Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Unfriend

A few dozen friends down the drain. Yes, I unfriended quite a few people. We are talking Facebook here obviously. It's not that I don't like these people. But there was no point. When there's no social interaction, why not get rid of the clutter on your wall? Or when people merely use Facebook to turn it in into one giant digital billboard, by constantly clicking on commercial pages, hoping to win a weekend in the country of a year's supply of dog food? Away with them.

If only it could be that easy in real life. Click a tab, and erase someone from your radar. Actually, I did so more or less, years ago. Like they say, you can choose your friends, but not your family. At some point I realized that the friendship with some members of my family was rather a one sided affair. Cousins who appreciated your companion, but gave nothing in return. Always having to take one or more steps down to communicate on their level. Emotionally handicapped? Social challenged? Intellectual limitations? I know, you can't blame people for the way they think and talk, there's not much you can do about it. But why then, why never any attempt from their side to take one step up in all those years? So, I gave in to that growing feeling of uneasiness, and cut them out of my social life.

And then there are those friends, who always talk about themselves, their work related problems, their health and their relations. Depleting your emotional reserves, parasatizing on your lack of assertiveness, because you do not want to hurt their feelings. But they fail to see you as a system of emotional needs and challenges who needs to be listened to as well. Those friends are gone.

Finally, we come to category three. The friends you can communicate with, who do show interest and sympathy, but only just as long as you are interesting to them. Because you are merely an ornament on the christmas tree of their social life. They feast on their extensive social network of presumed friends, it is what they think that gives them their status, it is how they want to be seen. But when something shinier and new comes along, you move to a lower branch, until it is just politeness that makes 'm look at you. And while they claim that social media are a lower form of interaction, they do not even show the smallest token of sincere interest – not even there where it would not cost them any sacrifice of their valuable social time.

You only need a few, very few, real good friends. I know people on social media that I have never seen, that show more interest in me, then all the people above combined. So, why bother to maintain all those relations face to face, when so many are shallow and meaningless?

I am a rock, I'm an island. It's one of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest songs. Just Google the lyrics, and you see what I mean. Cynic? Maybe. Sad? Why would that be? Just imagine. Wouldn't it be great to be emotionally self sufficient?

5 comments:

  1. I would have to agree with you regarding the lack of genuine interest that many of our contacts have. As I generally use FB only for keeping contact, not daily interaction on status of the moment, I do not concern myself with their drama unless something in particular piques my attention, or we are keeping touch to meet up soon. FB has so much junk...games and other applications, that I don't spend much time on it, and certainly do not accept the invitations which are just spam to me.

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  2. There were contacts that did not even replied when you wished them a happy birthday. And quite a few of the kids of family members were contacts, either because I added them, or they added me. But actually, I did have a lot in common with them.

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  3. Have you seen this article in the Guardian about "click farms"?

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/02/click-farms-appearance-online-popularity

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    1. I'm going to read it when I'm back home, my internet access is limited at the moment.

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    2. Interesting story - and I'm sure Flickr is using click farms too, now that everybody's views are suddenly way up and 40% of Flickr traffic comes from India.

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