Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ooh, check me out, I'm crowdsourcing!

So for various reasons* I don't get too personal here, which often leaves me little to blog about. But I'm going to bend the rule a teeny bit because, well hell, it's my damn blog, isn't it? I can do whatever I want.

Anyway, every since The Former Mr. Pants and I split up, I've been working on a "new life resolution" of sorts, that amounts to: be happy, goddammit! OK, so it's a little more evolved than that ... I've been trying to maximize my good, happy and optimistic qualities and keep negativity to a minimum. It's a tall order and a daily struggle, believe me. I really had to do it, because otherwise I think I would have fallen into a pretty deep depression. The whole divorce thing was a big bummer ... but in hindsight, not as big a bummer as the marriage had been. See? That's being positive ... I am able to see what a good thing my divorce was. Yay divorce!

OK, so I don't write too much about this personal quest for happiness because that veers dangerously close to the kind of sappy earnestness that makes me cringe. Besides, other people write about being happy a lot better than I would. Also I just can't help being snarky and sarcastic, and I would just end up making fun of myself for trying to be happy. That would get confusing ...

Oh, but I digress, as usual ... those who know me outside of this blog know that in the two years since the former Mr. Pants and I split up I've done a wee bit of dating (most of it to one person, see snarky asterisk below). I could fill acres of cyberspace with my reflections on the topic, but I'm too lazy for that right now.

But I am curious about one bit of modern dating protocol ... or maybe etiquette is the right word. I'm hoping to hear some thoughts on this ... here's the scenario: I went out a couple of times with a guy. We had a few e-mail exchanges, some phone conversations, a few text messages back and forth, and I was thinking he was pretty swell. He seemed to think I was kinda swell as well, or so it appeared to me. We friended each other on Facebook, yay, and things seemed peachy enough. Then he stood me up the third time we were to meet.

He apologized very sincerely and admitted it was rude, but his reason for standing me up was nothing like car trouble or a ruptured appendix or anything unavoidable. It amounted to "Getting together with you turned out to be not so important to me." Of course, he phrased it much more tactfully and apologetically than that, but the take-home message for me was that he obviously just wasn't that into me. So I eloquently and politely declined any further involvement with him because, well, why invite heartbreak?

Anyway, I guess he did me a big favor (this is me being positive!), because better to find these things out sooner rather than later. I really did think he was a swell guy, and given some more time I probably could have wrapped my mind around him and tied it in a knot ... which would have made the heartbreak of discovering he just wasn't that into me much worse. So he saved me lots of anguish by delivering the message in a timely manner.

So my protocol question is: considering that I don't bear him any malice, well, not much at least, do I unfriend him on Facebook or leave it be? I mean, unfriending someone seems like a spiteful, bitter thing to do, and I'm all about avoiding spite and bitterness (all it does is feed on itself and grow until it takes over your life). Then again, it's not like I really consider him such a friend at this point ... but my friending policy on Facebook tends to be liberal and inclusive so maybe that shouldn't matter. I mean it's not like he's my enemy. The one good thing is that Facebook doesn't notify people when you unfriend them, so unless they are actually paying attention (and I have no reason to believe he is), they don't get a message that may amount to a big "f**k you." I've been trying to cut down on sending that message to people.

So what say you, oh trusted crowd?



*One of the reasons was that a major participant in my life for a small portion of 2008 and a large portion of 2009 had asked not to be mentioned here. But because all agreements with him became null and void the day he broke up with me via text message, I'll now say that he was the inspiration for the "Reverent Smiths Listener Dealbreaker" axiom I posited a few weeks ago.

14 comments:

spacegrrl said...

i say, do whatever makes you feel good. if it's going to bother you if it becomes apparent from his facebook presence that he IS that into someone else, unfriend him.

actually, i could see other reasons to unfriend him - like who needs to be reminded of someone who isn't that into you?

Ross Grady said...

Well, I'd say de-friending is several notches lower on the f*ck-you scale than blowing off a date for no reason other than "decided I had something better to do," so there's certainly nothing ethically wrong with it.

So that leaves the functional question. Being FB friends doesn't really mean much other than having ready access to the other person's profile information. How often does he update his status, and is that really something that you're interested in? Or, conversely, how often do you update *your* status and are you hoping that the scintillating brilliance of your updates will be like tiny daggers if he happens to read them?

