The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Facebook Friends

Aquaman along with the other prominent charact...
Aquaman along with the other prominent characters from Super Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         I've been working on getting my A to Z posts finished up before the start of the 2016 Challenge.  This is the opening week!  The first post will be this coming Friday.  To complicate things for me it looks like I've been called away for that first week so it will slow me down considerably keeping up with blog visiting.  Yikes! It's going to be a frantic start for me.

          Also on that opening day I'll have a Battle of the Bands post that will open up my April Theme Series of Manhattan.   I'll be featuring a song that I like a lot and I hope you'll like it too.   And two fantastic versions as well.  So I hope you'll join me and vote on that Battle.

Facebook Friends

        Recently I received an odd message on Facebook.  Now, I'm well aware that some of you avoid Facebook and I can respect that.  Personally I'm mainly there to keep up with family members and certain other folks.  I don't read that much on Facebook and don't visit that much.

          However in the case of the message that was addressed specifically to me, it came to my attention from an email notification.  I'm not sure how those Facebook messages work or who can see them, but this particular one showed up in my regular stream of postings.   My first wife saw my response to the message and joked about it which led to a bit of banter between us.  A blogger who is a Facebook friend joined in the repartee with a bon mot of her own so I guess some people could see  the original declaration of disassociation.

          The message said something like, "I see you like ( _____ ).   I'm going to unfriend you."  I won't say what was in the blank or who the sender was because that's not the real point of the irony in this story.

          I pondered the message a moment then it came to me that actually I don't even know this person--not in my physical world.  I think I know a little about this person just from what this person writes online. There are photos of the person online, but I can only assume the photos are the person in question--it's not a thing that I actually know.

         Most of us in the blogging community probably refer to each other as friends if we frequently visit each other.  It's a different kind of friendship though.  When I've actually met someone face to face and got to know them or maybe talk to them on the phone now and then or have an ongoing back and forth written correspondence then maybe those are more like friends.  Friendships are on different levels and mean different things.

          To actively make an announced effort that another person is unfriending me seems weird and ironic for sure.  The person could have just quietly without any fanfare clicked whatever one needs to do in order to disconnect contact with me.  Or better yet they could have sent me a longer message or an email to let me know why they were bothered.

         To stop being "friends" because of something another person likes seems peculiar to me in a way.  To my knowledge I'm not even sure the other person got the information from anything I said--certainly not on Facebook.   Maybe on Twitter since I do say some random stuff there sometimes.

          It doesn't matter all that much to me.  The unfriending or shunning process on social media just struck me as something curious and even interesting.  Surely media researchers and psychologists have done or are doing studies on this topic.  It's the new age of developing friendships.

         I don't think social media friends will ever adequately replace friends that I can sit down to talk with in person. On the other hand it's nice to have you readers as my friends.  I hope you don't ever unfriend me.

         Have you ever been "unfriended" on a social media site?  If so, how did you feel about it?  Do you have friends that you do things with in your physical life?    What are some things you like to do with friends?





64 comments:

  1. Only in the cyber world does one get unfriended publically.
    Yes, I've gone through the drama of the unfriending. And that's usually all it is - a bunch of high school drama. You'd think people would outgrown that.
    And it is very different with real world friends because you can spend time with them.

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    1. Alex, it's good if people can sort out their differences, but with online relationships people don't seem to have the time or patience for that. It's just easier to make snap judgments without complete evidence and shuck those who might be in a opposing camp of thought. Sad.

      Lee

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  2. Some people consider the number of FB friends they have to be a testament of their likeability. Perhaps it's true. I don't know. My nephew unfriended me, but then he unfriended all of his relatives. I never found out what that was all about. One thing that bothered me more was losing a follower on my blog. I have under 100 followers. Well, I had 98, but then a couple of months ago I lost one and now have 97. I don't know what that was about either. But I have read a few posts about people paring down their reading lists.
    I'm envious that you have all of your A-Z posts ready to go. Yikes, I'd better get a move on!

