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Defriending People on Facebook; or, The Times Gets Bitchy

January 29, 2009

There’s a fun article in today’s Times about the etiquette and practice of “defriending” (or, as the paper asserts is the more accepted parlance, “unfriending”) Facebook friends. The germ of the article came from a recent online promotion by Burger King that allowed you to “sacrifice” ten of your Facebook friends in exchange for a free Whopper. Until it was shut down by Facebook for violating a user agreement clause, Burger King claimed it had ended 234,000 friendships.

Nevertheless—That’s not what I want to talk about. You can, and should, read the Times article, which is here. The part I want to show is this weird breaking of the Times‘ businesslike remove in this article. Here are the few paras—The last one is the best, but you have to read up:

Nor does Facebook care to be a party to what might be called punitive unfriending, banishing someone from your network for violating one or more of your personal rules of conduct. Perhaps someone annoys you by posting an obsessive number of status updates, or expresses himself in a way that you consider obnoxious?

Those were the excuses that Ehren S., a former co-worker of mine who apparently unfriended me sometime this past spring, offered up recently for giving me the digital heave-ho.

“I believe it was based on a passive-aggressive update of yours to which I sighed, kinda shook my head and pressed ‘delete from friends,’ ” she confessed by e-mail. “I find negativity a bit tiresome and don’t have the patience for it.”

Fine. Though forgive me for pointing out that Ehren, who asked that I not use her full name, initially tried to fib her way out of the awkwardness by saying she did it for a Whopper.

Ha! The writer basically just said, “Fuck you, Ehren” in the pages of the world’s most widely-read newspaper. (I don’t know if the Times is actually the world’s most widely-read newspaper, but whatever.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. ClatieK permalink
    January 29, 2009 11:45 pm

    Maybe I should pretend to be doing some sort of psychological research study so I can find out why one of my most beloved former coworkers unfriended me, while people who were sort of shits back in the day have requested my friendship. Dammit. I’m dismayed all over again.

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