Lisa B. said...

Honestly, I don't think he's that into Facebook either. It's quite possible that he pays little to no attention to it on a daily basis. I'd have to go check to be sure, but I don't think he's even used the status update. It's probably a total non-issue ... I'm just trying to live my life on the priciples of "What Would A Good, Kind and Noble Person Do." Because maybe I can be one when I grow up.

But if he did happen to pay attention to FB, maybe he doesn't deserve to have his daily life enriched by my scintillating brilliance. Or fascinating tales of my dog eating barf ...

Anonymous said...

I like how this Ross guy is thinking re: daggers.

But defriend away. It's your friends page; you can do what you want. I personally find it freaky when people don't post but potentially read my posts. Seems a bit voyeuristic. Like reading a blog without commenting. :p Facebook is more than a blog, though... it's interactive, and I say if you aren't interacting with one of your "friends" anymore, defriend him or her.

btw, this line of reasoning got me in trouble with one of my friends' friends--they didn't understand my logic--so don't listen to me. :D

~Valerie

Lisa B. said...

Yep, Ross is good like that ;-)

As for not posting/commenting: I like how Facebook can be different things to different people. I mean, some people just aren't as expressive as others, but maybe they still want to participate by reading stuff and keeping up with friends. And face it, those up us who write stuff all the time sort of hope that someone might bother to read it ;-)

The only people I've defriended on Facebook were people who really seriously offended me, or a few people from work who I decided really didn't need to be included on a more personal level. Standing someone up is a serious offense, now that I think of it, but The New Lisa is all about shaking off the things that could bother her and maybe even forgiving people. But really, if I just go ahead and defriend I'll stop even thinking about the issue, which will mean one less thing to bug me ...

Also, I read blogs without commenting a lot ... I mean, I don't always feel like I have anything to add to the conversation, but I still appreciate what the person wrote. But now I'm going to be self-conscious about it and make more of an effort to come up with worthy comments!

r4kk4 said...

unfriend. it doesn't seem that being able to keep tabs on each other would be something you're interested in. maybe it's also not something beneficial to either party?

if you don't feel like you can handle unfriending him yet, hide him first. give it a week, reassess. unfriend as necessary.

p.s.-- i think blog lurking is acceptable behavior, fwiw. i mean, everybody's got a stat program.

Lisa B. said...

Yep, I think unfriending is definitely the thing to do. Thanks, crowd!!

Lisa B. said...

Done! It took me a moment to remember how ...

girlnblack77 said...

Well, my comment is too late and besides the point, as you've already done the deed. :)
...but you know I just have to add my $.02...
Being "A Good, Kind and Noble Person" does not equal being a doormat and it does not equal allowing extra baggage in your life... which is what FB malingerers are. About twice a year, I'm known to do social networking purges... if a person's never on, or never updating, or his/her politics are the opposite of mine and his/her updates are frequently inciting, they get defriended.
I, too, like Ross' daggers perspective, but just because someone is your friend does not mean he/she cannot hide your feed. There's no way to tell whether your status is showing up for other individuals.
In summary? ...You've got to look out for *you* every now and then, and in doing so, you will find yourself happier and kinder and nobler.

Lisa B. said...

Thanks ... even though it's late, I'm glad to get your opinion! Especially when it validates what I already did ;-)

htrouser said...

My comment also comes too late, but I say... quit Facebook altogether! I haven't looked back since, and it makes life so much simpler. Sure, you have to give up Facebook stalking people, but there are oh so many ways to stalk people on the internets.

But if you're not willing to do that, unfriending was, I agree, the wisest choice.

Lisa B. said...

But I have fun on Facebook! I don't want to give it up. Especially now that I know how to hide people ...

Sarah said...

I'm also responding too late, but I agree that unfriending is fine. Also, if you don't want to have any more interaction with someone but you don't want to unfriend them, you can use Facebook's privacy settings to remove them from your feed & block them from seeing anything about you. Just create a list called "Not Friends" or whatever, restrict access so that list can't see anything about you, and add the not-a-friend to that list.

I use that trick to friend people for online games and still keep them separate.

Lisa B. said...

Thanks ... that's good to know for the future!