Of the Negativity that Oozes Out of the Term “Unfriending”… and Other Bits

When a friend of my said that she wanted to leave Facebook, but felt uneasy about “unfriending” people, I told her that she was nuts. “It’s just a social media platform,” I said. “You can keep up with friends through email, your blog, Instagram, Twitter, smoke signals…”

She continued to point out that some people would take it personal. “They’ll get upset,” she said. “Trust me. I’ve been down this road before.”

I said some nonsense about how I had gone to high school, too… and how we are thinking grown ups now… I’m sure I’ve said other things, which I totally take back now… Since I decided to leave my Facebook profile behind, in favor of my page, I have received the strangest reactions from friends. And I’m not even talking about the people with whom I interacted on a regular basis. The ones sending uncanny messages are individuals who rarely commented on anything I shared. The following wee list, are my responses to some of the inquiries I’ve received on the subject of no longer using my personal Facebook profile:

1. No, I’ve not gone from a profile to a page because someone did something terrible to me.
2. No, I didn’t stop using my profile because I’m mad at you and don’t want to admit it.
3. No, I’m not being stalked (thank goodness), or forced to leave my profile against my will.
4. No, my actions are not my way of thinning my Friend List, so that I can avoid certain people.
5. No, I swear that I’m not dying (at least not any faster than anyone else is… that I know of). Don’t laugh, my Wicked Luvs, more than one person asked if I was leaving Facebook because my illness took a turn for the worse and I’m “trying to let people down easy”.

I’m not quite sure what the last bit even means. If I were dying, I would probably friend more people, and make a lot of noise… You see, if I knew when I was going to die, I would make sure that my funeral was the party of the decade (perhaps the century), and it would be celebrated while I was still alive. As Granny Weatherwax might’ve said, “There is good eating at funerals.”

As you might imagine, I apologized to my friend (and told her that I was writing this post, and that she wasn’t nuts at all). I guess she knows more about these things than I do. I wonder if the word “unfriending” (a rather negative and inaccurate term, if you ask me) has anything to do with the way people react to this kind of thing. What do you think, my Wicked Luvs?

I decided to write this post because, well… writing stuff down, and sharing them with other thinking brains and feeling hearts, helps me make sense of things. And because a link to this entry will be added to the last post I’ll share on the wall of my personal Facebook profile, before I clear my Friends List of every name but 3: my Piano Man (if I remove him people might start asking if I murdered him, divorced him, or something), my Mother in Law (how else will I keep up with the news and with the best sociopolitical memes ever?), and The Boy (his heart would probably break if I stopped my motherly surveillance of prospective girlfriends, on whom I practice my wickedest mock stink eye). I shall do this on April 3rd.

The main reason behind all this has to do with the fact that having a Facebook profile and a page, which share the same name, makes it rather difficult for people to tag the right one. Speaking of tagging, the easiest way to tag a page in a post or comment is to add the @ symbol at the beginning of the page you’re searching for or tagging (i.e. @Magaly Guerrero).

Oops, this post got so long that I nearly forgot the “Other Bits”:

1. Dark Fiction for the Cruellest Month, 2016, starts on April 2nd.
2. 30 Days of Micro-Poetry in April, hosted by Rommy Driks and me, on our Facebook pages: Kestril’s Rhythms and Groove and Magaly Guerrero, respectively, starts tomorrow (April 1st).
3. I will no longer use my Facebook profile, but my Facebook page will include the same information I used to share on the profile. Only the location is changing. Also, here, at my cyber-home, everything will remain the same. I’m active on Instagram. And when the mood strikes me, I even tweet. Yes, the birds, too, find it a tad weird when I start chirping like a lunatic.

Facebook Page of Magaly Guerrero

40 thoughts on “Of the Negativity that Oozes Out of the Term “Unfriending”… and Other Bits

  1. Bless your sweet self, Magaly. Isn’t it amazing how personal the interactions on FB can become? You need to do whatever benefits YOU. Once you leave the contacts with your profile behind, I think things will naturally flow toward your Page, which is looking great!

    • I think that if anyone would have told us, let’s say 15 years ago, that anyone was going to feel this way about any kind of social media, we would have laughed at them. The whole thing is kind of fascinating, in a creepy socio-psychological sort of way.

  2. I honestly don’t blame you Magaly, with as many friends, followers, etc that you have just having one profile on FB would be the easiest thing to do.

    I was/am already following your page, so I will see/read you there and here of course; I must have my daily dose of Wicked Words 🙂

    • I’m so glad you understand. Dancing around with two Facebook accounts, especially when Facebook makes it so difficult to differentiate them, is a real nightmare.

      I shall continue the wickedness flowing.

  3. People should know by now if you had an issue with someone or something, you’d tell them LOL. As for me, I will follow wherever you go (like a stalker) 😉

    • You know, that’s the same thing my Piano Man said. Anyone who has known me for more than a few days should already know that if I have something to say, I will say it.

