Is it wrong to unfriend someone?


Have you ever unfriended someone on Facebook? I have. Before you judge me, hear me out.

I believe we "unfriend" people all the time in the physical world. Think about it, when you encounter a new person, you have the choice to engage them or not, to learn more about them or not, to ask questions and answer questions...or not.  When you choose to engage, I equate this to friending someone on Facebook. Be honest, sometimes you just friend people to "stalk" them, to see what they're all about, maybe even to see if they'd be a good match as a "real" friend.

So, after that initial encounter with someone in the physical world, you then have another decision to make. Do you pursue more contact with that person? Many times the answer is no. Not because they are a horrible person (although that is sometimes the case) but usually because you have little in common with that person or they're simply not someone you'd want to hang out with. No ones fault, sometimes that just happens, and usually it's mutual. I equate this to unfriending someone on Facebook. When you walk away from someone without any intention to engage them again. My faith may convict me to love all people but I don't have to like them.

I've heard the argument that unfriending people is an immoral decision, that it stifles any chance at making connections with people that we deem as too different. Really? How does that play out in the physical world? Do people who make this argument intentionally remain in contact with people that bore them to death, or use offensive humor, or blatantly insult them, or who share zero common interests? I deal with enough of those kinds of people just by chance without choosing to be around them.

So what do you think? Is it wrong to unfriend? Is this a moral decision? Is this an ethical decision? I'm open to hear other points of view, but I might have to unfriend you afterward. ;-}


4 comments:

  1. So far, I've refrained from unfriending people on Facebook. I'm not ususally one that goes off and friends someone to begin with. I've seen people unfriend each other for a wide variety of reasons, some of which you mentioned, posting offensive material, overwhelmed by the seemingly pointless information that some people share via facebook, and differing views over politics just to name a few. Your last statement stuck with me, "I'm open to hear other points of view, but I might have to unfriend you afterward." Now I see you were being humorous by using your emoticon, but I think there's a lot of truth in that statement. How often do we distance ourselves from things we disagree with? In some cases I feel it is an appropriate response, but how often do we do it, too insulate ourselves and what happens when become insulated? I for one think that we become susceptible to falling into a continuous feedback loop, we begin to hear what we want to hear and perhaps no more.
    I don't know what it would take for me to unfriend someone else, I know that it's been done to me. I guess I don't see Facebook as a valuation of who really matters to me and who doesn't. It's a place where I connect with other people, and find out what's going on in people's lives. But I will say this, If I see what games you're playing, or what farm you are building. I will bury those updates, until the final day I log off.

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  3. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's not a moral issue to unfriend people on Facebook. And rather than being "mean" or whatever, I think it can also help us be better stewards of our time - would we waste less time just browsing Facebook if we didn't have to slog through the statuses and information from folks not in our realm anymore?

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  4. Unfriending is something I've really been struggling with. I don't think that not liking the frequency or content of someone's updates is a good excuse for unfriending someone because I think most people know that you can hide updates.

    I've been unfriended a few times which has caused me to reflect on it. It's really hurt me. For whatever reason they deleted me, the thing that hurts me is that, to me, it means that they see no future for us. No reconciliation. Are they going to add me again one day? I doubt it. It's the burning of a bridge in my mind. I felt 'mad' at them for it, but now I find myself wanting to delete people. However, I strive to be enlightened, and I don't know how I can embody unconditional love and forgiveness and cut someone off at the same time. I want to, but I don't know if it's the right thing to do...

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