Virtually Dumped

Due to the rise and surge of social media, our personal lives have changed so dramatically in the last five years that it is difficult to remember what life was like pre-Facebook, Twitter or in this instance, WordPress and the blogosphere. Ahh, the unique joys and sorrows of virtual friendships… So easy to make and even easier to break.

If you’re active at all in social media, you’ll know to what I referring when I mention getting dumped virtually. Although the one-sided, electronic break up is bound to happen from time to time—not unlike a real break up—it stings a bit when it does occur. You wake up one day without a care in the world, log on to your social media site of choice and voila! You realize you’ve one less “friend” or “follower” than you had the night before.

In the case of Facebook, I’ve learned to no longer care if and when this happens. I don’t tweet, so I can’t speak to the Twitterverse arena of the issue, but I DO blog and I think it is safe to say that in the world of blogging, losing a virtual follower can often leave a bit of virtual mark. It is especially ouchy if the ex-follower in question at one time featured you and your blog on their personal page.

Sad to say, I was dumped from a fellow writer’s blogroll a week ago. And being the neurotic, obsessive person that I am… I took to Google to see if there were any articles floating around in cyberspace devoted to the matter. There were not. Perhaps I, clearly the MOST neurotic, narcissistic, obsessive blogger IN THE WORLD, should be the one to write one, lest another pathetic dumpee similar to myself takes to Google in search of some e-comfort?

What I DID find, was a general article on “getting dumped” — you know, like in REAL LIFE. To be fair to the writer of that article and the inspiration for this post, here is the address: http://fearlessmen.com/getting-dumped/. After reading it, I realized that perhaps there are some similarities between the REAL and the VIRTUAL types of dumping. Thus, the following are the reasons given in the article for why a person may have been dumped in the real world, accompanied by a few “personal thoughts” pertaining to the cyber realm.

1. BoredomOK, so maybe my posts don’t scratch where you itch. I am who I am. Deal with it. Well, I guess you did. You dumped me. I’m sorry if I didn’t sufficiently entertain you.

2. Too Needy / Too ClingyUmmm… Perhaps my creation of this post is enough to illustrate this one? I hope you don’t mind that I wrote it. I really wish I knew how you felt about this one. Maybe I shouldn’t even post it? What do you think? I miss you.

3. Too JealousWhy do you always comment on THEIR stuff and not mine!? You NEVER comment on my stuff! You must think they are cooler/hipper/smarter/prettier/skinnier/wittier/more interesting than me! Why am I not good enough for you!?!?

4. Trying too hard too soon OR not trying hard enoughAre my comments and observations too lengthy or too short? Are there too many or too few? I soooo wish I knew so I could change and make this all better. Then again, sometimes I don’t really care what you think.

5. Lost Interest / Ran out of infatuation / Honeymoon is overPerhaps you’re tired of what you initially thought were extremely astute, brilliant and hilarious observations… and have now grown weary of repetitive entries about Spanx, wrinkles, alarm clocks, ill-fitting clothing, aggressive driving, rude people and a freakishly-abnormal fear of insects. Is that it? Was that the one that put you over the edge?

7. Chemistry / Different Directions / It isn’t what you or he/she thought it wasAlright, so maaaaybe I wasn’t what you expected me to be. But please don’t give me the “It’s not you, it’s me” bit because I know, baby, it was me. Otherwise I wouldn’t be the one sitting here in sweats and a dirty t-shirt with the remote and a wad of Kleenex in my lap, watching Beaches and putting my thighs in serious jeopardy with this quart of Ben and Jerry’s.

Advertisements

Me and My Minus-One

Everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to Facebook friending. Some are quite conservative with letting people into their virtual worlds, while others may “friend” every single person they met in the bar on any given night.

I believe I fall somewhere in the middle. I won’t friend everyone I meet or accept every friend request I get, but I am more liberal than many of my real life (RL) friends when it comes to “friending behavior.”

For example, if someone friends me and I don’t know them per say but we have a lot of friends in common, I usually accept. If I meet someone and we really seem to connect or they are someone I can see myself developing a RL friendship with, I will friend them.

From time to time, I get teased by my family or friends for having what they consider to be a large-ish number. I tell them it’s because I have lived and worked in several different states, and as a result, have met a lot of people from all over our 50 states with whom I wish to stay connected.

Now, I don’t think of my “number” of friends as a status symbol, personal affirmation of worth or a mark of my popularity in the world. So I don’t care WHAT the number is. But that doesn’t mean I don’t KNOW what it is. Exactly what it is. At any given time. Maybe there are some hidden, narcissistic implications in that, but I really don’t care. I’m not going to waste precious minutes with my therapist talking about “the number.”

Anyway… Over the years—since I know what the number is at any given time—I also know when I have been… (gasp)dumped. Perhaps some of you have also experienced this. I can’t be the only one who kinda keeps track. Right? Please tell me I’m not alone. You look at your friend list from time to time and notice that the number is smaller than before. It isn’t everyday and it is usually only by one or two at a time. But still you can’t help but ask yourself: “I wonder who the one-time-friend-turned-traitorous-@$$hole is who dumped me?”

I have never tried to find out. I am aware that there is an app for this. An app for seeking out the bastard who ditched me, casting me carelessly to the curb alongside the information superhighway and right into the roadside weeds of the world wide web. But I have never wanted to waste the energy trying to find out. I mean, the higher your number, the harder it would be ferret out the little $hit anyway. Not worth the effort. Not that I haven’t wondered who it was.

In recent months, however, I have quite serendipitously learned the identity of 3 of the perpetrators. The first was in just looking for the guy. He was an old (RL) friend of whom I decided I wanted to ask a question. I typed in his name and he was gone. Just gone. I checked my friend list and he was gone. I checked mutual friends’ lists and he was gone from there too. And YES, I did a little digging into the matter. Long story short, he dumped Facebook. And YES I suddenly felt a little bit better about myself and this particular minus-one.

The second one I like to call Teflon Travis (not his real name) because I had a notification that he had commented on something that I had previously commented on and whenever I clicked on it… I got bounced right back to my own homepage. I “bounced” myself a half a dozen times before I figured out that I’d just been dumped. Another check of the friend list confirmed my suspicions.

The third one was, to me, the most shocking of all. I was reading an old “note” I had written (much like a blog entry) because that was where I used to keep my writing before starting this page. And this person, I’ll call her Disappearing Delores, used to LOVE my writing (at least she said she did). She was always one of the first to comment and made such funny contributions. She and I would go back and forth with several “comments” to one another at the end of many of my notes.

So in this note that I was reviewing, I noticed that the old comments were ALL mine and there were NONE from her. Another quick check of the friend list (I was getting good at this) and yes… she was gone too. And my comments looked so sad and silly like I was having a conversation with an imaginary friend. I would start many of them: “Haha. How true! And you know, Delores… Blah. Blah. Blah.” I didn’t cry or anything. But yes, I wondered where she’d gone. She’s still on Facebook… I guess she just didn’t want to be my friend anymore. Bitch.

I wonder what I did to piss her off? I know that’s why I dump people… because they piss me off. And that’s pretty much the only reason. I wonder if the people I have dumped ever wondered why it is that I dumped them? I guess we’ll never know. All we dumpees can do is pick ourselves up out of the weeds, dust ourselves off and move on. Just us and our now-smaller number of “friends.”

I know what you’re thinking… Maybe it’s not such a bad idea for me to spend a few precious minutes with my therapist talking about “the number” after all.