A Prologue to Facebook Downsizing - 405 Magazine

A Prologue to Facebook Downsizing

…and why I have to de-friend you, although we’ve never met in real life.

…and why I have to de-friend you, although we’ve never met in real life.


Since coming to grips with the idea that I can’t change the world, I’ve turned my irritable focus to my Facebook universe, which has combusted into a clambake of friends, acquaintances and (mostly) complete strangers whose assorted life afflictions I can no longer abide.

I used to be much more discerning about the composition of the population in my Facebook universe, restricting my responsible clicks of the “Accept Friend Request” button for those people I felt I could still recognize in social settings.

Admittedly, however, one or two hundred folks may have slipped through the gate as the result of the occasional, hazily inebriated “accept” clicks, accompanied by self-made promises to look up the petitioner later.

Two things have jolted me back to my “only-when-sober” friend acceptance policy:

1.) Last month, a Target employee greeted me by name and shocked the hell out of me. Given my love for Target (and my super-love for SuperTarget), it doesn’t surprise me that a Target employee might know my name; I’m there a couple of times a week. When I wear a red top and other customers mistake me for an employee, I just go with it because I can direct any customer to any item in the store, and I don’t mind pointing out to other employees that the next regularly scheduled bathroom cleanup is due in seven minutes.

But this was not my Target and I’d never seen this man before.

After I apologized for not recognizing the man (despite his clearly labeled nametag), he quickly reminded me, “We’re Facebook friends!”

2.) I once actually clicked the “Naaaaahhhh” button on a friend request from someone I vaguely recalled from the ’80s. She came UNHINGED.

Rebuffed and snippy, she peppered me with several “Who do you think you are!?!” messages, to which I replied, “OK, can you just remind me who you are? I can’t place you.”

Three years of festering and smoldering brought the unstable one back into my Facebook universe this summer. “You rejected my friend request three years ago, you snob!” she wrote, validating my good judgment in clicking the “Go Away” option.

Sufficiently creeped out by these two, I reasoned that a stricter admissions policy would offer the added benefit of weeding out the occasional Facebook friend (read: total stranger) who writes “Niiiiiiiiiice” on a photo tucked in the recesses of an obscure photo album (Tee Ball Picnic ’06).

Specific Facebook fouls that will now exclude you from my universe the same second they appear on my News Feed:

1.)  If you tell the world what you’re making for dinner, you’re out.

2.)  If you tell the world you’re tired or you’re going to bed: goodnight and goodbye.

3.)  If you respond to someone’s post about dinner or bedtime, you’re an enabler. See ya.

4.)  Farmville requests: automatic out.

5.)  Poor spellers: why must you post more than anyone else? You’re (not your) out.

6.)  Political zealots: I might have initially liked your candidate of choice, but your relentless dogma has turned you and your candidate into toads for me. Hop away, please.

7.)  If your ointment/supplement/whatever is superior to others on the market, I’m happy for you. Post it as “news” and I’m gone.

8.)  Unless your inspirational quote makes me laugh right out loud, it will only annoy me and you’ll have to go away. Click.

9.)  If you must post a heartfelt announcement about a mysterious person or situation that you refuse to clarify in a wall post, you are among the worst of Facebook offenders. I will leave you an equally cryptic goodbye message along these lines, “Madame Bishop predicted this would happen to you,” or, “Watch for a package on your porch this week!”

10.)  You write: “ROFL!” I write: “C U L8R”

11.)  Messages to me from God will no longer be subject to the Facebook filtration system. I’m cutting out the middleman – namely, you.

12.)  If I realize that all our mutual friends are people who are just as unfamiliar to me as you are, expect a mass exodus in which you will be taking part.

13.)  If you must post a photo of my likeness that has not been touched up and retouched and, what the hell, retouched one more time, you will be dead to me. On Facebook and in life. Do not test me on this.