Day 2: Emerging Dilemmas and Easy Solutions

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

For those not in the facebook generation, shedding 500 friends out of over 1500 seems easy. And yet, already, I am grappling with genuine ethical dilemmas about who fits the criteria for an early exit. In a perfect world, none of the people getting cut would even know I was cutting them; we’d have lost contact so long ago that there’d be no guilt hanging over me as I calmly clicked the unfriend icon. Unfortunately, at some point, some of these people will invariably realize they are no longer part of my virtual–and by extension, real-life–stratosphere. My sister thinks they’ll be hurt. She said she recently tried to scope a long lost casual friend on the book, only to realize said casual friend had removed my sister from her docket of social media cronies. My sister was upset. I sure hope that if people are upset, they’ll re-friend me somewhere down the line, but if I haven’t talked to them since middle school, I’m not sure I want to be on their newsfeed.

I’m also realizing, however, that there is at least one subgroup of facebook friends I can delete without harboring much in the way of regret: married or engaged females from the distant past. I’ve quickly realized that there are a deceptively large number of people in my friend orbit who have already, or are in the process of tying the knot. Among childhood friends with whom I remain close, only one is married. I won’t be axing him or his new bride (though, I may want to, since I still haven’t given them their wedding gift), but any other girls I grew up with who’ve now run away with dudes I don’t know: they’re out like the girl who had fangs on the Bachelor. It wasn’t easy but among today’s first ten cuts was a middle school classmate who repeatedly appears in my bar mitzvah photo album making out with a buddy who remains a friend to this day. As a middle schooler, this girl won the world tap dancing championship in Slovenia (or maybe, Slovakia; that’s neither here nor there) and I was very happy for her, so happy, in fact, that we secretly made out on the last day of 8th grade in the basement of a friend’s house whose old man was a back-up first basemen for the St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, and San Fran Giants. I only remember the location of the quick m.o. session because I worried that if I closed my eyes, I’d fall into the batting cage net directly behind me.  Another childhood friend’s older sister is now married and despite thinking really highly of her when I was 13 and she was 15, I figured our days as anything more than Thanksgiving-eve hello partners at the local bar were numbered. A girl with whom I overtly flirted (and who didn’t flirt back) as a middle schooler also got the boot on account of her own set of pending nuptials. That felt good because I no longer have to look at my newsfeed and cringe, thinking back to my woeful 8th grade game.

Also gone in this round: a young, nerdy, political savant who I met on the Lieberman campaign (should I run for congress, he’ll be immediately re-friended), a dude who unsuccessfully tried to steer me to his frat, a really pretty girl I hooked up with once as a junior in college but knew things wouldn’t work out when I noticed the door-sized matchbox 20 poster on her wall, 1 of a rival high school hoops hero’s 2 profiles (he transferred), a dude I trounced in the 8th grade election for class president, a dude who got bought out of my friend’s on-campus bottled water distribution company, and a legitimately (and inexplicably) resentful and not very nice girl from college who I don’t think liked me at all. Finally, I also had to cut a long time childhood classmate. She will always be remembered for her zany belly laugh and her ecclectic, Hebrew-school teaching father. This was hard because I only have fond memories of her, but those memories are so distant that I just don’t see the reason to remain facebook friends. It was a tough call because it wasn’t done out of spite, but if the goal is 500, there’s certainly going to be some collateral damage.

Totals: 1473. Started at: 1513. Added: 1. Total dropped: 40. Drops needed over the next 48 days: 460. Apologies for: previous post’s totals. I was off for some reason; losing the list of like 6 cuts from yesterday–clearly, they had a lasting impact on me…

  1. Junie says:

    I like it. Definitely not too much snark. Perhaps more tabs? Paragraphs are easy on the eyes.

    Really love the backstories. But what about some topical knowledge-dropping? Media you’ve consumed, news items, gossip…and maybe Willegal could set up some sort of streaming music tracklist on the blog? Nothing gets my reading appetite up like vintage Bigwood Beats.

    Looking good so far.

  2. Walzy says:

    If you continue talking like this:

    “My sister was upset. I sure hope that if people are upset, they’ll re-friend me somewhere down the line”

    then your efforts will be tainted. Anyone can say they aren’t going to buy gasoline for two weeks and make sure to fill up the tank right before the petrolium strike begins and then once again once it concludes. IE. You could can 500 friends in 50 days and refriend 200 of the next day. Stay the course. Be tough.

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