every interaction I have had with said person over the last several years has ended with my feeling insulted... I decided to "unfriend" them on Facebook.

This caused more drama than intended.

As it was the first time I had ever clicked the "remove friend" button, I decided to post a status update about it. I didn't name who it was (and I still won't), as I figured no one on Earth would be bored enough to go through 250 people and figure out who is missing. Heck, I didn't even think that the person I unfriended would even notice the removal.

I was incredibly wrong.

Drama errupted, angry private messages were exchanged, and the fallout... well... it existed, and I don't think the fallout should have happened in the first place.

In the days before Facebook, if you wanted to avoid contact with someone who had been a friend, all you had to do was stop calling them. No one got offended, no one got hurt -- natural social entropy just kicked in and we all moved on with our lives.

Facebook, while a great tool to reconnect with people you want to keep up with, makes this difficult. I'm friends with a bunch of people on Facebook who I don't regularly talk to anymore. Mind you, I still want to stay connected to these people because I like them. But this means that if you don't want to hear from someone for a while, it suddenly becomes a major issue to no longer connect yourself to them.

This is irritating.

Frankly, the damned irony is that this person was a part of my life when I hung out with a social group that I'm fairly certain didn't actually like me very much. Some of them aren't friends with me on Facebook (and some ignored my friend requests years ago), and I didn't make a big deal out of that. If they don't want to be in my life, I am okay with that -- it's the natural social order of things. Honestly, I don't want to associate with people who don't like me anyways. But it's the downside to this digital age, where if you have connected yourself to the person, disconnecting becomes no longer a quiet act and instead drama. Just taking some time away from someone suddenly starts to look like you're trying to burn a bridge.

And to that, I say, it's just a f***ing website.
- Traegorn

Post a Comment
It's great when drama plays out publicly, too.

Frankly, I don't really think positively or negatively of you, you are who you are and it doesn't affect me either way. Whatever your position on the trait I poked at, I knew it was a touchy point and should have thought better. It was meant as a joke and I can do a bit of a mea culpa here, came across harsher than intended and I apologize for hurting your feelings.

Let's move on with our lives!
Well, I posted about it here because I wanted to make the larger point about how a site like this can change our long term social interactions with people -- but I wanted to wait until things calmed down first.

That and it was a lot less inflammatory to talk about than the other drama I've created lately.
Exactly why did I recently join that community???  All I know is if I really don't want to know what an old high class mate is doing...I'll just hit the ignore button
Is this a bad time to say that I keep seeing your name in the suggestions? I swear facebook is trying to push something and I know it.
saying the person didn't get offended if you didn't call is kind of a far fetched comment, don't you think?
How is that far fetched?

If you're confused by my meaning, it's simple:  I mean that if you didn't want to talk to someone, you wouldn't contact them. 

The call in this context is merely a contact method.

I mean, seriously, do you get offended when someone you aren't close to doesn't try to hang out with you?  Do you get mad when a coworker doesn't invite you to their family Thanksgiving?  Do you get angry for every poker game someone you've met has that you don't get specifically invited to?

Your lack of sense making is incredible, Anonymous.
And Just a Note, Anonymous -- since you came here based off of my Facebook page, and have a Menomonie based IP address (although it's true, that might not be accurate... IP regions are flexible) I can only assume that you are 1. On my friends list and 2. Haven't called me recently.

Should I therefore be offended that you haven't called me?

Trae Dorn
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