Avada Kedavra: Unfriending With Panache!

Friends, I am not a wizard. There it is – the great tragedy of my life unveiled. Never will I attend Hogwarts or toss back butterbeers in the Three Broomsticks. Despite perfect form, my wingardium never seems to leviosa. However, there is one mortal action that is decidedly wizard-like: unfriending people on Facebook.

In the great social media swarm that is modern life, Facebook is the queen bee. Almost one billion people currently use the site to chronicle important happenings, like the grocery store running out of 1% milk. It stands to reason that, with such life-changing information being shared, one should be choosy with their “friends.” Everyone has their own set of rules. The boy from your third grade swimming lessons may be acceptable, but the girl who has come to your tea shop every day for three years is not. We do not judge your friending system. (Well, okay, I kind of do. Seriously, dude. We have flirtatious, fun banter for years and you memorize how I take my tea, but we can’t be Facebook friends? Crucio!) But what happens when a previously acceptable friend becomes an undesirable? Unfriend them, of course!

Unfriending is, in this day and age, the ultimate insult. With one click of the mouse, a person can be banished forever from your (virtual) world. I’ve known people who went through horrible, bitter break-ups as cool as cucumbers, only to utterly lose their shit when the former partners finally unfriended them. Some people use it to cut from their lives those who have done them wrong, while others just like to periodically cull their friend lists. I know, that’s crazy. Who wants only their actual friends to know every intimate detail of their lives? Personally, I’m not really into unfriending. Sure, there are people on Facebook whom I would hide behind a giant pumpkin to avoid, but unfriending feels so mean. Besides, I’m nosy. I may not want to talk to you ever again, but I do want to make fun of your wedding dress. I’ve never seen much need to banish people from my profile.

Until now.

There’s this girl, let’s call her Celeste, whom I have known since I was a wee young Grace. We were, for a good chunk of that time, the best of friends. Sure, she was a bit negative, but I’ve always been rather cheery, so it seemed a good balance. In high school, I introduced Celeste to my new neighbor, a boy who could match her snarky comment for snarky comment. They were a match made in the middle areas of purgatory. Over the course of college, we grew apart – I was ridiculously busy with school, friends, and organizations, while she was busy planning her future life with Sir Sourface. It was all good. We’d meet for lunch every month or two and, if perhaps our conversation wasn’t as easy as before, we were still friends. I happily attended their wedding and later called to congratulate her on the impending arrival of their spawn.

Fast forward a year. Celeste is now the maid of honor in a mutual high school friend’s wedding. Another dear friend of mine is also consigned to wearing a taupe polyester dress and eating lukewarm chicken and, thus, has been attending all sorts of wedding events with Celeste. Who has, it seems, decided I am a horrid person, rivaled only in pure evil by the creators of pajama jeans.

Yes, that sound you just heard was my head exploding in confusion. The things she has said are not only cruel, but strange, considering the last time I saw her in person was her own wedding day. A day on which I gave her a particularly lovely gift and wished her a lifetime of happiness. I didn’t realize those were the makings of a feud! I would have worn my good feuding pants! So, here’s the thing. What she said, to the face of one of my dearest friends, was horrible. Things meant to wend their way back to me and make me feel, well, less. Unfortunately, I’m not good at that. They just made me, alternatively, moderately angry and amused.

They also made me certain that, for once, I should unfriend someone on Facebook. If anyone deserves it, it’s Celeste. Every time I post a happy status or mention my latest book release date, my joy will be dimmed a bit by the knowledge that she is actively wishing me ill. But, here’s the thing, unfriending is too passive aggressive for my taste. Sometimes, I like to just be aggressive. Instead of her friend count mysteriously going down by one, I want to go out in a fiery blaze of righteous indignation! Facebook, where is my option to send a special message with my unfriending?

I need fireworks, Facebook dear. I want my choice of Harry Potter curses to send her way. I want the music video of N*SYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye!” to pop up, when I press the red button. Hell, I actually want a red button that, when pushed, shows her friend box exploding into space, never to grace my page again. I want her to know I unfriended her and to feel the shame of it for days. Is that too much to ask?

Fine. Perhaps I am more than moderately angry. In reality, she would feel no shame, I know. But when something is given the social importance that unfriending is, it should feel more important when carried out. This doesn’t feel big, but sad instead. Still, I did what my peace of mind required. I have pressed unfriend. Say it with me, friends: Avada Kedavra!

– Grace


24 thoughts on “Avada Kedavra: Unfriending With Panache!

  1. Ha! The idea of a red button, a curse and “Bye, Bye, Bye!” popping up when you unfriend someone made me giggle. You’re right, enough passive aggressiveness, we also need a “don’t like”, or a “hate” button on facebook.

