Technology does it again. Technology has made quick work of something most people will have a difficult time doing. In one click of a button, it is now possible to eliminate someone from your apparent life. Problem solved? Not quite.
Confrontation. The enemy of the meek. The initial step to resolution. The dreaded place in any human relation. Confrontation. O how I yearn for thee now.
How does it feel to be unfriended by a friend? I’ll tell you.
In the beginning was convenience. The friend of all. Convenience all the way. It didn’t matter what transpired, what’s been lost, or what’s going to happen afterwards. A quick cutoff is always less painful. I believe it’s the shock factor that desensitizes the brain. However, pain nags. And the memory of pain nags even longer. It’s easy to say short words like, “I’m done” or “let’s not talk anymore.” Better yet, some people just leave silence hanging in the space between, hoping that the space will stretch to infinity until the silence dissipates and the awkwardness no longer exists. It happens, true. And along with the non existing awkwardness also is borne a nonexistent friendship.
Something is much easier than words said or silence combats. It’s called the unfriend button, so readily available to those so eager to lose a friend. It’s the simplest message anyone could ever give. “I’m unfriending you because I no longer want to be your friend.” No brainer. Definitely a heart sinker. Social networking sites make it such a natural thing.
I’m horrible at confrontations. Three years ago, I very much welcomed such wicked gesture towards me. After an unexpected and immature and more than likely misread texting war about roommate-type situations, I exploited the silence route to emotional freedom while she, on the other hand, decided to unfriend me. I didn’t care then. But worst yet, she packed up her bags and left with two months still on the lease. Personally, I didn’t think it was that serious. Really? But it must’ve been enough for her to take it to that sad, empty level of being strangers to each other again. You see, we weren’t just roommates then. We had been wonderfully close friends for about 10 years before that disaster. 10 years of precious fun times and sisterly emotions spent. 10 minutes of careless and tactless texting on both sides. One click of a finger and voila! We have become strangers. We have become two random souls who never talk to each other, let alone apologize for our shortcomings. It was the quick getaway, the perfect resolution. However, we didn’t account for the aftershocks of such a high, solid drop. At least, I didn’t. And now I feel the effects full on.
It is strange now looking back at it. So much has changed in my life since then. I’ve thought about her as a person. I’ve seen her a couple of times at parties of our common friends. There’s no more hurt. The guilt of letting our friendship slip away is what’s haunting me. There’s only sadness there. And frankly, I’m afraid to reach out. I’ve been unfriended once, can I possibly take it again? And this is coming from someone who will circle around chasing my own tail just to avoid confrontation. In matters as such, I admit I’m not so brave. And as much as I strive to be better, it humbles me to think of my many lacks and flaws as a person and how long and narrow that road is to perfection. Whatever distance we have put between us, it’s still awkward after all this time and even more so now. And after all this time, I just feel like a closure of some sorts is optimal for my conscientious health. It bothers me that it bothers me. It’s a door that needs to be closed, whether we become acquaintances again or not. Friendship is a long shot, unfortunately.
So when a friend, lover, sister, brother, or someone close ‘unfriends’ you, how do you try to ‘friend’ them back?