Facebook Killed My Friendship

Wannabee BLUNT
Written by Wannabee BLUNT

The first time I met Gwen* was our freshman year in college. I ran into her in a neighboring dormitory. She was waving her arms around wildly, screaming obscenities at her boyfriend, and basically ripping him a new asshole. I couldn’t quite figure out what he had done, but I could tell it was really bad. Her verbal assault on him was even worse. I turned to my roommate and said, “Remind me to never piss her off.”

Over the next two decades, I would tell that story dozens of times. It was always greeted with laughter, and, from those who knew Gwen, knowing looks. Gwen had passion—that was for sure. I always thought it was such a funny story of how I met my best friend. I never realized how ironic the story would become in our own relationship.

Despite our dramatic introduction, Gwen and I became fast friends. In college, we shared a love of literature, underage drinking, college boys, and Monday-night television festivals that included Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place. We were inseparable. We lived together. We took the same classes. We went on double dates. With each joy, heartbreak, and challenge in our lives, we became even closer.

After college, we remained close even though we lived a few hundred miles apart. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We celebrated her engagement. We visited each other’s first homes. Like most friendships, we had stretches of time in which we didn’t talk or write, but we always picked things back up where we had left them. I’d finish the sentence she had started months prior. We made it work even though we weren’t in each other’s daily lives.

With the introduction of social media, our friendship picked up intensity. Suddenly we were able to be a part of each other’s daily lives—if only virtually. Over Facebook and email, we supported each other through serious health issues and life changes. Via text and instant messaging, we celebrated everyday joys and victories. Although our lives were preventing us from visiting each other, we kept that connection strong.

But social media–the technology that strengthened our friendship–was also the source of our downfall.

Our undoing began a few years ago. At the time, she was doing an ex-pat assignment overseas. I had just moved back to our home state and was getting my family established in a new area. Both of our lives were busy and stressful, and we weren’t as connected as we had been. We kept in loose contact via Facebook and email, and while I missed my dear friend, I assumed we would ride it out like we had done in the past.

She started traveling to my area, but she didn’t tell me. I found out about her visits because she “checked in” on social media. At first I was hurt, but I tucked my feelings away figuring she was just very busy. And honestly, it felt weird to be tracking her over Facebook. The second time it happened, I got mad. Why wouldn’t she tell me she was in town? After the third time, I decided to message her. I told her that I was sure she was busy, but that I’d love to see her when she had time. At least that’s what I tried to convey.

She wrote back a clipped note: “My mom is really sick. That’s why I’ve been home so much and haven’t had time to see anyone.”

Oh shit. I had no idea about her mom. I wrote back a quick note to express my sympathy and support. Thanks(?) to Facebook Messenger, I saw that she had read it, but she didn’t reply. So I reread her terse response to my original message. There was more to it than just her words. I knew what her “tone” meant. She was mad. Yes, she was struggling with her mom’s illness, but the lack of words meant that I had angered her. What she didn’t say spoke volumes.

I had spent hours selecting just the right words to convey that I wanted to see her—but also not to back her into a corner. My emotions must have gotten in the way, for clearly I had upset her. And she couldn’t hear me or see me, so she misinterpreted. I wrote a second, longer, heartfelt message about her mom and how sorry I was if I had offended her.

When Gwen didn’t reply right away, it confirmed what I had suspected: she was angry. But, when she wrote back two weeks later, I was not prepared for the intensity of her response. Gwen wrote me a scathing message about how I had been a terrible friend for the past couple of years and how a few Facebook posts don’t make a friendship. I shouldn’t expect that she would confide in me. And that I shouldn’t expect that she would go out of her way see me. She had more than enough friends who had actually been there for her over the years.

I burst into tears. I was at a loss for words. Prior to this exchange, I had no idea Gwen was so mad at me for so long. We always had periods in which we weren’t as connected. I had figured the past year or so had been one of those periods. Clearly it hadn’t been for her.

I knew Gwen wouldn’t answer my call; so again, I set to work on a reply. I labored over my words, trying to figure out the best way to work through our conflict. I apologized for my poor word choice. I assured her I wasn’t trying to make her feel bad; I genuinely just wanted to see her. I acknowledged that we hadn’t been as close lately and asked her to consider that we both had a part in that. I sent that message and waited. I saw she read my message, but she didn’t reply.

