There have been multiple studies and stories done on the effects of social networking and how the phenomena is making needy narcissists of its users. As someone using social networks in a semi-professional fashion, I'm well aware of the conflicting desires to tell people to "Like" me, please, but to think "I'd rather you liked me for what I write than because I know a little about manipulating the medium."
And when I notice that I'm not only NOT being liked but I've been DE-friended, the response is quite enlightening. As always, it was because of something I said, that I (probably) should not have said. Warning to potential friends: I will say whatever I think needs to be said to get what I think needs doing done, as quickly as possible. Especially when it's an urgent matter. Sometimes my word choices are unwise.
Interestingly, if this had happened even a few months ago I would have been devastated. To have somebody I respect and value choose to de-friend me would have pushed all my low self-esteem buttons. I would have reacted with sadness, self-doubt and possibly anger (Maori have a concept called Utu that has often gotten us in trouble when we respond in the heat of the moment).
But, since I've been home, I've started to learn a little about my whakapapa, or genealogy, and the most interesting part of that has been to learn that much of what I thought was true is not. There have been some fascinating revelations, many of which would be disturbing if I hadn't finally come to terms with who I am now, and that all who went before me are part of that.
So, when I was de-friended by this particular friend (who remains a friend, in my mind, I would never choose to de-friend her, even when we disagree), I was sad, but also amused. I've de-friended someone myself in a fit of pique after an e-mail attacking me (have you looked up "inevitable" in a dictionary yet, btw?) and it comes with its own modern-day etiquette issues. You can't take it back without having to send a new friend request, in which case the ex-friend realizes they are an ex, if they hadn't already noticed. And most of us whose Facebook friends are, for the most part, real friends, have mutual friends so still get to see each other's goings-on on other's Walls. Then realize we can't comment, so have been banished to ether exile.
And yes, what I said was meant as a joke, but also to get you to realize the urgency of the matter, and I realize this post is unlikely to resolve the matter. How do I say "whatever" in Te Reo Maori?