It’s Not Me, It’s You by Emily Smart

I am not happy. In fact I am decidedly unhappy. Whilst having a brief look at my eighty four Facebook friends last week – eighty four, that doesn’t sound very many, should I have more, some people have hundreds – I noticed that at least 3 were missing. I have been de-friended, without so much as an argument, an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ conversation, or even a farewell note. How rude is that?!

I updated my FB status that day and mentioned my sorrow and bewilderment at the loss and received several replies. My favourite – from an old work colleague who used to drag me to the dodgiest pub in Kentish Town and make me drink Bailey’s until late o’clock – was “Who are you? And why does your status appear on my home page?”

So, who were the 3 people that binned me? Kevin Newport, Marie Gilbert and Amanda Sullivan (is that too harsh to name and shame)? Let me give you some background here (she said, trying not to sound bitter and twisted). All 3 approached me with a friend request. All 3 are former school associates. Now I say associates rather than friends because: Kevin was one of my first big love interests when I was 7 years’ old, Marie was a girl who sat behind me in biology and Amanda was a rather unfortunate looking specimen who happened to be in my form at secondary school.  I haven’t seen any of them for well over twenty years and they all live in the UK, which is approximately 11387.16 miles or 18325.35 kilometres from where I live now.

Usually, I have a hide the thickness of a rhinoceros’s and a keen sense of humour, but the whole business has bothered me and I am unsure why it would. It has left me with a rather unsettled feeling of rejection. Why was I culled? What did I do? Should I send them a friend request? Do I smell? How many other people have befriended me only to cut me free without a reason? How will I ever know? Why on earth should I care?

Perhaps I need to tone down my banter on FB, and stop putting inappropriate status updates on line for the entire world to see after I’ve been on a big night out. Or maybe I should engage a little more and make a fuss of my ‘peripheral’ friends on FB; you know, the ones that I haven’t seen since I was smoking fags in the girls’ bogs at school, listening to the Wham Rap and wearing fluorescent clothing (why was that ever fashionable?).

What have I learnt from all of this? Well, that I haven’t lost any friends at all. The people who live near or far and couldn’t care less how naughty I am on FB, who aren’t easily offended by my constant abuse and bad language, and who contact me more often than once in every twenty years via a global social media website, are my real, valued and lifelong mates.

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