Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Unfollowing friendships

So today is that day. I’m not even going to bother checking my timehop today because I remember how raw my feelings were when I posted on Facebook and Twitter about my dad passing away.

Three years ago, I really thought I had many friends on social media. Maybe I did… but I know that I had not a single “friend” show up at the funeral. Not one. And when I was hospitalised later that year, I also had zero visits from any “friend”. 

That year was one of the worst (second only to my divorce year in 2008), but at least I learned some things.  Mainly, I learned to fall out of love with my twitter followers. Not everyone is your friend… And that’s ok. I cut out a large percentage of my followers and don’t speak to any of the Cape Town “twitterati” anymore since that year. I have zero desire for any more tweetups. My life got a little bit more offline and, these days, I do share a whole lot less. Then again, I also have a lot less drama in my own life and very little interest in other people’s drama.

The internet is still an amazing place with lots of potential for magical connections. I still have close friendships with people I’ve never met in real life (through StumbleUpon mainly). But a real friend shows up in real life. A real friendship requires action and time. A real friendship has more than 140 characters.

I still have quite a few “friends” online and offline that I know aren’t real friends. We are friendly and nice to each other but I know that I only have a few people that I can call up at any hour and rely on them. Lord knows I am so very done with unreliable people. And I cut them out much more easily (and quickly) these days.

Anyway, I guess I’m still angry at the people I was friends with at that time that never showed up for me. I’m not quite over it and I suppose I will have to let it go. But it’s made me much more aware of who I can trust and perhaps also made me a little too aloof with new people.

It’s my self defence system, I guess. When I am your friend, I will give 100% of my loyalty and I have to know for sure that you’re not going to bail on me. So I wait and see and check people out for a long time before I “commit” to the friendship. Not many stick around for that but it’s ok for now.


People are hard work.


edit. thanks to cath jenkin for linking to this article about our "online generation." in short... this is just how we are... but it sucks sometimes.