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    1. Lynda, don't let me mislead you--I'm working on my posts but still have a ways to go before I'm completely finished. I'll probably still be working on them in April.

      I've gotten used to losing blog followers. It seems like I've been hovering in the same range for over a year, sometimes losing a few and then gaining a few more back. I don't go looking for FB friends, but I rarely reject a Friend Request unless it's a suspicious sounding one. Only once have I hidden the streams coming from one of my "friends" and that's when his thread took over the pages with MLM ads, never because of anything I disagreed with anyone about--and there are plenty of those posts from what I've seen in my rare visits to FB. Someone unfriending relatives must have something to hide.

      Lee

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  3. I hope all goes smoothly for you in the Challenge Lee, as you can see I have my PC BACK HOME. As for Facebook I was thinking of going back to it as it's been a few years since I was last there.....now I'm not so sure.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, glad you got your PC back. Hope it stays working well for a while. Don't let me scare you from FB. Be sure to chose your "Friends" wisely.

      Lee

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  4. I've never understood people who base friendship on having the same opinions, like and dislikes, etc. To have your Facebook message visible publicly is a violation of your privacy. Nobody should be able to see those except you and the sender. Something wrong there!

    Good luck with the challenge, Lee. I'm only up to G with completed posts and will be scrambling again. Yikes!

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    1. Debbie, I think the person who sent the message purposely sent the message in the main stream so everyone could see it because that same person is among a block of FB users who advocate something that I don't agree with and do so in a much stronger and sometimes offensive manner. I just ignore their posts and so far haven't "unfriended" any of them. If I do it will be quietly. I'm not much further than you are on my prewritten posts although I'm finished with Wrote By Rote posts except for the letter "Z".

      Lee

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  5. At least when they unfriended you, you could repost the post and make as many snide comments as you want. lol, you can tell I taught high school. I would not do that, maybe. If it was funny enough. However, people that fanatical are a little scary to me. I don't know if I would test the water.

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    1. Ann, I didn't want to make to big of a deal out of the initial incident, but I was surprised when my ex left her friendly ribbing. I'd rather just let weird comments like the original one just kind of die away.

      Lee

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  6. I have friends from teaching that I get together with on occasion. We talk for hours. I've probably been unfriended but I never noticed or cared if I did. I have unfriended people who constantly spout political views on Facebook and I've blocked people on Twitter. I don't need that BS.

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    1. Susan, I don't mind intelligent observations about the political scene, but some of the weirdness that I've seen I don't need. Maybe some folks think I post weirdness too, but no big deal to me.

      Lee

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  7. Oh, yeah, I saw that when it happened. It made me laugh. It was definitely meant as a political statement, but using your friends like that in an effort to make a political statement is kind of cheap.
    If I unfriended all the people who had different political views from me, I'd lose most of my list, I think.

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    1. Andrew, if I lost all of my FB "friends" it would easier for me to find posts from my real life friends and more importantly my family members. If we all believed the same things and were consumed with the same interests then we'd not have much to talk about. And the conversation might tend to get a bit dull and repetitive.

      Lee

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  8. First, I want to say that I am starting my A to Z challenge blog visits early. I know it's really early, since April isn't until Friday, but I really want to try to visit all the blogs (bit ambitious maybe), so I am starting early to get a head start.

    I also want to comment on the post itself. I use Facebook just to keep up with friends and family and I am not friends with anyone that I don't know in the physical world. Thanks for sharing!
    Cassie from Mommy, RN

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    1. Cassie, it's never too early to start your visits. My original intent on FB was to only be connected with family and old friends. Then I started getting requests from blog friends and didn't like turning any of them down. Some of my old physical friends can be just as annoying as certain virtual friends if not more so. I just let it all go--at least so far.

