A friendship of 50 years seems undermined over a Facebook issue.
I am so hurt right now over a situation concerning my friend of 50 years. We’ve been friends since we were 12!
On my Facebook page in the right hand column, Facebook shows people you may know and sure enough, she recently put Facebook to her phone. When I had asked her when she would join Facebook, she had said never! So after seeing her there, of course, I friend requested her. No response.
After a week, I went to do it again and the friend option was removed. So I texted her by phone. I don’t have Facebook on my phone; I use my laptop. She replied that she doesn’t want Facebook but her daughter put it on her phone anyway.
So, okay, I accepted that. But then I started seeing mutual friends on her friend lists! Again, I asked her to become friends. She would always have an excuse but never really do anything to make it happen. At first I thought maybe she didn’t know how it works but then, how did she get 75 friends?
So I took a picture of my Facebook page with the friend option showing and sent it to her phone and nothing. Today she says, “I am sick of this.”
Well, I am so hurt. Why won’t she accept my requests? I am taking it personally, which I know I should not do.
Social media certainly can be a conundrum. As you described, some people use it only on computers, others on different platforms. What was once a medium for younger, college age students now is popular with baby boomers. Many who swore they would never use Facebook began using the site as a way to connect with children and grandchildren.
You don’t know how your friend uses the site since she hasn’t accepted your friend request. I can understand feeling hurt seeing mutual friends on her list, which is why I don’t think checking her activity, what some call Facebook Stalking, is healthy or productive to your friendship. From what you’ve said, you may have inadvertently pressured her, causing her to pull back and not accept your friendship. It’s hard to guess unless she tells you.
Not everyone has the skills to be a good social media friend. Because of the one-dimensional nature of communication, people sometimes word statements awkwardly or read hidden meanings into posts, responses or lack of responses. Some people are good friends face-to-face and lousy ones on social media.
You might want to focus your friendship with this woman offline, which means not Facebook Stalking her. As tempting as that may be, it’s not helpful to your relationship. Rather than attempting to solve your communication difficulties electronically, invite her for coffee or lunch to catch up on your lives. At some point, you can bring up Facebook, as long as you’re prepared to accept whatever boundaries she wants to put on her social media usage.
I would not let Facebook destroy a friendship of 50 years, as long as the other aspects of your relationship feel satisfactory and affirming. Good luck, I hope you can figure this out.
Signed, Amy Feld
Previously on The Friendship Blog:
Category: RESOLVING PROBLEMS