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Unfriended and unfollowed

I have just started to enjoy Twitter lately. Just like this blog, I’ve had my Twitter account for two to three years now, but it has always been privately tucked away until recently. I have noticed that some of the news items aired on TV and even those written on the Net and newspapers were actually tweets of some famous personalities and renowned institutions, so I have revived my own account and allowed my tweeps to inform me of the latest news and amuse me as well.

While I think of tweeting and FB-ing as harmless activities, my stand on this was challenged when the pastor talked about selfishness yesterday and mentioned Twitter and Facebook. Indeed, how egoistic can a person be that he would want to be followed? It also reminded me of various tweets that I have read from different tweepers a few days ago:

  • I have unfollowed you because you did not follow me back.
  • Follow me… I do follow back.
  • You are free to unfollow me anytime (after an unpleasant exchange of ideas with another follower).

And on one of my FB friends’ wall: If you cannot read this that means you have just been unfriended.

Amusing, aren’t they? However, if you would really think about it, there is indeed an underlying message to those statements.  No, I don’t think it’s really just “friendship” and “social networking” that brought them to those sites.

Sure, there are times when you simply have to remove someone from your list, especially if that person is being verbally abusive, disrespectful, or lewd, even if you happen to know the person for years. But what if someone you’ve always treated as a “friend” suddenly removed you from his/her list of friends for no apparent reason? Does that mean that your “friendship” has finally come to an end without you knowing it? Should you feel slighted, amused, or indifferent? I suppose how you see it depends on your purpose for keeping that account and for having that person on your list of friends / followers. The other person’s actions can be baffling, of course, and may call for some introspection on your part, but it should not be difficult to deal with, especially when you know that he/she is having some issues.

I remember trying to send someone a message only to find out that I, along with some of our colleagues, have already been removed from her list. Apparently, it was because of some misleading advertisement for a game. The ad said that there were a certain number of people from a specific place who hated her, and she immediately assumed that it was us who hated her, since we were the exact number of friends she could think of living in that certain place. We sure found that rather immature and irritatingly funny then! She tried her best to avoid us and never spoke to us, instead of talking to us like any mature and educated person should do. After some time though, that person and I got to talk again and she even sent me a new invitation to be added back to her list, which of course, I gladly accepted again.

I suppose that however shallow it may seem, social networking, like money, could somehow bring out the best and the worst in a person. Sometimes, it could even reveal the kind or depth of friendship that one may have with another. I just hope that we all learn to use social media responsibly, use social media to form new friendships and strengthen the already existing ones, use it to reach out to others and help in many ways.

Care to share your thoughts on this? :)

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