      Lee

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  9. That's pretty weird that they felt inclined to tell you they were unfriending you. I've unfriended a few online people on FB for one reason or another. But I don't make announcements about it. Usually it's due to our relationship has long ended, or they're posts are offensive to me for some reason. Pretty much why anyone unfriends social media "friends." Then there's my longtime blogging friends who I really do consider as friends, even though we've never met. Facebook is weird anyway. Sometimes I wish it would just go away!

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    1. Karen, I don't think there is any reason at all to announce an unfriending, but in this person's case they are involved with a certain block of people who are particular vocal about what they believe and what they support.

      Lee

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  10. I know I've been unfriended because I'm able to add "friends" every once in a while before I hit facebook's arbitrary ceiling for friendship. However, no one's been unfriendly enough to tell me about it, and then to tell me it's because of my personal opinion on something. Guess you have a special "unfriend."

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    1. C.Lee, I knew about Twitter's ceiling and follower ration, but I didn't know FB had a ceiling. My "unfriend" might be one of your friends since the person is a blogger. I've had friends come and go in my lifetime but usually they just kind of fade away without me noticing until long after they've gone.

      Lee

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  11. I have an ever growing list of "friends I would lose if they unfriended based on politics." That's why I confine FB battling to leftists that are friends of somebody else but not me, lol!

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    1. CW, I mostly avoid politics on FB, but might say things on Twitter because I often feel like less people are "listening" there. Really though I don't care that much and most of the time people on FB don't even read what I say.

      Lee

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  12. I have just recently dipped my toe into the world of Facebook. My friends are pretty much limited to family and few outsiders. Recently I joined sites that are about my town and county when I was growing up.
    I just don't know, Lee. Social media has many hooks.

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    1. Susan, you're starting off right I think. That's the way I did it and then as I started blogging I started getting all sorts of friend requests and figured I shouldn't turn them down. It doesn't matter all that much to me as I don't go to FB that much, but when I do I have to wade through a lot of posts that don't mean that much to me. On the other hand I've made some pretty cool reconnects to my past.

      Lee

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  13. That is so weird! I'm sure I've been unfollowed on my blog and twitter account, but it's all been done on the down low...so far,

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    1. HR, I'd just as soon not know unless it was something that I had legitimately done that could be rectified in some way. Social media contacts come and go I guess so not much to be concerned about.

      Lee

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  14. It is weird when people do that. They weren't real friends anyway.

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    1. L.Diane, makes me kind of wonder about the person that did it, but I shouldn't have been surprised as that person and I got off on a bad footing from the start in 2010. I think this person is just kind of strange and associates with equally strange company.

      Lee

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  15. Maybe they were expecting you to beg not to be unfriended and to denounce the thing you liked that they didn't. Or they were just being stuck up. I've never had that happen. I did have someone post a passive aggressive status that basically said 'if you don't like [this thing] then just unfriend me'. I know it was for me to because I had just posted an update on my own saying there was a lot of that thing on my timeline so I just hid them and added an LOL at the end because it wasn't a big deal to me. I just didn't want to see that thing so I hid it. What's even funnier is that person replied to my status saying 'Oh, that's probably me. LOL' And I replied to them saying they had a good reason to be posting that thing and I was happy for them.

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    1. Patricia, a lot of times people will say things online that they would never say directly to a person's face. It's kind of bizarre, but it's not worth fretting too much over. It makes for a fun blog post once or twice. I wouldn't want to see anybody posting all the time on the topic.

      Lee

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  16. I've been unfriended but I've also done my fair share of unfriending too. Same with blocking and being blocked. Whatever. The amount of political posts are really annoying on FB, and b/c I can't stand Trump, I've been hiding sites and people that support him, although most of my friends despise the man too.

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    1. JoJo, I see posts that I don't agree with and just keep scrolling past unless something really intrigues me to check it out. Otherwise, the posts are there but I'm not paying much attention.