    • Oh, Cécile, I would kill for a hate button on Facebook. Sure it might breed disquiet among communities, but it is the only thing that will stop the ranty, political statuses and misspelled chain letters. We need one!

  2. Weird people out there in the world. I’m recently fuming over this guy who has been spouting off nonsense about me on the Internet. He’s been going around telling anyone that would listen that I’m a cyber-bully, putting up Facebook photo albums entitled “People I don’t like very much” with a screenshot of my face in it, and so forth. Basically, he’s been a total cyber-bully!

    And I don’t understand this at all. I have done nothing to deserve this… all I ever did was lightly tell him off in a gaming forum once because he was writing misogynistic and offensive things on his blog. And now he’s going around calling me a cyber-bully.

    There are some people out there who are really messed up in their heads. Messed up enough to mindfuck mutual friends and create hate-filled photo albums. Who are these people? Were they brought up by gremlins???

    • Ugh. Seriously? What an utter asshat, Drew! I wouldn’t expect better from some crappy misogynistic blogger, but still. There should be screening tests to get on social media – you can’t be a crazy, totally awful human being to interact with others.

  3. Whenever I unfriend someone, I deliver a snappy, James Bond style one-liner right before I click the button.

  4. I’ve only unfriended one person. She liked posting those awful “if you don’t repost this picture of a sick child/beaten dog/starved parakeet, it means you support cruelty to children/dogs/parakeets”, and posting those weird symbol pattern things on my wall, the “Snowball fight! pass it on to 1500001 people or you will live a sad and lonely life!” things. She had to go, though I wasn’t angry enough to want to avada kedavra her ass… just irritated enough that I wish her a lifetime of ‘increase your manhood’ spam. “A curse of penis pump advertisements on you and your family!”

    • Ha! Oh, Lexy. Why J.K. Rowling never mentioned that curse, I’ll never know. Real world Harry Potter would have charmed millions of those ads to be delivered to the Malfoy family.

    • I rarely notice either, honestly. All too often people just delete their accounts, so it’s hard to tell. The only person whom I’ve ever noticed was my brother, who unfriended his entire family, so we wouldn’t see his college party pictures.

    • Adrienne, it felt amazing. So cathartic! I usually opt for marking as spam, also, but this case called for something more final. Oblivion, here she comes!

  5. Oh my dear Grace, I am sorry this wretched woman is being such a twit! I’ve had something like this happen as well and I never understood it either. I know you would love to make her nose grow 10 feet long, have her taken away by Dementors, etc, but take a cue from the Grace that is your avatar. WWGKD? (What Would Grace Kelly Do?) In other words, you are classier than giving in to petty spell-casting! Make like Her Most Serene Highness and be above it all. The nasty woman will eventually get her comeuppance in other ways, trust me.

    • Excellent advice, C&C! If I channeled my dear avatar in daily living, I would probably be a much more serene person. That’s a acronym bracelet I could get behind! (In actual gold, not stretchy plastic, of course.)

  6. How very bizarre of her. Unfriending sounds entirely appropriate. I might even be inclined to pick up the phone – old fashioned as it may be – and call her up to ask what gives with all the slander. But then, I’m one of those who obsesses over people who don’t like me, total waste of time that that is.

    • Not going to lie, I was rather tempted to say something to her. This may be the one time I’ve brushed something off in so successful a manner. I adore being adored, so being the object of active slander is definitely disquieting. It helped that my conscience is clear, I guess. Whatever wrong I’ve done her is entirely fabricated, so I feel no need to defend myself, I suppose. Good riddance to the hater! Though, when we run into each other at Ye Olde High School Reunion in a few years, I may be tempted to make a comment or two, instead of making nice.

  7. I wish there were some theatrics to the unfriending process. If I have unfriended you, it is likely for a good reason, but I’d also like to know when I have been deemed unworthy of Facebook creepery. Perhaps I lead a boring life, but I’d love to have “Bye Bye Bye” sung to me followed by the explosion of the deleter’s profile page. Wouldn’t that just make the whole process better for both parties?

  8. Remember when Facebook was the biggest thing in the world and everyone and their dog was friending everyone? I got caught up in that big time. Then last year I realised I didn’t really care what that girl who I was in one class with at uni was doing with her every day life. Mass unfriending!

    Be great if you could have the option of a big ol’ dramatic event happening when you unfriend someone and you want them to be made painfully aware of the fact. Like the old Tango ads that did the rounds here in the UK. I want this guy to come and alert someone of getting unfriended:

    Only less comical…

  9. Well said – I have several dozen nutters on my facebook page all ranitng and raving about things – I rarely look at it but am glad they live for the most part several thousand miles away

  10. I’m one of those weirdos without a facebook (I used it to procrastinate and stalk… neither of which I have much time for between drinking and working – tee hee) but I indentified with someone all of a sudden deciding they hate you. Why do girls do that?!

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