Worried that I wouldn’t hear back from her, I followed up with a more detailed explanation, a second apology, and another plea for her to call—to respond. Again, absolutely nothing from her. I was getting the virtual silent treatment. But I kept waiting.

During that time, I thought about Gwen’s college boyfriend. Rather than pitying him like I had before, I envied him. At least he had received his tongue-lashing in-person and had been able to respond and be heard. When you’re yelling at someone face-to-face, the words go straight from your heart to your mouth. The words might not be pretty, but they demand attention. They demand a reply. All I had was email. No matter how carefully I crafted my words, I couldn’t make her reply. I couldn’t get in her face and demand that we work through the issues. So instead of a verbal explosion, I heard a distinct lack of noise. And with each passing day, what remained of our friendship quietly died.

I cried for weeks over the loss. I checked her Facebook page daily to see what she was doing. I checked my message repeatedly to ensure she had read it (she had). And that made me furious. How dare she send such a harsh note and then not reply! But, still, I longed for my friend, and I hoped that she would reply.

She didn’t. Not a damn word for over a year.

Over that year, I watched Gwen’s life over social media, but I wasn’t a part of it. I watched her move back to the states and settle into her new life—buy a new house, enjoy new restaurants, and go on fun new outings. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have been privy to this knowledge. I wouldn’t have been able to witness her life unless I was a part of it. Watching it over social media was a repeated punch to my gut. I alternated between anger and pain. Between fury and tears. I kept waiting, but still no response from her.

And then one day, over a year later, she sent me a message to tell me she was pregnant. Apparently, she and her partner had been trying to get pregnant for a while, and she was telling me because she didn’t want me to find out from anyone else. Ironically, she didn’t want me to find out over social media.

I was stunned. I had given up hope that I would ever hear from her, and then she dropped that bomb. Had we been face-to-face, I’m sure I would have forgotten everything and screamed for joy and hugged her ferociously. But this was email, and I was numb. My heart couldn’t process any feelings, and technology allowed me to hide behind it. I wrote back a simple note: “Congratulations, Gwen. That’s very exciting news, and I’m very happy for you and Mark. I’m here if you ever want to talk.”

I didn’t really expect to get a reply, but I hoped for one. Maybe I should have gushed over her news more, but I wasn’t sure what she wanted. I couldn’t read her facial expressions or tone of voice over technology. Did she want to pick our friendship back up or was she just sharing this as a courtesy? With my reply, I tried to open a door to see if she would walk through it. She didn’t.

Two months later, shortly after I notified my friends of my brother’s suicide, she sent me another message. She expressed her condolences, but her words were awkward. She seemed to imply that the impact of his death wasn’t as severe given that I hadn’t seen my brother in over a decade. Blinded by grief, I couldn’t see that at the heart of her note was sympathy. I could only read judgment. I replied with a harsh note about how offended I was. I picked apart her message line by line to show her just how hurtful it was. I asked her to please tell me I had misinterpreted her words.

Gwen wrote back immediately to apologize. She said she had worked so hard on choosing her words that she ended up conveying the opposite of what she had intended. I understood that all too well. I wrote back and thanked her profusely. She wrote back and did the same.

Were we finally talking again? I became hopeful that I would get my best friend back. That we could work through our rough patch.

And then, at some point during the next few weeks, she officially broke up with me. She didn’t do it in-person. She didn’t call or write. She “defriended” me over Facebook. Just like that, 20 years of friendship ended. She ended it permanently and decisively with the simple click of a button. No words, no wild arm gestures, no verbal explosion. She just selected “unfriend” on her computer and walked away.

I wrote Gwen a short note: “So I just discovered that you have unfriended me. I’m pretty shocked and hurt, but it is what it is, I guess. I’m sorry that it came to this. I do wish you the best always.” She read my message, but never replied. I debated calling her, emailing her, visiting her, but I couldn’t. I can’t. She ended it. It’s over.

You might say that distance killed our friendship. Or children. Or the stress of life. But none of those things killed it. Email killed our friendship. Social media killed it. And we both let it happen. Our dependence on technology instead of having real conversations—real connections and necessary explosions—killed our friendship. And it died a slow, quiet death.

 

 *Names changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

 Written by Kathryn Leehane (AKA Kelly “Foxy” Fox)
Blogger at Foxy Wine Pocket
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/foxywinepocket
On Twitter at https://twitter.com/FoxyWinePocket

About the author

Wannabee BLUNT

Wannabee BLUNT

Wannabe's are Guest Authors to BLUNTmoms. They might be one-hit wonders, or share a variety of posts with us. They "may" share their names with you, or they might write as "anonymous" but either way, they are sharing their stories and their opinions on our site, and for that we are grateful.