      Lee

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  17. I'm with Alex; it sure seems easy to be unkind on social media; under the perceived protection of the invincibility afforded by titanium technology. I use FB to keep in touch with distant family though sometimes I pretend I didn't see a post so as not to get involved (grin)with whatever they're ranting about. I thought of unfriending someone for being mean to my daughter once, then it occurred to me the person was not my friend to begin with ;-)

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    1. Diedre, I've considered unfriending but have never done it. FB is just not a forum that I'm frequently on.

      Lee

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  18. It always feels so personal when I realize I've been unfriended, since that person had to go to my profile page and click the unfriend button. It feels particularly hurtful when I've been friendly with that person, like leaving congratulatory messages about birthdays and pregnancy announcements. I was going to one person's page to congratulate her on the birth of twins recently, and discovered we were no longer friends. She probably did it because we don't know one another very well, though we're still in the same network, with a lot of mutual friends.

    I recently did my first unfriending, because I was informed it was a certain person's sock account.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I'd never heard the term "sock account" before, but now that I know, I have seen those types of accounts. I figured the people were just weird when they did that.

      I don't take "unfriending" personally if I don't know about it. Actually without someone telling me I guess I'd never know.

      Lee

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  19. This happens to me often on one of my Facebook pages. I never let it bother me. If you have to announce you are unfriending me I don't like you:)
    I am frantically trying to get some posts prepared, I am speaking at a conference in Vegas and have several book events and a bunch of deadlines in April. It is going to be a challenge for sure, I love it!

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    1. Doreen, you are busy, but it's a good kind of busy to be. I wish you well with your multiple endeavors.

      Lee

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  20. I find it all rather silly that people unfriendly because of something one said or whatever. We don't go around saying to our friends we see that we will decried them. This only tells me that all the "friends" we have on Facebook etc.. We must take as a grain of salt. Some do become last friends and we actually meet up but many just hit"like" and the. I've on. I was unfriended but didn't even notice until months later-hahahaaaa. Oh well. My friends I see in person. Is much more lasting in my book. We go out to dinner or we may go to the museum but most often, we visit each other at our homes and talk and/or play games

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    1. Birgit, it's easier to keep track of tangible friends that ethereal virtual friends. Some of the latter might not even be real for all I know.

      Lee

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  21. Ah, the drama queens of social media.

    Yep, I've been unfriended and unfollowed, and sometimes it's really hurt my feelings, especially if it's someone I thought was an actual friend (or at least a blogging one).

    My instinct is often to wonder what I did wrong, but I'm trying to remember those weren't my people, and not everyone is going to like me.

    Social media has turned our lives into a giant popularity contest. It's really strange sometimes.

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    1. J.H., it is indeed strange. There is like a gap that divides virtual friends in that we don't know most of what's going on unless that virtual friend posts every detail of their life. And even then we don't know for sure.

      Lee

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  22. I mainly use my Facebook page to keep up with a handful of friends, share encouraging quotes or verses, and promote my blog. If I "unfriend" someone I do it quietly. I have seen far too many posts that go something like this: "Congratulations! You made the cut, if you are seeing this, you are still my friend." or "I just unfriended 100 people and it felt good." I really do not understand those people and their constant need for attention and drama.

    Outside of social media, I love sitting in a quiet place and talking with my friends, we don't have to go anywhere, I just enjoy their presence. Movies and shopping are fun, too, though :)

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    1. Elizabeth, I think those "Congratulations" messages are some kind of automated thing from services like "Who Unfollowed Me". I don't even know if the people they appear to come from are aware of those messages being sent out.

      Virtual friendships can have some advantages, but it's nice to be with a person you can actually see and hear.

      Lee

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  23. I don't usually unfriend on Facebook although I do hide updates from some folks who tend to get a little crazy with their political memes. On Twitter I tend to unfollow those who do nothing but send "buy my book" tweets or "get 1000 new followers" -- I'm trying to update my lists so I can easily find the tweets from my writer and blogger friends. With my real life friends, I love to meet in a breakfast place to eat and visit for a yummy and uplifting start to the day.

