Do you think it is easy to unfriend anyone?
If this word did exist before I discovered Facebook I had never even heard of it. There were only two categories I knew of: friends and not-friends. Demarcation was easy and precise and it made one’s social status quite clear to everyone involved.
Whenever I was with my friends we made merry, picked on others, were mean and possessive and were like a flock of birds of the same feather. We had our reservations about who could join us and who could not and were vocal about any disagreement. We had a comfort zone where we could be ourselves. It wasn’t bad to be wrong or to fail. We were like a big unit which was made of several small ones and glued only with a one element: friendship.
Not-friends were no less important. After all one needs someone to b***h about, yes? 😛 Right from what someone rode to college in, what he/she wore or which people he/she mingled with was an issue of deep concern and gossip. There were virtual wars regarding whose team would win or who would dare an unprecedented stunt. There were some about whom we couldn’t be less bothered too. They were a mere speck in the whole scene and were meant to be ignored. In a way, this category was what cemented our friendship further.
Life was less complicated and it was simpler to put ourselves out there and prove a point if we had to. Alas, its not the same anymore.
Facebook has changed the way people perceive friendship nowadays. A person’s popularity is gauged by the number of followers he has, which inexcusably leads to an exercise of locating long lost and completely forgotten peers/colleagues/relatives and adding them to the friends list. For the real desperate ones there’s always that ‘Find friends’ option which introduces them to a welcoming world of potentially interested friends/mates.
And what do these people do after they’ve made friends? ‘Like’ each other’s photos (sometimes by a reciprocation understanding), comment on them and start assuming that they form a part of their inner circle. More the time spent on Facebook, closer they feel to each other, even if they’ve probably never met in person. All caution about breach of privacy and security gone in the wind.
If and when something doesn’t work out there’s always the ‘Unfriend’ option which is undoubtedly an easy way out. It is quick and clear and involves much less investment of time or emotion. Nobody can expect any relationship born out of the click of a mouse to work now, can they?
What if such a thing existed in real life though? Could we be chums or strangers with a moment’s notice? What if we had to ‘Dislike’ the memories we had? Would we tell others that we’ve ‘unfriended’ each other? Wouldn’t it be cold and heartless?
I don’t think I could ever do it. I’ve always believed in sticking to my friends, come what may. Also, our closest friends are those who never make a noise about it. Guess the ones who proclaim so but aren’t so, well, fit and deserve the word.