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75 Comments

  • I loved this. It’s so true that we have the nerve to say some things on text, etc. that we wouldn’t say in person. Or similarly, we could say NOTHING on text when in person, we would have to dig in there and say something, anything. This is such an important reminder, and like John Mayer (who I can’t stand) sings: “say what ya need to say.”

    • Yeah, I can’t stand that song–so thanks for the earworm. 😉 But it IS a really good reminder. Technology is such a wonderful tool, but it can’t replace those important in-person connections.

  • Ms. Wine Pocket,

    In may ways I love social media because I can keep in touch with people like you, who I just adore. In other ways, I hate it. I used to like my extended family until we became FB friends and I found out how extremely different we are. I liked my family better when I did know who they voted for etc. 🙂 So, I get it.

    Your pal who will always tell you when she is in town,
    Lisa

    • I truly love social media as well. It has allowed me to cultivate amazing friendships with some of my favorite people. Sadly, it this case, it helped speed up the demise of a relationship.

      I’ll always tell you when I’m in your town too. But, let’s be honest, we’ll probably meet back up in Baltimore first… 😉

      • I think that Facebook intensifies what relationships you already have. Those I have resented I find more reasons to resent them. Those who intrigue me I find their Facebook accounts are my safe haven.

        It’s those ambiguous friendships you have to be careful with. A close friend should be someone who is someone you are in constant contact with over everything, not a friendship where there are many periods of silence. If I had someone who told me they were going to invest in my life and be my best friend and then we went months and months without so much as a hi I would be very offended too. And the thing about social media is that you get to see this friend prioritize everyone else but you. It’s not fair to have to go through that. I haven’t quite figured out how to do that without heartache. I think I have decided to always write positive things such as I love you and I miss you. When she decides to be in my life I get very excited. If something bad happens I think I’ll probably call or send flowers. Emails leave too much to interpretation. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

        • “I think that Facebook intensifies what relationships you already have.” Yes, absolutely. And, yes, writing and calling and sending flowers and visiting are all things we should be doing for friends. I definitely learned my lesson the hard way. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  • I’m so sorry this happened, Kelly, and I would venture to guess that this is much more common than we’d all like to think. Makes me wanna pick up the phone and call my best friend right now!!

    • Thank you, Teri. And thank you for sharing the piece. I agree that it’s much more common, which is why I wanted to share the story. It can be a cautionary tale. I know I’ve learned a lot from it. Definitely call your BF! xoxo

  • Kelly, a very well-presented cautionary tale. Social media is a wonderful tool, and a dangerous weapon. It all depends on how it’s used. I’m sorry you lost your friend that way. It’s never nice to have a friendship disintegrate, but it’s even harder to watch it happen in real-time.

    • It really is a double-edged sword. Ironically, I met one of my bestest friends over social media. We’ve never met in-person, but I connect with her almost daily. So, yes, it all depends on how it is used. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. xoxo

  • Oh how my heart hurts for you. This happened to me swiftly after college with my roommate and best friend of 3.5 years. She was such an introvert – i had to coax her or of her room to be social the first semester of freshman year, before we lived together. She agreed to be in my wedding. She stayed at my wedding reception for just enough time to make it look like she cared and then…poof! Gone from my life. We spent that summer separated by 60 miles… But it might as well have been an ocean. She then moved across country for grad school and that was the death knell. Her boyfriend (who I didn’t care for) moved with her. We exchanged emails and a few phone calls but she once basically told me “my life is here now and you aren’t a part of it. One night she called me – to tell me she was engaged. I must not have sounded gushingly happy enough … it was a short call and the last time i talked to her. Got an invite to her wedding and declined. I don’t know why, other than pettiness. She’ll never know my kids nor I hers… we’ll never be a part of each other’s lives again. While it makes me sad, I guess I’ve come to peace about it and realized she wasn’t meant to be a forever friend. It still hurts, tho, to feel like someone can just discard you like that after having been so close – especially when I was guilty of doing the same to her.

    I’m sorry you went through this – it does seem to be a common phenomenon among women 🙁

    • Wow. Just wow. That’s a heartbreaking story. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I think I’m still coming to terms with the fact that Gwen wasn’t meant to be a forever friend. So I’m mourning the loss of the friendship that I THOUGHT we had. I’m guessing you feel similar emotions. Sending you lots of xoxo.