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    1. Patricia, if a Twitter follower request appears to be someone self-serving as you describe I don't follow them in the first place. They are usually pretty easy to spot. If I do manage to follow one of those I usually don't notice since I rarely look at my Twitter feed for very long. Breakfast with a friend is nice--I haven't done that since last summer.

      Lee

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  24. Lee, I don't get why anyone publicly announces their intent to unfriend someone. That's just so uncool! There is no point to anyone to do this be it a long term friend or casual social networking bud. This is just plain stupid! I'm glad this bit of drama didn't tear you. I have limited friends I actually do things with outside of social networking. On the rare occasions I actually get together with a girlfriend then it's about catching up with one another - chit chat stuff. It's always fun just to unwind in a cozy setting with someone who I connect well with on many levels. I can't believe the #AprilA2Z challenge is almost here!

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    1. Cathy, I was more amused and to some degree baffled by my unfriending experience. The person had been a problem with me in the past, but I had smoothed things over with them back then. Guess they are who they are and they are kind of weird.

      I don't have any really close friends here in California and the ones I had back in Tennessee I don't keep up with much anymore.

      Lee

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  25. Oh -highschool drama! If someone goes on and on about something I'm bored with (farmville or fanaticism ) then I just unfollow them. I also prune my fb friend list from time to time and I usually make a general announcement such as "I'm doing some spring cleaning and taking off the names of folk who don't seem interested in my posts or vice versa." Sometimes I get responses back from folk fearful that I will take them off the list but it is very unlikely I'll hear from the people I'm thinking of. I don't want a huge list of folks as I really do want to pay attention to my pals. I wouldn't be on fb but for the fact that I work with young people and that is their preferred way to stay in touch.

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    1. Jan, few people seem to notice the rare things I put up on FB, but I don't pay much attention to most things either and it's usually only when I'm tagged so that I receive an email notification. A lot of older people my age seem to be on FB and if I happen to be strolling the site it's sometimes fun to read what some of them are up to. Usually not that much of significance though.

      Lee

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  26. It's an odd thing when someone tells you via your wall that they are unfriending you. That has only happened to me once on FB from a guy I went to high school with (but didn't know very well). I'd posted something about cruelty to animals (either a graphic or a video... can't remember now), and he said something like he didn't care about that or I was too invested in the health and well-being of animals and we couldn't be friends. That took me aback. The guy has children for crying out loud. Anyway, I didn't want to be friends with someone who has no compassion in the case of animal cruelty, so I was rather glad to see him go.

    During the last presidential election I know some people unfriended me on FB because they disagreed with my candidate choice. I didn't like theirs either, obviously, but I wouldn't unfriend someone over that. Again, though, they did it quietly. One day I became aware that they were gone, and I kinda figured out that was why and didn't pursue it. This cycle I haven't posted anything political. I just don't think social media is the place where you change hearts and minds (at least not FB or Twitter, and I don't actually tweet).

    My mom was just telling me yesterday that she'd been talking to her ex-husband (yes, they're still friendly with one another), and his cousin unfriended him on FB. Again due to politics. She sent him an email message, though, telling him she was doing it because of his politics. She also added that her grandchildren used her computer and she didn't want them to see that. I guess she was afraid they might think supporting someone other than her choice was allowed. Sigh. I don't know. People are strange.

    I said to mom that we all need to be more tolerant of other people and their ideas. If you don't like what someone has to say on FB, just scroll on by. Don't comment. It's the equivalent of changing the channel because you don't like the programming. It doesn't mean you shoot off an email to the network telling them their show is crappy.

