Some weeks ago my housemate discovered that we had both been culled as friends by someone of Facebook for no apparent reason. My housemate is learning the ways of Social Media snooping well, I’m proud of her, but my work is by no means done.
The person in question remains friends with several of our mutual friends, including another housemate of ours and a friend that she made through us. The ‘friend’ in question moved away from beautiful Cardiff some months ago. We were happy for her, we were supportive, we helped her mull over the pros and cons of the various jobs she was offered over bottles of wine and in the last few months prior to her departure we probably spent more time with her and subsequently grew closer to her, or so we thought.
This person, who we will refer to as Esther*, had never really enjoyed living in Cardiff, I don’t think she ever wanted to be here. I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding her move here, but no one was under any illusion about how she felt about the city; a city that most people I know have chosen to live in, rather than been forced to live here or stayed here because this is where they grew up. Some people I know have left Cardiff only to return because they missed it and others have just come for university and never left. All my friends that visit from elsewhere in the UK, in fact, the World, seem to enjoy spending time here, but Esther didn’t and that’s fine, but she didn’t really have a whole lot of respect for the people who had decided to make this city their home.
Some of the problems with Cardiff that Esther came out with were actually ridiculous.
“The population of Cardiff are all short because they are poor and under-nourished.”
Seriously? Again, a large percentage of the Cardiff population aren’t even Welsh. This assumption may have been true in the 18th century, but not now.
The other stuff was more offensive than just misguided, so I’m not going to write about it here. I love the people of Cardiff, they don’t need that judgement. But Esther could judge with the best of them. I’m surprised we didn’t see her more often with a white wig and gavel. She told a potential housemate of ours that she worked with that me and my other recently culled housemate were incredibly girlie, so they might not want to live with us, whilst informing us she didn’t want to tell us what she thought of the potential housemate in question as not to colour our views. Said potential housemate is actual housemate now and he is totally lovin’ our work, BTW! But girlie? I surf, I ski, I geo-cache, I don’t wear false eye-lashes, fake tan, hair extensions or own anything pink. I’m not a tom boy, but girlie I ain’t.
So not only was Esther judging people, she was judging them too quickly and incorrectly.
Another priceless Esther incident. I recall another friend having dinner with Esther in Cardiff and informing me that Esther had told her she hated Cardiff, didn’t like anyone here and had no friends. This friend consequently questioned why she was actually having dinner with Esther if that was the case. Making friends and influencing people again, huh?
So anyway, Culled Housemate was shocked, appalled and stunned by this defriending discovery. I was largely indifferent. Based on the above, all we were missing out on was entertaining anecdotes. I emailed Esther with just a simple message:
“Any particular reason we got culled? Ouch!”
As of yet, we’ve heard nothing.
There are a few lessons to be learnt here.
1) Don’t moan about a place, situation, relationship or activity that you’re currently involved in to people who are enjoying that place, situation, relationship or activity and expect them not to be a little disgruntled about it.
2) Don’t embark on a new place, situation, relationship or activity with a negative attitude. This will become apparent to all involved and you’ll have yourself a self-fulfilling prophecy right there. You started off thinking you’d hate something, you didn’t really give it and chance and so, yep, you still hate it.
3) Don’t rely too much on Facebook relationships. Use it as an enabler to communicate with or keep track of friends and acquaintances, but don’t use it as a measure of your popularity.
4) Be careful who you defriend when you don’t know how the defriended will react. If you are happy that you may never regain that relationship, then fine, but be a little sensitive.
5) Generally, be a little more grateful. Apparently grateful people are happier people. When people, irrespective of Facebook, are being friendly and/or your friend and making your life a little more bearable, maybe stop for a little while and realise that, take it in and show some love.
I guess one hypothesis would be that it must be hard moving away and only being able to see mine and my housemate’s fun and games from afar via Facebook photos. I’d cull us too.**
*Name changes to protect the guilty
** I’m not that conceited that I truly believe this is the only reason anyone would defriend me, but in this instance I do not expect to discover a realistic explanation, even if there is one.