  • *shortly after the first time I dragged her with the test of our floor mates to a party, we became meat friends and moved in together when her roomie moved out. We were virtually inseparable from then on.

  • Oh, Kelly. I really feel you with this one. I had a similar experience. It’s heartbreaking, truly, to feel like someone who held such a special place in your heart could be so cold and callous with it.

    Love and hugs, friend.
    XOXO

    • I’m so very sorry that something similar happened to you. It is definitely heartbreaking. I’m not without blame in this one though, which is why I wanted to share–as a cautionary tale. Thank you for sharing the piece. Love and hugs right back at you! xoxo

    • I’m hearing more and more that this has happened to so many people. Which makes me feel not so alone, but it also breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for you, friend. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. xoxo

  • I had a very tight friendship once. She would tell me how she had ended other friendships over what she thought were terrible slights and I would nod and agree but think “um, I don’t get it.”
    Cue years later when I made an off hand remark about her new job. Boom. Deal breaker. Friendship over. I was stunned but then realized I shouldn’t have been.

    Dissolving your friendship was her big fat loss Kelly. I think that’s pretty clear.

    • I’m not without blame here, but yeah, I’d like to think it’s her loss too. Or maybe, like your friendship (which I’m sorry about), it just wasn’t meant to be. Thank you so much for sharing the piece. xoxo

  • Kelly, this really made me think a lot. I have had my own issues with friends/relatives via emails and social media, and it’s made me hit the unfriend button. I’m a talker. I want to resolve things face to face, or at LEAST over the phone. Some people, I’ve realized, don’t want that. It’s sad, because I feel like even though it may be uncomfortable for us to go through it in the moment, it could actually save a relationship when you are forced to talk about something in the same room as someone. Or hear their tone of voice over the phone. Thanks for writing something so honest that people aren’t really talking about. I overhear moms all the time talking to each other about things they see their other “friends” doing on social media, and it really impacts all of our relationships. Sometimes, not for the better.

    • I absolutely agree with you. Talking things over is so important. It’s critical. (And I’m not a talker.) I wanted that in this case, but couldn’t get my friend to call or respond. I think we were too far gone at that point. Phone calls should have been made earlier. I’ve learned a lot from that. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’ve really enjoyed reading (and learning even more from) the comments.

  • Oh honey..I am so sorry. These things suck and it’s horrible to not understand WHY things happen. I had a friend do something similar and I spent a lot of time wondering what the hell happened. I moved away and then when I came back two years later..very excited to reconnect with my friends, she just dropped me..it took a while to figure out she was avoiding me, but she was.

    10 years later I saw that she was going to be signing books at Barnes and Noble (she’s a romance writer) so I went to see her and it was nice to see her again. We’ve had dinner a few times and we’ve reconnected but aren’t close. I lost a lot of trust…

    • I’m sorry that happened to you too. It just sucks. I’m glad you were able to reconnect (at least on some level), but that still sucks. And the loss of trust is heartbreaking. xoxo to you, my friend.

  • This is such a painful piece. I’m afraid this is happening to many people and it is something I fear for my children in the future. Will they even know how to communicate? I’m sorry for that loss. I can only imagine how painful that was.

  • Oh god I get this. I get this so much. And the worst part is you can go back and reread and relive it over and over again. My trick is to make sure I don’t post too much about my life and not read up on others too much so we HAVE to talk on the phone or in person & when we do we actually have something to talk about.

  • I had a very similar experience with my childhood best friend. It’s so easy to say things you didn’t mean over email and even easier to hear things they didn’t say. I’m so sorry for your loss. Technology has brought a lot of good into people’s lives, but there is always a cost. *hugs* and thanks for sharing this difficult story.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a similar experience. Technology is indeed a blessing and a curse. It can enhance, and it can hurt. I’m working hard to just use it for the positives. *hugs* right back at you.