    Back to your original point: It is odd that someone wrote it on your wall. It sounds very immature. If this is a young person who has grown up in social media, this is very likely how they do things. In middle school, when someone was mad at you they let EVERYONE know (so you'd feel just disastrously damaged). This is the same sort of thing online. That person simply didn't realize it doesn't work on old folks like us. We're way past that sort of thing!

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    1. Robin, the person who unfriended me is a middle aged person so they should be more tolerant I think. This person is part of a cluster of bloggers who are fanatic it seems about a particular candidate who I wouldn't vote for, but he doesn't bother me either. Those bloggers get so extremist in their FB posts that they do get offensive, but I just scroll past and let them rant.

      I'd enjoy a political forum of rational discussion, but rarely do I see people civil when it comes to politics. If it's just name calling and denouncing the ideas of another without listening to opposing views then I'm not interested for the most part.

      Lee

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  27. I've never been publicly unfriended, but I've always thought of the process as being self-centered and attention seeking. Drama queens. Sheesh. This topic makes me think of a song from my favorite TV show.

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    1. Loni, never heard of the song or the show, but it's funny. The public unfriending process seems like playground nonsense when some other kid would announce, "I'm not gonna be your friend anymore." I guess that might have bothered me when I was a schoolboy, but now it's almost like an unburdening to be rid of "friends" who are not really friends at all.

      Lee

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  28. Social media unfollows don't bother me. I do notice when my blog subscriber number shrinks, especially when I know someone I love or who loved me has unsubscribed.

    It's especially tough when your writing helped draw that person to you in the first place.

    Glad we crossed paths because of the A to Z Challenge! - Coach Daddy (#1258)

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    1. Coach, I usually don't notice unfollows or unfriendings unless someone calls it to my attention.

      Welcome to A to Z!

      Lee

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  29. So I need to apologize in advance if this is not the best place to post this comment, but I wasn't sure and was a little confused!
    I was wondering about the A-Z challenge. I recently begin blogging at the end of February, so some things are pretty new to me still! I participated in the SOL challenge for all of March. I was confused as how to share my links with others during this challenge...will there be a certain post that one of you "hosters" post that I will have to share my permalink on? How does it work for this challenge? I tried reading the guidelines and rules, but I didn't seem to find the answer to this question and wanted to be sure!

    Thanks for your help!

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    1. Amanda, our advice is that welcome those who find you on the A to Z Sign up list and be sure to visit other blogs leaving a comment that clearly directs them to your blog. Networking is the main thing. You can also visit the A to Z Facebook page and leave your daily links there.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Lee

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  30. I've "un-contacted" a few folk on LinkedIn. My FB page has on the odd occasion needed to be cleaned up... once after a friend of one of my sons began putting hurtful trash up on his profile about our son. So, we all got rid of his friendship!

    Recently, a distant family member has had an awaking of sorts... now she's forever lambasting the rest of the family about eating habits and more... as if she's become a guru... needless to say... she's been unfriended! FB can be a place of dire hurt!
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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    1. AJ, I've never been attacked or had anyone posting nasty stuff about my family or friends--or maybe I'm not on FB enough to see it. People shouldn't do such things.

      Lee

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  31. I have a friend who I still see IRL, but one day without warning I was not only unfriended, I was also blocked. On Facebook and Instagram. This wasn't some random person I once friended online, this is an actual person. To this day I have no idea why they did that, but I know they meant to do it. I think I said or did something that must have offended them, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out. We were very close at one point, but suddenly she is very distant. Well, what are you going to do?

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    1. Jeffrey, it's indeed a mystery if we aren't told what the problem is. At least I was notified of the reason for the unfriending which was something pretty dumb in my opinion.

      Lee

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  32. Facebook friendships is an interesting one that I'm still finding my way around. I watch read more than post. So, so far, no unfriendship has happened, though I've had friends request from those I don't know in person. #AtoZChallenge

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    1. MuM, I tend to be far more discriminating these days as to whom I accept as a "friend" online.

      Lee

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