Dumping Friends Online–A Lesson Not to Teach

YANG

Has this ever happened to you? You log on to Facebook or My Space to see that your Friends list has suddenly decreased. Since FB doesn’t tell you who has un-friended you (or tell others when you un-friend them), it can take some guess work to figure out who dumped you and more to the point, why. A boyfriend? An ex-love? A long time girlfriend? Even a family member?

Well much to my amazement this morning, I found out that a long-time friend of mine (we were once best friends back in the college days) decided to un-friend me without even a so much as a “I’m upset with you because of A, B, C.” What hurts the most is that she’s obviously upset with me about something but doesn’t care enough about me or the friendship to come to the table with what’s bothering her. Rather, she cuts ties with me via the Internet. I’m dumbfounded. (I’m not alone either–see this article: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/06/04/tf.friendship.breakup/index.html)

This whole sad story of mine got me thinking though. What kind of lessons and values are we teaching children today when we act like this? My daughters is far too young for life lessons on friendship (she’s a toddler), but future Yang Mommy wonders what the world will be like when her daughter is a tween and if dumping friends on-line without even discussing any issues at hand will be considered OK. I surely hope not. Because to me, it’s like putting a child in time-out without telling them why, and then not giving them a chance to correct themself. Perhaps I did something that was a “fatal friend error” but how will I ever know if I’m not told what I did wrong?

What I’ll do now is up in the air. I guess it all depends on how much this friend means (or meant) to me, and if I want to continue a relationship with someone who values our friendship in this manner. I do know that I’ll have a story to tell my girl when she’s older and going through her own trials and tribulations of friendship. My choices today may not be what she will choose to follow tomorrow, but hopefully she will learn something from my tale–that you shouldn’t just cut links with a friend without at least telling them why.

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