Facebook is interesting for me. Out of the social networks, it feels the most personal. I think it’s because, in my limited circle, I’m only connected with family or quite close friends. This has been deliberate and I’ll often let new friend requests linger inappropriately if I’m not actively connected to them in the ‘real’ world.
Recently I realized that one of my facebook friends had also become a very close and important work colleague. This was troubling as I had always declined friend requests from people I was actively working with. It felt important to me to have some distinction between work life and play life. Perhaps I didn’t think it through fully, but the next time I saw this colleague I let her know that a ‘defriending’ was on the horizon and shared my reasoning. I was really shocked and saddened that her reaction showed that this had come as a bit of a blow! In hindsight, I completely understand. After all, it’s a brutal choice of online vocabulary – you friend someone, like someone repeatedly, and then the only option for separation is to suddenly de-friend them. This is starting to bring up flashbacks from 8-year-old playground memories . . .
As I wrestled with this entanglement, a stroke of luck occurred. My colleagued was moving on to a new fabulous role with another company. So we were once again, old versus current colleagues. The question remained . . . would she rise above the limitations of social media and once again accept my friend request? I’m happy to report that she did, even without making me suffer in unknowing virtual limbo. In the end, I reckon re-friending is even more JOYous than friending in the first place.