      *Yay! for wanted stalkers* 😀

  4. It took me about 2 hours to figure out how to leave FB (and of course you never really get to leave, they remind you!). That was 5 years ago and I’ve never looked back.
    I now find myself getting the really good stuff in *special* emails that kind friends send to the other Luddites and me!

    • I’m kind of curious to see what kind of impact this change is going to have (on my time, for instance, and on certain relationships…). I shall keep an eye on it.

      Oh, and one of the reasons why I’m waiting a few days is because I want to make sure that I have an email (or another way) to contact friends. I need to note birthdays, too, lol!

  5. I’m still bewildered, but that’s no big achievement… I get like that a lot. I do understand, though, the issues with having a professional name that’s similar to a real name and therefore being diluted across the Book of Face.

  6. Yes, well, as long as you’re still around, that’s all that matters to me. This is why I only have one FB thing to keep track of and haven’t even attempted to make pages on Hedgewitch the Writer, Hedgewitch’s Poetry, Amazing Literary Stuff of Hedgewitch, etc. Way too complex for the likes of me. ;_) I’m very glad to hear you are not stalked, dying or being hating on by people for unknown reasons, though. 😛

    • Of course I will be around. You won’t get rid of me that easily. 😀

      I can’t understand why Facebook makes having two different accounts so difficult. In the past, it wasn’t this hard. But now, they make it almost impossible to keep the two separate.

      I, too, am glad not to be dying, stalked by someone horrid, or hated for reasons unknown, lol. If I’m hated I would like to know why. How else will I be able to write a poem about it?*cackles*

  7. I abandoned FB 5 years ago and didn’t look back (well, maybe once or twice) but I never even thought about “unfriending” as necessary to do it. I just disappeared and stopped posting, too stressful to even think about managing any settings, because I DID want to avoid some people. It’s funny how in the years since, people I meet still find me and try to friend me, and then seem irritated that I haven’t accepted their request, as though it’s the only way to validate our in-person friendship. Blah. I hope more and more people get over this and stop caring about the new social media “rules”. I hope Instagram doesn’t change to be like this (and that most of my “friends” never find me! haha!)

    • I was going to do the just-don’t-post-on-the-profile bit. But having a page makes things really complicated, with Facebook privacy settings being what they are. In the past, you were able to make your profile unsearchable. Now, your most private option is friends-of-friends, which means that people still send messages, friend requests and such… Since some of the messages come from people who are truly care about, I can’t ignore them. And while my profile is there, friends and friends-of-friends will see it. So, removing the friend list is my only real choice.

      I second your wishes when it comes to Instagram.

  8. Its amazing how there are those out there who define themselves thru social media.. so hung up on the number of followers, etc..it takes courage and self assuredness to do what one feels without worrying what others may think.,.to me, as long as you do things in a respectful manner there is no need to worry if you’re going to offend.. and if those ‘friends’ feel offended, then they’re not really your friends, or are very insecure to think that the decision u make is all about them… I have learned that we can’t worry about everyone when it comes to the decisions we decided… life is to damn short.

  9. Okie dokie. I’ll read your words, look at your plants, desire the food you cook for your family, and enjoy your company no matter which place it happens. I “pruned” my FB friends and interactions and continue to look for more ways but, I’m “chatty”. *grins* Enjoy your de-complication thingie…

    • One day, all of us might have a ginormous cookout (imagine the recipes!). I know that there will be fruits and bacon at least. 🙂

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m hoping the clearing of the list points people towards the page, and allows me to bury the profile. But Facebook works in mysterious ways, so we’ll see…

      P.S. If you add your link to your name when you leave a comment, my lazy behind will visit your blog sooner, you know? *cough, cough, cough*

  10. talk about a first world problem. if she wants to stop FB she doesn’t have to do anything except not log on. she can leave her page as is or delete the account. no need to go through the trouble of unfriending everyone.

    • Some people don’t function as well without the total support of their peer group. I know more than one person who truly suffers when people don’t like them, when they can’t keep up with social fashion, or pretty much when anything makes them feel/look different. That might not matter too much to people like you or me, but for them it means peace of mind.

      I’m the one with the page issue. Having a profile and a page with the same name makes things really complicated. I tried changing the picture, but people still always pick the wrong profile. I tried writing those bothersome announcement I’ve been leaving on my wall for the last week, but my friends forget. So I’m trying to make it easier for me (and for everyone else). If there is only one to choose from, the choice will be clear *I hope*.

  11. I’ve never been on ANY social media until very recently but it has more potential pitfalls than I’d imagined. I did read that it’s questionable to have a personal page and a page for a blog page because it splits your audience. I wouldn’t want anything splitting my audience of 10 or 11.