  • How painful! You know how some friendships only seem to fit in your life for a certain period of time? Even though this friendship was 20 years long, I wonder if it was still that type of friendship. Before a woman becomes a mother she has no idea how much it will change her life. And that’s really hard for the friend who is not a mother yet to understand. You say it wasn’t the distance or kids that killed the friendship, but I do think it’s possible that they had something to do with it. You’ll never know, and that can be crazy making. If the two of you had been in contact either face to face or over the phone you still may have drifted. But at least you would have known. And then throw in the technology that wasn’t available when you were younger…what a mess! Or maybe it *was* all Facebook. Either way I’m really sorry this happened to you. It’s hard enough to lose someone who is so important to you, but the way this all unfolded sounds just excruciating. Thanks for sharing your story and writing it so beautifully (as usual!). You have some really great insights about “connecting” via social media. xo

    • Yeah, I’ve wondered the same things too. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’ll ever know if it was just that type of friendship or if our dependence on the technology killed the friendship. But I’m definitely taking some valuable lessons from this one. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I always appreciate your support. xoxo

  • Such a sad story, but all too common! Having two children that have truly lived within the bubble of the Facebook generation, I can say with confidence that proper, easy, honest communication between people is now seriously messed up. It’s so easy to misinterpret comments, so easy to get hurt, so easy to feel uneasy, so easy to alienate someone. Aside from my business page, I have dumped my personal Facebook page. I don’t need or want to know everyone’s intimate business. That’s their business. I have retreated to the old fashioned way of ‘having’ friends. It’s so much easier…

    • I think you’re on to something, Abby. I don’t do a whole lot anymore on my personal page either. I love technology, and my life has greatly benefited from social media. But proper, easy, honest communication between people can never be replaced. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. xoxo

  • Happened to me too. Normally I’m a huge fan of email and social media – it’s convenient, it’s on your terms/time – but sometimes nothing replaces a person-to-person conversation or at the very least, a phone call. Some of my friendships needed to end but I think some were just the result of a virtual miscommunication. Shame.

    • I’m a HUGE fan of email and social media as well. They have brought me some of my richest relationships. But, yes, we see so many more virtual miscommunications now. And it is a shame. I’m sorry this happened to you too. xoxo

  • Oh what a sad sad story and what a great piece! So painfully authentic and sharp. Yes a cautionary tale of our times, something to really think about. My sympathy for your loss, my admiration for your writing! Chin up, Foxy.

    • Thank you, Marta. I really appreciate the kind words. I hope it can be a cautionary tale–because I don’t think things had to end this way. But writing this piece was definitely therapeutic for me. So I appreciate the support, as always. xoxo

  • I like what social media has done for me.
    BUT…
    it does seem to be the breeding ground for passive aggressive bullsh** and you nailed it: the worst part is the voyerism. Knowing what they are out doing. I just hide people from my feed so I don’t see them anymore.
    Except you, Foxy. I’ll never hide you.

    • I LOVE what social media has done for me and my life. Just not in this case. But I’m learning. And I’ll keep trying. And I’ll never hide you either, friend. Thanks for reading and commenting! xoxo

  • My husband’s best friend (AKA: the biggest pain in my ass) wasn’t on Facebook for a while because he admitted he wouldn’t use it “correctly;” he’s basically a troll picking fights and criticizing anything he doesn’t agree with. I’ve come to like him a lot less in watching how he interacts with others online, and I wonder if it’s even fair of me to feel this way because he’s different in person. That said, I wonder if you and Gwen had the chance to hash things out f2f, if the conclusion would’ve been different? Hang in there; I’m sure writing this stirred up some sad memories for ya. xo

    • I have a couple of Facebook friends like that as well. I finally hid them from my feed–so I could keep them in my life. I do think things would have been different if we could have at least spoken on the phone (we live in different states), but that chance was never given unfortunately. Yes, it definitely stirred up some sad stuff, but it is also bringing some closure for me. So I’m glad for that. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. xoxo

  • Reading what other wrote how this happened to them before makes me sad because it shows me that at one point or another we’ve been on the SSTitantic of ending friendships over social media. I allowed my son to read this so he can understand why I yell at him that talking to his friends his g/f all over text message and not having the ability to have one on one conversations is not ok with me. Yes we live in a world where technology is important – shit it is what drives our daily lives. But without a real connection there is no remorse, understanding, heart felt love to be shown because it’s all just typing and clicking enter. It’s like a bad commercial – you never know how someone is going to interpret things. And that is sad love is lost that way.

    • It really makes me sad too. I never realized how prevalent it was–even as a good friend urged me to write this because it was so prevalent. (I guess I didn’t understand what she meant.) I’m glad you showed it to your son. It’s so important to be able to learn from these stories. And avoid unnecessary endings and heartbreak. xoxo

  • You are a stronger woman than I am! I never would have put that much effort and energy into saving a friendship that clearly meant nothing to her. I think you’re better for the experience and we’re better for reading about it. Great post!

