keep Friends Close, all others discard

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This whole “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a crock of poo that someone is trying to sell you. Many people have been credited with coining this atrocity like the character Don Corleone from The Godfather or Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese warmonger. Neither of them are folks I’d model my life after and neither of them can take credit for the phrase. This quote, bandied about like it’s supposed to mean you’re being intuitive and smart, is by Machiavelli and it’s from the book The Prince, which is about how to be a successful dictator.
“The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes, such as glory, and indeed survival, can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.”

Seriously? Is that how you wish to conduct your personal life and your relationships with other people? I’d have to say that if you’re a General in the military then you might have a point in behaving this way, but when it’s among people you have in your circle of friends, then it’s just sad. 

Facebook has opened a whole new way of keeping your enemies closer.

On Facebook you can keep people on your friend list even when you know they don’t like you and even worse, you don’t like them! This fascinates me and when I find out people are doing it I always have to ask them why. They have numerous reasons for doing it.

So I gave it a try too.

I failed miserably. Even though I went through all the motions of managing this person and taking all the steps involved in being the bigger person, in the end it was just easier to hit the Delete key. Does this mean I’m not the bigger person? Perhaps it does.

Do I care about being the bigger person? Not particularly. Especially if it becomes a colossal pain in my ass. Call me small, I’ll take it as a compliment.

I had this friend that was probably the best at being the bigger person on Facebook than anyone I ever knew. I asked her how she kept it up and she told me that there were several different ways to protect yourself on Facebook, and she employed them all.

She accepted everyone’s friend request, even if she didn’t really like them, so no one’s feelings got hurt. Then she placed them on a list and blocked them from seeing her Feed. So they never saw what she commented about. Then she also edited her own Feed options and blocked their comments. That way she never had to read what they wrote either. So they were a part of her Facebook experience, but not really.

I block games and stuff from my Feed because I find them annoying. I never thought about blocking people from my Feed until she pointed it out as a possibility.

After a while, this got testy for me. I found that I wasn’t free to bounce around and comment wherever I wanted to because someone might see me. Gasp!

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

~Sir Walter Scott

Truer words, my friends, truer words!

I have also deleted mutual friends when someone started bouncing from friend’s page to friend’s pages in order to harass and insult me. Even after blocking this fool he found a way to continue his vendetta. Finally I bit the bullet and just deleted everyone we had in common, except one person. It finally worked! When I completely disappeared, he calmed down and moved on. Did it bother me to let him think he had run me off? No, that did not bother me. What bothered me was losing that connection with people I dearly love. But here’s the deal; my love is a whole lot bigger than Facebook and eventually those connections will be restored whether it be on Facebook, or in real life.

You know, I’ve blogged about this before in Facebook, Safebook, Happybook. I went into great detail about things I’ve experienced since being on Facebook and I talked about how to protect yourself. I am not a fan of this list making and Feed editing to avoid exposure anymore. It’s too much work on something I want to be lighthearted and fun about.

I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in keeping my enemies close, much less on my  friend list in a social network. When I sign on to a Facebook page the last thing I’m thinking about is war and strategy.

Deleting someone from your friend list is not the end of the world and you’ll not only be doing yourself a favor, but the person you deleted too. Think about that. Sometimes your actions will save your real friends from having to put up with a bunch of ugliness on their page because someone keeps attacking you there and other times you’ll be doing something nice for your enemy, like possibly alleviating the stress of having to see you. Now I think that makes you the bigger person by far!

Keep your Friends close, whether it’s on Facebook or in real life. All others, you can safely discard.

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Facebook Advice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to keep Friends Close, all others discard

  1. Pingback: All Friends

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  3. Michi says:

    I agree! Every year, I go through my friends list and delete people I have:
    1. forgotten about (like the girl that sat in the back of my social justice lecture in college, with whom I only spoke, like once).
    2. no interest in maintaining contact with (mainly because I don’t like you)
    3. etc.

    Sometimes though, people notice and try to add you back on! (This recently happened to me). Then what?

    Like

    • It happened to me too. I added her back then ended up closing my page. I think the best thing to do would be not to add them back and just ignore the request. If you see them out and they ask about it you can always tell them that your Facebook is mainly for your family.

      Another great tip is to change the privacy settings on who can view your Friend List. I changed mine to Only Me because my friends kept getting poached by people that really didn’t know them, but knew me. For instance, my sisterinlaw was getting friend requests because she was related to me. I saw this one woman on her page and I knew this woman didn’t know her and had never met her, but my sisterinlaw accepted the request from her because she figured if I knew her then she must be okay. What that woman did was kind of uncool in my book. Especially when I had deleted her from my own friend list months before 🙂 Go figure!!

      Like

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  6. whine-wine-whatever says:

    ARGH. Facebook should not be this complicated. Many of my “friends” are “friends of friends,” a lot of whom I’ve never even met. I don’t think I’ve sent a “friend” request to anyone, except in the very beginning of my foray in FB Land. I’ve accepted a few requests that turned wicked sour eventually, so I’m a tad more careful about the potential for bullshit. Because of circumstances, geography, garbage from the past, and serious health issues/limitations, I don’t have a lot of “real life” friends. That’s okay. My FB pals keep me smiling, and I can invest as much or as little effort as I choose in the friendship. I can count on my FB pals for advice, compassion, honesty, laughter, joy and, yes, friendship. I have lost some real life friends because of death, because of them being overly-judgmental, because of their jealousy, because they became uber-snobs and disapproved of my life decisions. I’ve lost more than a few friends in the last 22+ years since I last had a job and worked for a living, rather than living off the dole of disability. Those people are not friends, nor do I miss their “friendship.”

    When I sign on to FB, I look forward to hanging with friends. I don’t expect to have to worry about strategy or undertow or gossip or hidden meanings. I mean, I want too feel llike we’re all sitting around a table with a cup of Joe or a cocktail, sharing our whatnot with each other. 😀

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  7. Pingback: Facebook; the Wrong Idea | Madeline Scribes

  8. Sometimes I feel left out because I associate with many, many people who start & end their day with FB; and they seem “happy, content and fulfilled”. Always smiling at their phone as they tap away and laugh at pauses and tap tap away, then re-enter their offices and continue their day.
    Until the next time I see them tap tap tapping away. Joy and fulfillment in their day.
    I am trying to fit FB into my day…however I don’t succeed,
    because I haven’t learned to speak the language.
    Call me “old school” but I do not know how to express my happiness,
    sadness, exhilaration,or questions without a tone of voice,
    Instead of BOLD CAP, or italics . So what about “us”? Or what about “them”?
    Are their conversations without need for emotional expression?
    Could that could be one of the secrets that if no one tells you-you have no way to learn? Someone, please, let me know when “FB for Dummies” comes out, I’ll try again…till then,
    I’ll call you or sing you a song, or write you a poem, and please, call me!

    Like

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