Is There Proper Etiquette To Follow When Deleting a Facebook Friend?

I pondered this question as I dealt with my own surprise deletion a couple of weeks ago.  The fact that a person that I had considered to be a real life friend banished me from their Facebook page was a gag.  A gag along the lines of learning that your brother can do the single ladies dance routine in pumps and a black one piece and not miss a beat – that kind of gag! 

And no, I don’t have a brother – but if he could do the routine I would gag, and then promptly put my pumps and leotard on and learn the dance, but I digress.

As far as this person deciding to delete me – it is what it is, it’s just the way in which I found out.  Mind you, I had sensed that this person was mad at me, so I contacted them to clear the air (you know I’m a communicator), to try and talk about what was wrong.  I was assured that everything was ok.  So imagine my shock to find out I was persona non grata in the way that I did…let me set the scene…

I was told by a mutual friend to go to my now, X Facebook friend’s page.  I decided to use the search option to quickly find their name – funny, but their name didn’t appear in the drop down.  I thought for sure there had been a glitch OR maybe they’d decided to retire their Facebook page??  There was one last thing I could do to be sure – so I went to our mutual friend’s page, found their name on the friend list – and there, next to their picture I saw the jarring words …mocking me, flicking on and off like a neon sign at a cheap hotel “add as a friend.”  Yep, I had been deleted.

The nerve of this person — to delete me in such a passive aggressive manner, to send such a powerful message in the click of a button…to do the EXACT same thing that I have done to three other people :-). 

I guess this is just a case of the chickens coming home to roost, so it’s ok.  But to be fair, of the three people that I have deleted – for the two that mattered, I did my best to reach out to them in advance and talk it out, so at least I tried.  The third I truly owed nothing to.  For one of those deletions, I had to eat crow, and promptly add the person back…we chuckle about that to this day!  I’ll never forget that call – “yo, did you just delete me from your Facebook page??, and BBM??”, me on the other end “yes I did SIR!.” 

Moving forward, I just think there should be some type of notice that the rejected person receives when they’ve been deleted.  Perhaps a standard email that goes to the rejected person, with boxes for the rejecter to check off explaining the cut, something like:

Your Facebook friendship with <insert name here> has been terminated, please find a reason below:

__ Your updates are annoying and to frequent.

__ Ever since you’ve become my friend I’ve started getting your party invites, I’m never coming to a happy hour in San Jose, ever.

__ I accidentally accepted you, thinking that I knew you because we had friends in common but I have no clue who you are, it’s awkward.

__ We just got out of a relationship so I have no desire to receive your status updates or wince when I see your name on my Facebook IM list.

__  I accepted you out of peer pressure – we flippin work together – but I just found out that I really don’t care for you and I don’t give a hell, I want you off my page…but seriously, no hard feelings, let’s still speak in the hall way

__ You hurt my feelings, and this is the only way to hurt yours.

DS Download:  I’m convinced that there are ONLY two polar opposite emotions that would drive you to delete someone – one is pain, and the other is ambivalence. 

So, is there proper etiquette to follow?  Yes – if you’re considering deleting someone who is your real life friend, make an effort to reach out to them first. 

Facebook is such a great digital microcosm of real life.  We hurt, we get hurt, but thankfully with time, we all move on.


4 thoughts on “Is There Proper Etiquette To Follow When Deleting a Facebook Friend?

  1. I think that this is the most clearly laid out set of criteria for FB etiquette I’ve seen. Well done. But my favorite is the co-worker/peer pressure scenario. We can still talk over the coffee machine while I add my skim.

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