Monday, August 9, 2010

Unfriending on Facebook

Unfriending is an ugly word.  But in the virtual world it is very easy to make a friend you know very little about.  Most of the friends I have on Facebook are people I know in real life.  By category most are

  • Riding buddies
  • Army buddies
  • High school classmates
  • College friends
But there are some people whom I have never actually met.  Some of them follow my blog, some were on online discussion groups I participated in.

Last week, I unfriended a guy I have never met in person, but we have traded opinions for a few years.  He is a very smart guy who fires back hard whenever he thinks he is right or the other person is wrong--which is mostly all the time in my experience.  His Facebook comments can go to hundreds of words.  Anyway, I never minded his dismissive comments because I asked for them by being equally dismissive of him.  But last week I posted something that got positive comments from two "live" friends and scorn from the other guy.  Rather than confine his scorn to me, he lit into my college friend and my former co-worker.  

At that point all the protective instincts in me said this is wrong.  I should not allow my facebook page to be a WWE event.  I also sent my former Facebook friend a message saying why I hit the unfriend button.

There are many things I like about the virtual world.  But if a man is on your turf and insults your friends, it is clear that the relationship is in serious trouble.  In the virtual world, physical presence cannot put a brake on bad manners.