Unfriending is a term that comes from Facebook an Internet site that became national in 2006. A decade ago. It means the person who is unfriended remains a friend as listed on an individual’s list of friends and is allowed to continue reading the posts. But the unfriend one no longer reads the other person’s posts.
My son (a major source of my ideas these days) has suggested that unfriending is a new social mode that is having a significant effect on society. It means ‘I know you and recognize you in some way but I’m not listening or paying attention to you. Don’t bother asking me to listen; what you say or do doesn’t interest me’.
That is one interesting statement. Does it characterize an increasing number of contemporary relationships. It is entirely new. A by-product of technology.
What does the new world of unfriended people mean?
In my case, some of my friends who have been unfriended I talk to regularly but I have little interest nor knowledge of their Facebook life. In other cases, my unfriendees have just been dropped out of my life like ordinary ‘former’ friends.
Then there is that strange category of people who I don’t pay attention to who make comments on my Facebook entries. A relationship that doesn’t exist outside the Internet.
So what does our new friendship network look like with the new category of ‘unfriended’? What is it doing to society?