    • Well, I’m definitely not blameless in this story. And I tried as long as I could. I do hope that I’m better for the experience. And I’m thankful you read this and took the time to comment. xoxo

    • Me too. And ME TOO! You are a shining example of how technology can create and enhance relationships! And I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU IN SF!! Thank you, as always, for your friendship and support. xoxo

  • Wow, I can totally relate to this. Aside from some differing details, it is my story as well. Decades of friendship gone.

    Ever since I lost that friend, I have been doing my best to see people in person. To pick up the phone, especially if I’m unsure about the meaning of something written online.

    I think one of the worst things we do is obsess or word choice and sentence structure in a text or email. Your mind comes up with all sorts of explanations and you believe it. You cannot *know* what was meant unless you actually speak to the person.

    Friend lost and lesson learned. 🙁

    • Damn. I’m so sorry to hear how well you relate to this. It totally sucks to have lost a friend like that. But it sounds like we’ve both learned some lessons and will be better people for it. Thank you for reading and commenting! xoxo

  • Wow, great post. Social media scares the hell out of me. What happened to the good old fashioned phone call? Social media has made us lazy in a sense. I’m so sorry you lost your best friend. Good lesson for all.

    • Yeah, social media can suck. It can also be wonderful. But it’s critical to use it to enhance, not replace, communication. I’ve learned that the hard way. Thank you for reading and for your kind words. xoxo

  • Ah, this was… unsettling. It’s so unfortunate how we can misread things or be on a completely different page than the other person, without realizing it. There was a situation a few years ago in my community where a lot of people were upset with one of my brothers for a political thing… and they all decided to defriend me on facebook. It was so bizarre, I just logged on and had like 40 fewer people. I wasn’t even on the same page as my brother or publicly aligned with him, it was just the family connection. They were people I’d known my entire life and really only kept in touch with online. It’s a very cold sort of gesture and social media or online-only contact seems to make it an easier choice than working through it like normal.

    • It really is unfortunate, and I’ve had a tough time comprehending it. I also have a tough time comprehending what happened to you. That’s not just a cold sort of gesture–that’s total bullshit. I’m really sorry that happened. Thank you for reading–and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it, Aussa. xoxo

  • I am friends with Ashley Allen Brown. This was a sad but poignant post that clearly demonstrates some of the pitfalls off exclusive reliance on social media for all communication purposes. Since the inception of email and all other social media platforms that have followed, I have espoused the concern that , as you stated, comments can easily be misconstrued because you cannot read a person’s face, watch their body language or hear their tone of voice in a post or email. Also, I worry that my generation’s offspring and their offspring’s offspring will gradually lose critical inter-personal skills as their ability to communicate face-to-face and use complete sentences bereft of fragments or acronyms will degrade and erode to dangerous lows. I am truly sorry about your friend. I lost my best friend because there were to many miles between us. Great post!

  • You are a great writer in humor but your serious work is where you shine! I felt like it was the story of my friend and I, who like you guys, ended our long term friendship because of Facebook. We are only 20 miles apart but there are days where I still feel the loss. Great post!

  • What a sad story. I’m very sorry to hear it and can definitely relate. It seems like a rite of passage so many go through and social media seems to take it to another level since you can “eavesdrop” on others’ lives. I’ve gotten into trouble myself because I’m much better writing my thoughts down than speaking. In the moment I let things go and it seems I’ve moved on when I haven’t. Ugh, the turmoil! At the end of the day, however, as I get older I just don’t have time for the drama.

    • I know exactly what you mean, Liz. It takes me longer to process thoughts and emotions than other folks so writing sometimes works better for me. But, clearly, I got into trouble this time. Thank you for reading.

  • When I read the title, I was extremely skeptical because Facebook had actually helped me reunite with several of my school and college friends. But, as I read through the whole incident, I can quite see how it was, because several times when dealing with a contentious discussion on social media and wanting to give an objective answer, I often pause and re-read my reply before I hit the Send button! The lack of tone conveyed means that the person reading it can interpret in one of a number of ways unfortunately!!

    • Facebook has done wonderful things for me as well. Some of my closest relationships have been cultivated over social media. In this case, it clearly hastened the downfall. So I definitely have a whole new level of respect for the power of technology. Thank you for reading.

