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.
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!