Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Facebook Friends

I had an interesting discussion with a co-worker last week about Facebook and "friends" on it.

He shared a meme making fun of people posting about every time they go to the gym. In his repost he mentioned not caring about people posting that either. He got one reply to it from a "Facebook friend" who called him a hypocrite because he posted a few times over the years about going to the gym. He was incensed, flamed the guy, and then removed him as a friend.

This "Facebook friend" was someone he knew to say hi to about 5-6 years ago. Basically an acquaintance. Not a real "Friend". Yet someone he added to Facebook. He hasn't actually seen or talked to this person in 4 years, since the acquaintance moved away. This is the only thing his "friend" has commented on in the last 4-5 years, even when they were living in the same city.

He wondered why the "friend" would make a comment like that but nothing else over the years. I told him the answer is easy, Facebook, hell the internet in general, allows people to act like twats. People troll with impunity because they don't care and/or believe they won't get caught. A lot of people use the internet as an excuse to be an asshole and say things they wouldn't face to face.

The guy was an acquaintance not a real friend years ago. Why have him as a friend on Facebook if that was the case? Just to pad your number of friends and make yourself look important to ... hell I don't know ... who really cares how big someone's "Facebook friend" list is?

My co-worker seemed to think he was wronged by the guy's comment. If that is all the guy had to say in all the years why bother saying it? To which I replied with two questions. 1) Why would you care what someone you haven't talked to in years and who was just an acquaintance thought? 2) Why would you even have someone you don't talk to or think about as a friend.

He had no answer to that.

I told him not to feel bad about that. A lot of people are in the same boat as him. Myself included. I accepted friend requests years ago from people who were just acquaintances and I have never talked to since leaving South Korea. Then, we shared friends and would see each other from time to time when out. Usually at "beverage" establishments. Since leaving Korea, nothing. That works both ways though. None of us (There are a few acquaintances from that time in my life who are "Facebook friends") has had anything to do with the other since I left South Korea. I have only really made an attempt to keep in touch with my actual friends from those days.

The other day I shared a meme about people posting about what they ate for breakfast and people not caring. An acquaintance from way back then left a comment basically calling me a hypocrite because I had posted a lot of food pictures over the years.

In a way he was right, in a way he was wrong. I was commenting on people who post pics of everything they eat all the time when I shared the meme. I also created the album and posted the pictures starting way back because friends at home asked about foreign foods, and students in Korea asked about foods outside of Korea. Yet, he was right to a degree, I had posted pics like that.

What to do? Should I react like my co-worker? Attack back and remove the person? Why bother? The OLD acquaintance really doesn't matter in my life. Looking back, they never really mattered or they would have advanced from acquaintance to friend.

I almost commented "Wow, only time you have ever posted on my Facebook page in 5+ years and it is to troll. What a fucktard you are." But why bother? He would either be happy he "got to me" by being a troll (which after looking at how he comments on Facebook seems to be the truth) or not care because we don't communicate.

In the end, it really just made me realize that I should clean my friend list up and get rid of the acquaintances who I gave friend status to.


  1. I think if you post something on Facebook, you should be prepared for negative comments. A couple of my friends (who are also family members) posted things that I commented on. I strongly took issue with their posts. I got no pushback from them at all. It's like they put these opinions up, but weren't ready to defend them. So much for a lively debate.
    But I agree that the friends list needs pruning every once in a while.

  2. You are right and I don't mind deal with dissenting opinions. Obvious trolling by acquaintances is another thing.

    I have since looked at my friend list and have a few on it that have me shaking my head. They are only there because I knew them from going out in Korea, or they were a friend of a friend that sent a request. Not real friends.

    Time to prune. :)