  12. It’s whatever works for you, I think.

    I made the opposite decision some time back, and diced the author page. Just awkward to manage having the two – as well as LiveJournal, twitter, Google+ and my several blogs. (You can see why I decide to completely ignore Instagram by the time it came along!) As I live far from family and many old friends, I like to keep up with them on facebook, and many of them like to read my writings too, so it’s just easier to post blog links and publication news at my personal fb profile. Them as wants to ignore ’em can, and no harm done. I try to keep the friends list from becoming too ridiculously inflated; some people then choose to ‘follow’ me anyway, so I guess that works a bit like an author page.

    I confess I use twitter and Google + only for further sharing of writings and petitions, not personal interaction. Google makes it almost impossible to use any of its other services such as Gmail and Google Blogger without also joining Google+ so in the end I succumbed. I have never really got the hang of personal interaction on twitter. (How do people ever find the time?)

    Some of my blogs are strictly private journals in various categories. The public ones are either poetry or non-fiction, raw material for books.

    LJ is my sanctuary where I occasionally go to share secret things that nevertheless need some airing, under a pseudonym (and my friends there dutifully pretend they don’t know perfectly well who I really am – as I do for them in return).

    However we decide to use it, I wonder how on earth we all got on without social media!

    • You know, these last few weeks have taught me that a lot of of my friends have venting blogs. I’ve never thought about it. Maybe because I tend to vent here, lol. Then again, I rarely have any serious venting to do. However, it might be nice to explore certain experimental themes every now and again… Must think about a venting platform *cough*.

      Anyhoo, about the leaving my profile behind bit… This blog is the center of my cyber-life. Facebook is more about spreading the yum with friends who don’t blog much. After my Friends List became a tad ridiculous, I trimmed it to a 4th of its sized and started to let people just follow me. Then I began getting messages from individuals who sent me friend requests, and wanted to know why I hadn’t friended them yet. I care little for that kind of nonsense. Some things are not worth anybody’s time. The page allows me to interact with people on Facebook without having to think much about my choice. Since my profile has always been public anyway, this works for me.

      Like you, I use Google+ for sharing links and not much else. I’ve been less of a stranger on Twitter these days, mostly because a few friends share some wonderful bits. I love Instagram. I’ve met some wonderful artists there. Instagram is what Twitter would be, if one could keep track of what’s going on–Twitter confuses me. So many things, so quickly, from so many people… And I completely agree with your closing line: social media might get messy at times, but having it is so much nicer than not having it… especially for those of us who can’t get out as often as we might like. ♥

  13. Magaly.. just in recent few days the same issue has been disturbing me as well. You see we accidentally deleted some of our FB friends.. and she immediately wrote me om whatsapp… asking what’s the reason and what she has done wrong. We do interact in real life too.. But listen what happened next. I replied her not to worry, and added her back… two weeks later I was suddenly stricken by a thought that she never ever called and contacted me since then… while meeting our other friends. So I simply wrote her whether it actually made a difference if we were FB friends or not as she never communicated with me after that incident… on what she got furious, replied in a quite a rude way and deleted me from her FB friends.. and I think blocked whatsapp… lol.. as If I was going to terrorise her with my messages… So what to say Magaly? I understand that you are a public figure, so you have more responsibility as many people read you and listen to you… But , otherwise don’t care much for the people’s reactions, you are not responsible for how they understand what you do and write :)) Sending weekend joy and love!!! Anna

    • People are so strange. There are a few who have started treating me differently. I couldn’t believe it at first, but after reading about everybody else’s experiences I’m not surprise. Their behavior still makes little sense to me, but I’m not surprised. The world is full of weirdos, and some of them are not as cool as the rest of us weirdos, lol! ♥♥♥ (one for you, one for your H and one for Little A). 😀

  14. Hank finds time for blogging as it gives vent to creativity. The creative juices need an outlet for whatever it is worth. But FB is necessary also to maintain contacts and be informed of what is trending and what’s happening with friends. These two are being maintained. The others (Twitter, instagram) are just nice to have and Hank finds it time-consuming.

    Hank

    • Magaly has never been ale to truly embrace Twitter. She’s just not that good at chirping. But Instagram is very relaxing and accessible when she has to wait and wait and wait during her never-ending hospital visits. So many cool pictures, and tons of wee poetic bursts, too. 😀

  15. I wasn’t going to comment on this post as I don’t think it is really relevant to me…just imagine the expression on Granny Weatherwax’s face at the thought of having to placate such nonsense….that’s the expression I have right now 😀 XXX

  16. Good for you! Maybe I should have done this? But, I would have still had my “real name” out there! Funny, people say all these things to you. I had so many people write to me. And, some even gave me their e-mails to keep in touch, that don’t have blogs. Well, I have written to them, to tell them what was going on, and one person wrote back. Umm..Friends??? LOL!

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