Ever gone to send a message to a friend on Messenger and found that they aren’t listed as a contact?
Or maybe you’ve looked up their Facebook page and their profile doesn’t show up?
This happened to me a couple of months ago.
After a few checks to see whether I was blocked or whether my friend had deleted Facebook, I discovered that I was blocked on everything including as a contact on their mobile phone.
As I had only just spoken to this friend a week or so prior and our banter was as friendly as usual, I assumed something had happened with his new partner.
I reached out to her (as I wasn’t blocked there) and was promptly blocked by her also. …I then just got on with my life.
So… Today I have just confirmed that I was blocked by my friend (which was the surprising part) because:
- I didn’t accept a Facebook friend request from his new girlfriend who I have not met in person;
- In a post that she put up and tagged him in, I liked a photo of him but apparently didn’t like the whole post or all of the other pictures in the post.
RESPONSE TO a:
I DO NOT accept friend requests from ANYONE I have not personally met IN REAL LIFE.
…not even from my friend’s new partners.
This is NOT me being rude.
This is me PROTECTING my family (AS I TEACH EVERYONE ALL OF MY WORKSHOP ATTENDEE’S TO DO)
ACCEPTING FRIEND REQUESTS FROM PEOPLE I HAVEN’T MET:
- If I accepted friend requests from people I haven’t met, I then have to be even more mindful of what personal details I share – because as it is, I choose my friends carefully and have accepted them because I want to share my journey with them. I have MET and TRUST every person on my friend’s list.
- (now is not the time to admit my trust is misguided folks! Haha
- If I accept a friend request from every new partner of my Facebook friends, I (yes, me…) am stuck with the (sometimes) difficult task of deciding what to do if this new relationship doesn’t work out the way my friend hoped and turns sour. I may be happily chatting away with the new partner and my friend now hates them and expects me to continue my loyalty to them. (maybe if I gave it time and added them when I had actually met them, I wouldn’t find myself in this position often. Win for me, right?)
Further, I have no obligation to accept a friend request from ANYONE that I don’t feel like sharing my personal journey with, for whatever reason I don’t want to share it with them.
This doesn’t mean I don’t like you, I have a problem with you or that I am being mean… it just means that MY BOUNDARIES are firm and I want to MEET YOU IRL before we become friends.
Real Life Fact: there are a tonne of people from the dance scene I am involved in and people from our live music associations who have sent me friend requests:
- …maybe I can’t remember meeting them
- …or maybe I decided I don’t know them well enough;
- …or maybe I have offered them an alternative way of being in touch that is possibly more appropriate, like connecting on LinkedIn, talking by messenger, (where they can’t see my private posts about family) or connecting through a public business Instagram account?
MANY of the people who have sent me friend requests that I haven’t accepted yet, have still talked to me the next time they have seen me, become someone I know better (or I now actually know who they are…) and I may have then gone back and accepted the friend request.
…or they have asked about the friend request, we have discussed my boundaries and they understand.
…or we HAVEN’T discussed anything but they have sent out a friend request because they use Facebook in a different way to the way I use it (like to promote their business, band or something else and therefore connect with everyone they meet or have a mutual connection with, but don’t post anything personal …who knows?) and they GET that I may have my reasons for not connecting. …and we still chat, banter and cheer each other on in real life when we are in the same place.
Not accepting friend requests when we don’t invite each other to hang outs at the beach seems to have been acceptable practice to many many many people who have, without guidance, been able to understand that I am not obliged to accept friend requests.
…and knowing that working in the area that I do and COMPLETELY understand the personal risks associated with accepting every friend request I might receive, most people possibly assume I would practice what I preach?
RESPONSE TO b.
I believe I am a CONSCIOUS Facebook user.
As such, I make it practice to exercise NETTIQUETTE as I understand that some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to social media.
Nettiquette is practicing the same politeness one would extend in real life.
Therefore, my usual practice is to like a whole post AND at least one of the other photos in the post, that had both my friend and his partner in them.
So, if I accidentally DIDN’T like every one of their 45,000 loving pictures, (ok – that’s being facetious…) or enough of their picture, or if someone thinks there is a hidden message or meaning in the way I’ve liked…
…there is probably NO HIDDEN MEANING, maybe it was just because:
- just one showed up in my news feed (yes this happens)
- they posted a lot of pics that day and I was in a hurry; or
- ooops. I double tapped (which unlikes) or forgot to tap or there was low reception where I was and the taps didn’t register, it was just an accident…
- …or I just didn’t realise it meant that much to them and in the big picture of all the things I needed to do that day, thought we were good enough friends that if something I was doing on Facebook was bothering them, assumed they would talk to me about it and discover that my lack of love was not in fact a lack of love but a great big misunderstanding.
Maybe they could forgive me for this one little oversight given the fact that I have LIKED MANY of their posts and have said literally HUNDREDS of times how happy I am FOR BOTH THEM that they have found love???
This is also a common practice of mine.
When a friend of mine re-partners I say “I am happy for you BOTH”
Fact is, when one of MY FRIENDS re-partners, I’m happy for MY FRIEND being happy…. because that is the person I have formed a connection with and have previously probably hoped for their happiness
…but to be conscious of people’s sensitivities – I say “YOU BOTH” in all the love I post.
I imagine that if the new partner is as awesome as my friend thinks they are, I will probably be genuinely happy for them both pretty soon anyway.
CONSCIOUS LIKING – ADDRESSING THE TOPIC OF LIKING ALL THE PICTURES IN A POST:
If I like EVERY photo in a set of photos… the person posting AND the people tagged are going to get 26 notifications from me for one post.
I’ll just like the pics that are my favourites, for whatever reason (…and usually the post as a whole for good measure and nettiquette) and get on with my day assuming that my friend and their new partner have received my loving intentions in the way I intended them. <3
Again, I understand that people can become sensitive, but maybe I didn’t really love being BLOCKED by someone I thought knew me better than to assume I was being unfair, unkind, exclusive or mean…
Rather than being upset and BLOCKING me, maybe a better response would be to thank me for my considerate liking of your post and accept the next offer I make for a bbq at our place? 🙂
WHY HAVE I BLOGGED ABOUT THIS?
Because I hear people worrying about this type of thing all the time and there is a really good lesson in here.
Facebook is Facebook.
Try as you might… you will NEVER UNDERSTAND the inner workings of the ways in which your friends interact on Facebook.
In the absence of facial expressions, a smile, a touch or a laugh, it is harder to gauge the meanings behind some people’s interactions on social media.
…some people are CLUELESS about nettiquette
Even for those of us who totally “get it”, practice it and teach it
…we can still get it wrong if the person on the receiving end of our interactions has their own program running their thoughts and they for whatever reason, choose to see our interactions in a way they weren’t intended.
Facebook SHOULD NOT be a judge of ANYONE’S love or RESPECT for their friends. (…unless your friends are being clearly disrespectful and posting rude and/or aggressive remarks)
People are BUSY.
People have OTHER PRIORITIES.
People use Facebook in MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.
Friends we’ve had for life getting silly about Facebook shouldn’t be a thing
….but it is.
Don’t let Facebook get in the way of real-life friendships.
Pick up the phone.
Talk about it.
Use your words and remember that we are adults.
If you are bothered by the way other people use Facebook, you should probably consider whether Facebook is good for your mental health. Maybe it’s time to take a break? <3
…and to my friend and his new partner, as I said this morning thanks for the beautiful friendship you have given me over the years, for the fun times, the hilarious and wonderful memories, the support in seriously rough times and the story for my blog post today. I wish YOU BOTH a long and happy life and the very best on your journey. <3