  • Oh man, that is so incredibly painful and my heart breaks for you. I’ve been through similar situations and breaking up with girlfriends can be just as painful as getting dumped by a boyfriend. It feels kind of shitty for it to happen over Facebook though. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook for this very reason. I love the positive things that happen like when we come together as a nation over a death, or make sure loved ones are ok after a storm, but things like this….getting our feelings hurt when we know our friends are in town and not contacting us….well, that just sucks and feels crappy.

  • Thanks for writing this. I’m so sorry for your loss, I lost my best IRL friend from high school through university when she got jealous (per my deductions) of when I started dating my husband. My husband is a guy that’s easy to like, he was always kind to her…I know it wasn’t him, it was her being jealous that my undivided attention was gone (again, I deduce, as we never talked about this). I can’t remember the details but she literally broke up with me by sending me an email. Ouch. Pretty much that she only had room for 1 friend in her life and it wasn’t me. Perhaps this is why that 1 and only friend is the 1 and only person that stood up for her at her wedding. She reached out to me via email when my dad died last year and a couple of other times, but I’m happy she has never been on social media so I don’t have to see what she’s been up to.

    Social media is such a catch-22. I don’t go around town shouting out what I tweet. I don’t verbally share Scripture or the latest news article or a funny thing my kid just said…Twitter is like someone reading your inner thoughts. Your inner snarks. Your inner secrets, depending on what you’re willing to share. I’ve lost someone very important to me over Twitter. I found out they felt a certain way about a certain thing and it was at an extremely sensitive time in my life right after my dad died and I took it personally and sent a Facebook message which got misunderstood even more. (Moral of the story: call the person to talk to them. Don’t resort to texting or emails…tones get misunderstood, as you relayed in this article). Social media has helped ruin a dear relationship in my life, it’s affecting me and my kids’ relationships with said person. I always say if you *really* wanna know someone, check out their favourite tweets on Twitter. I was shocked to see some of said person’s favourite tweets, things I never knew about them. I still love them and don’t care what they “favourite” but things get taken out of context too easily on social media.

    Thanks again, there’s more good than bad about social media, but when it’s bad….it’s bad.

    • There definitely is more good than bad about social media. And maybe it just hastens the inevitable break-ups in some cases. I absolutely agree with you that that kind of communication is best had in-person or over the phone if necessary. I’m so sorry for the effect it has had in your life as well.
      You’re welcome. And thanks for reading!

  • I have experienced this with a couple of “old” friends. What I have learned, is that if a person does not ever go out of their way to maintain a friendship, then it will never work. I had a 25 year friendship that died a very slow death over a 5 year period. We met when I was 16 and she was 18. This “friend” was someone that I was so close to, like a sister, and all was hunky dory until I had my son 5 years ago. She kept her distance from me from the day he was born and eventually completely stopped speaking to me, and I have never known of any reason why. To this day I still don’t know what happened with her. I was there for her for all the drama of her life, from her pregnancy at 23 and birth of her daughter in 1994, all the custody drama with the father of her kid (10 year long custody battle) to her financial issues, boyfriend problems, family problems, etc. She abandoned me when I was at my most vulnerable- post partum, a new mother, someone that could have benefitted from her advice and support. Despite that, I still continued to try to engage her, to call, email and message her on Facebook. I too, saw her constant interactions with other friends online and she would ignore any of my attempts to include myself in the banter. Finally, one day this past year I noticed that I didn’t see anything from her in my newsfeed anymore. She had unfriended me on Facebook, which is the equivalent to a divorce decree. By then, I had accepted that she didn’t want to be friends anymore, but instead of blaming myself, and tearing myself up trying to figure out why, I realized that it had more to do with HER and her lack of friend skills. I was always there for her when she needed me, but she would always flake out on me in favor of something better that came up. She was a crappy friend for 25 years, and it took me that long to finally see it, I couldn’t hide it from myself anymore. Facebook may have sped up the death of this friendship, and it ended up being a mercy killing, because now I no longer agonize over every minute detail. I’m in a much better place now, but very guarded and not as open to letting anyone get that close to me again.

  • very sad story, and I agree with you, social media kills real life friendship, and not only, social media is almost everything but definitely not real life… when I decided to leave facebook in 2011 my true friends forgets me. even if they know my phone number and email.. it hurts, but yeah it is what it is… my conclusion is they was not faithful friends, so I’m not so sad now, but it’s like if nowadays, you are virtually dead if you’re not on facebook.