Facebook: Putting Them Down Easy

If there was ever a way to let somebody down easy, it’s on Facebook.

A “friend request” lands in your e-mail inbox, and you follow the link where you can “confirm” or “ignore.”

Do the former, and you’re opening up your life for the other to see –they can take a gander at your photos of your child ripping through Christmas presents and the embarrassing high school era photos people you haven’t seen in two decades have so kindly added to the web.

Do the latter, and nothing happens.

They don’t see your life. You aren’t forced to read their status updates on their dog’s bowel movements and their kid’s poopy diapers.

But there’s no flashing red light overhead that yells “loser, loser.”
It’s completely anonymous.

Facebook may be the place we relive high school, but it’s not high school. You don’t have to hide in the girls room after being dissed by the popular crowd.

No one ever has to know.

If only it were easier to let people down easier.

Because there are the repeat offenders on Facebook. They’re the people who barely wait half an hour after you’ve hit “ignore” to send you yet another request to be their friend.

And with each “ignore,” comes another request, a poke in the eye that says “you can’t ignore me, I’m here!”

They’re the people who are begging for a Facebook put down. Might I suggest a message by the principal over the PA system?

If it sounds like I’m kicking a sweet little puppy dog who just wants to be my buddy, might I note that the bulk of these requests come from complete strangers?

I know their names tangentially, know, in fact, that they also live in Sullivan County. And it seems they know who I am.

But I don’t, in fact, know them.

I don’t know them well enough to let them look at pictures of my daughter in her PJs on Christmas morning.

Or to let them see my status updates that let my friends know when I’m going to the mall, the pizza place or on that rarest of rare occasions, on a bona fide vacation.

Facebook has returned the word “friend” to the meaning we used as 4-year-olds – all it took was some face-to-face contact in the grocery store line and you were planning playdates. But even my 4-year-old is learning that no means no.

Can you?

Photo from Facebook

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