Lately, I've felt the need to "de-friend" certain people that I've been close to at certain points in my life but are no longer. It's only a handful of people, but it still means something to me.
The nature of my friendships and relationships are changing. Boys I was once very close friends with are now married. Girls I used to see multiple times a week have boyfriends or husbands and have dropped off the face of the earth. Couples are having babies, old boyfriends have girlfriends (or boyfriends), and many single people I know go out a lot while I'm beginning to stay in more and more.
My point is not to expound on how all of this makes me feel but to express that times are changing, and it makes me think about the natural ebb and flow of friendships and relationships, and how a thing like Facebook counters that. In reality, people move in and out of our lives at different times, and this is healthy. It's strange, however, that now when someone moves out of our real lives, we are able to read on Facebook what they ate for lunch or see pictures of their wedding to which we weren't invited.
If we could, I'm sure we'd remain friends with everyone we'd ever been friends with or dated in the past, but life doesn't offer that. Even as we accept this natural, sometimes difficult, progression of real life relationships, Facebook throws us a curve ball.
It may just be me, but it doesn't seem right that someone who won't return my phone calls would write on my Wall to tell me: I've been stalking your photos. Looks like you're doing great!, Let's hang out soon!!, or I miss you!!!
It also feels unhealthy to have the ability to see my ex-boyfriends' engagement, wedding, and/or baby photos.
With most people, the superficiality of a Facebook friendship doesn't bother me, and there are different reasons for this that I won't explain now. Concerning a handful of others, however, it's become problematic. I find myself looking at their photos, scrolling through their wall, and a sadness and sense of loss overwhelms me, even if only for a few minutes.
I've gotten to the point that as soon as this behavior begins, I remove these people from my Facebook friends. While it feels like a necessary and healthy thing to do, it also makes me feel... silly. When someone fades from my real life for reasons out of my control, I have to make the conscious effort to remove them virtually as well?
I worry these people will see that I've de-friended them and conclude I dislike them, but reality is the opposite. To "de-friend" is a weird way of saying, "I liked/like/loved/love you too much to merely be your Facebook friend."