Fake friends fake friends never never make friends!
I have just seen an unhappy post by someone who was sad/cross/confused because someone had unfriended her on Facebook. Spell-check wants to change ‘unfriended’ to unbranded, ungrounded or unrounded. It seems this action for some is the equivalent of a slap in the face while being told, “I hate you”. It’s like being at school where children can swap friends and go from most loved to most hated twice or more during a playtime.
For friends to be important do you need to know them in ‘real-life’? Are social networks now so real that it is hard to distinguish reality from made-up-ness?
There are people who I have never met but would regard them as friends. Last year a girl I had known virtually for five or so years died. Our relationship was emails, facebook and occasional phone calls. I never met her but my tears and grief are the same as if I had. It was for many others too because she was kind and generous with her unconditional love. My example shows that friendships are real even if not in person and they matter and are as important.
But, there are other kinds. There are fake friends.
They fall into a couple of types. They may have a tendency to stalk. They befriend as many people as possible to make themselves look popular. You can spot them on twitter when they follow you and you see they have 300k+ followers and follow 10. Whether you follow them or not they will un-follow you in a few days. These are not celebrities who people clamour to follow because they are admired, get to laugh or are entertained by them. The fake friends on facebook send a friend request and then suggest you ‘like’ their other page because they have run out of friend slots. Both of these types are gatherers and usually dull in their constant sales messages. They might pretend to care for a while to harvest email addresses so they can continue to bore you.
The other kind of fake friend are those who feign friendship because they think something is in it for them. When they realise that there is a professional barrier (that will not be crossed) they are gone with the wind often throwing out mean words to justify their behaviour.
People who are kind, giving and ‘pay it forward’ tend to be swamped by takers. Many want something for nothing or treat you as a short-cut to something or someone else.
If a real-life friend was rude to you or they visited your house and stole your belongings you would probably stop inviting them and begin to ignore their calls. Why should it be any different in the virtual world?
If people write horrible words, demonstrate their ghastliness why would you want to be friends?
There are other kinds of fake friends but I’m sure it isn’t necessary to list them all. No doubt you are already aware of a few.
When anyone unfriends or unfollows me I assume they think I am dull, not useful or they just don’t like me and this is fine. If people turn out to be mean, rude or conceited I unflollow or unfriend without a moment's thought. Life would be very boring we all liked the same: people or things.
When I read the unhappy poster’s sadness I wanted to tell her to not take it personally but my words would seem harsh and as if I was blaming her because she did regard it as personal.
We need to separate the nonsense from the sense. Friends are friends. Business is business. Sales are sales…. Add your own.
Rather than taking things personally change your words and thoughts to “this is not personal”.
The un-friender might have a myriad of reasons, none of which are anything to do with or are because of you. If it happens to you it might be personal, it might not. Either or, so what?
Be relieved that it frees up your time for friends you care about and who care back.
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