“I’d REALLY like to unfriend someone I went to school with on Facebook, because they generally made me feel like crap as a teenager, but I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. It’s like they’ve still got a hold on me, even after all this time. I want to move on with my life, and get rid of the negative people in it, I just don’t know what the repercussions might be.”
Most of us are guilty of accepting friend requests simply because we don’t want to rock the boat, it’s often easier to say yes, than it is to say no. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it…
Like you, a lot of us first came into contact with Facebook at Uni or School, at a time when we maybe had lots of loose friends, but after leaving that environment we soon realised that actually we didn’t want the 500 people from Uni seeing our wedding photos, holiday snaps and sharing other private moments of our adult lives.
Having a ‘cleanse‘ can be a really healthy thing, because it reminds you that actually you only really want a handful of people having access to your posts and thoughts. It can also be quite scary when you see lots of names of people you can’t even recall, that happened to me a LOT after Uni, getting overly friendly with fellow students at the SU and not even remembering their name the next day but oddly being FB buds overnight.
Where the situation gets tricky, (as it sounds like it has for you) is when you have a fear of seeing that person again, or getting grief from them or mutual friends for unfriending them. It’s understandable that some people might react this way, but my general view is that anyone you feel this way about, shouldn’t be offended or even shocked by getting removed.
We seem to categorise our friends into ‘real life friends‘ and ‘FB friends‘ – which is bizarre, because actually your friendship groups constantly evolve and change through your life, and you can’t be blamed for naturally drifting from certain people, and holding on to others.
The chances are, you’re probably over thinking this because you’re worried the person on the receiving end will know what you’ve done instantly. Unless they’re secretly stalking you for some reason, that’s probably quite unlikely – and actually they probably won’t notice or care.
I’ve talked previously about taking the bull by the horns and getting rid of negativity from your life, but ultimately that decision has to be yours. Just remember that your Facebook/Insta/Twitter etc accounts are YOURS. That’s YOUR space, to say what YOU want to the people YOU want to say it to. You don’t need to explain yourself or your actions within that space to anyone. FACEBOOK DOESN’T OWN YOU.
So I say – if it’s making you miserable, take a deep breath – and unfriend. You’ll probably be surprised how good it makes you feel,and how little the other person notices.