Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why I Never Unfriend on Facebook

I've been really praying about and contemplating this post for some time.  Every time I see a post on Facebook by one of my friends that says, I'm going through and cleaning out my friends on Facebook or "You've made the cut!", I have two knee-jerk reactions.  First, I think, "boy, am I going to make it?"  and the second reaction I have is "do I want to be friends with someone who actually would cut someone from their friends list?"

Really, that's what I think. Look, don't accept a friendship on Facebook that you don't plan on keeping for your entire life - yes, the rest of your life!  Although the person doesn't get a notification that they are unfriended, it usually doesn't take them long to figure out what you've done. Either they see a comment on another friends page, or an event on another's page, or you are in a group together, or something will red flag your dirty deed.

I always tell my hostesses that it's better to invite everyone, because rarely is someone offended to be invited to your party, but if they hear that there's a party and they didn't get invited, they will be offended.  This same principle can be applied here.  If you plan to ever have any sort of relationship with that person again, DO NOT UNFRIEND THEM! 

I recently had two "friends" decide to make a statement (and frankly, be bratty) and unfriended me because they felt I wasn't a friend a "real life."  Well, when one of those girls contacted me to "talk about some things," I had no interest.   Someone who unfriends another, really has no interest in any sort of friendship with me.  She sent a very clear message, publicly, mind you that she didn't want to be friends with me anymore.  If she thinks I want to be best buds again, forget it.  I have no interest in games, or in people who don't work things out in person, first. She should have worked out those things before she unfriended me.

When you unfriend another these are the statements you are making:
  1. You don't like that person.
  2. You have no interest in that person.
  3. You are still in high school and feel the need to be clicky (and who wants to be friends with that.)
  4. No one can disagree with you, ever.
  5. If you're my friend, tread lightly, or I might unfriend you too!
At the end of the day, I choose to follow Christ's command "to love one another."  You can't love another by unfriending them.  Maybe you don't agree with everything someone posts, or shares on Facebook, but isn't that true love, to stay "friends" with them?  I know that many of the 500+ friends I have on Facebook, don't have my same beliefs or views, but I pray and hope that something in my life touches them to see Christ's love.  I can put up with a few and often a lot of posts on political angles I don't agree with, rather than "unfriend" someone.

Don't get me wrong, you should never friend someone that is unsafe or will harm you or your family.  Here are some of the ways I handle difficult people without unfriending them:
  • I think the first line of defense is to hide someone's posts that I don't care for.  They don't know you don't see them. 
  • Don't post anything you wouldn't want your worst enemy or your boss to know about you.
  • Unfollow them, so the posts don't appear in your feed. 
  • Restrict who sees each of your posts.  I do this for several people that just don't need to know what's going on in my life - you know, those people that aren't being great friends in "real life." 
  • Once someone unfriends me, I actually block that person.  I feel like if they don't want to be friends that's their choice, but they also don't get the privilege of seeing into my life as my friends would. 
On another thought, what do you say to someone when you run into them in person?  "Oh, hi, unfriend, how are you doing? I see you don't want to be friends on Facebook anymore, but hey, lets get together for coffee?"  I don't know what people are thinking when they unfriend someone in the same town, especially a small town.  It's extremely awkward! 

Listen folks, if you are trying to be friendly and loving to a person in "real life," then playing manipulative games of friending and unfriending on Facebook is not that way to go.  If you are a leader in any organization, or are in a place of authority, you should take heart to this.  If you are trying to build a business, don't unfriend people. Also, if you are trying to be a witness to others, then you definitely should never hit that unfriend button! Unfriending people is not a good way to develop relationships in anyway.