Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The False Dilemma of Deleting Someone From Facebook


A few days ago I was on Facebook and something nosy in me prompted me to click the link on the right side of the screen that read "People You May Know". Facebook has many of functions that I often pay minimal, if any attention to. The "People You May Know" feature is one of them. Bored out of my mind and doing the first thing that occurred to me I clicked on it. I began to sift through these supposed likely friends. As I look at pics and recognize familiar names, I'm once again baffled by the internet and how it really works. I know they say Big Brother is always watching, and the things they know scare me just a little. But anyway, I digress. As I'm scrolling, I run into the friend I talked about HERE. I was mildly stunned to see that she was among these no longer phantom people I may know. I definitely knew her, but what I did not know was that she had deleted me from her friends.

Some weeks back, I was visiting my aunt and somehow we got into a conversation about Facebook. She's notorious for putting people on blast on their walls, and then being deleted from their friends' list. She's also known for being offended by people and the stuff they choose to post (whether it be too raunchy or just plain TMI) and deleting them from her page. I honestly found it all pretty melodramatic but entertaining nonetheless. It became a running joke for weeks and anytime one of us did something playfully offensive to the other, we threatened deletion. Of course we had more than a few good laughs about it, but it left me thinking about a few people I wanted to delete. My former friend being one of them.


Another quarter of school is down and a new class of courses behind me. One of these former classes being The Art of The Argument. The whole point of school for me is to not only educate myself, but to apply what I learn in my everyday life. One of the things I learned about this past quarter were fallacies. A fallacy is defined as incorrect reasoning that results in a misconception. Pretty much, when you're manipulated into seeing something that is not the actual case. There are many fallacies, but when it comes to deleting people off of Facebook, one in particular comes to mind. The False Dilemma.

A False Dilemma is a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options. After a quick jump over to Wikipedia (that darn confusing but undeniably helpful internet again, check the link HERE), I found the perfect example of a fallacy. Either you're with me or against me. In all actuality, we all know that to disagree is not to persecute, which is what the statement implies. That implication makes it a fallacy.

I say all that to say, this whole deleting someone off of Facebook is really a false dilemma. When you're no longer friends with someone in real life, it's not like the thought of them keeping tabs on you via status updates and pictures is comforting per say. At the same time, if someone does fancy a peek at your page every once in a while, only to find that you've blocked them, then you end up looking like the bad guy. As if you were being extra. As if it's that black and white. I'm the type of person that easily sees a gray area which is why the false dilemma fallacy applies here. For me, it was never as simple as to delete or not to delete. It was to further ignite a flame or to let sleeping dogs lie. Those multiple functions of Facebook I mentioned earlier include "hiding" a person from your news feed so you're not bombarded with their very own Truman Show. I chose to go that route rather than going full out, balls to the wall and clicking delete.

I let my inaction speak volumes only to find that my old friend's actions spoke louder. Trust me when I say there are no hard feelings, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice the fact that for once it was me who'd been deleted. A few weeks back in my aunt's kitchen I had no idea that I'd soon become one of the crew. But at the end of the day, it's all good. It's just Facebook, nobody's starving over it. In fact, a dude named Mark is eating better than all of us because of it.

Have you ever been deleted off of a friend's Facebook? Have you ever deleted someone from yours?


Sash said...

Oooh, Ooh, I'll answer! Yes, I have been deleted by a few members of my family after expressing my views on how a diva-in-training should represent on and off line. They didn't care for me to see how poorly they conducted themselves when they think no one is looking, and I kindly got removed from their Facebook life...fortunately, not their real lives, so I still can and do get at them! In these cases, I laughed when I learned I'd been cut because in the minds of these youngsters, I am "old" and "trying to bloe up their spot". I have recently also been the deleter of a few FB friends. I did so because either I wasn't comfortable with an individual from my past being exposed to photos of myself, family and friends, didn't care to be exposed to what a person was about(derogatory/distasteful/offensive), or, discovered that the "friend" was doing heavy spectating on my FB page while having less than favorable things to share about me in "real life".

MISS WHITE said...

I can digg that for real! In the case with the young women in your family, it's your JOB to let them know what it is. If they can't handle the real, that just goes to show how young they really are. I honestly hate to see women (young or old) go on FB and act a fool myself. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do tho, and that may mean unfriending them. The reasons you ended up deleting people are the exact reason I've debated doing it myself. I think I was too concerned about how it would look tho. Brava to you for keeping it official! Thanks for reading and commenting!

brandie said...

I have been deleted from facebook by a few people... and nonetheless I am not really entertained by facebook so it does not bother me. I say to you Miss White let her kick rocks and beat it!!! If she was a real friend as if a majority of people on facebook are not then she would of came to you like a woman, because that is what real grown woman do. And please do not feel like the joke was on you by her doing that, it's only facebook who really cares. Oh and if you look at my friends list it's now down to 98, so those who hit the delete button on me the re-request me can also beat it!!!!!

Oni said...

People take being ignored and being deleted as a FB friend serious! I had a cousin that sent me a friend request I never got a chance to accept and he sent me a follow up msg saying y I never accepted his request?? Lol! After reading this blog I went through the People You May Know list and checked to see if I'd been deleted. No one listed was a previous friend. Shockingly I felt relieved. But if I was deleted I would look at who did the deleting. I have quite a few FB friends who I would pretend I didn't see if I ran into them on the street. Sad but true. I accepted them out of nosiness and if they removed me I could care less. But...if its someone whose page I contribute to and vice versa it would kinda piss me off. Y did u delete me? Y didn't I get a heads up if I posted something offensive or put u on blast on ur own page??? Seems like a bitch move to just delete me without addressing the pblm...Just my 2 cents ;-)

MISS WHITE said...

Thanks for reading and commenting!

@ Brandie - lol! I agree...it's only Facebook. I will say though that I don't think it's that she wasn't being a woman. She probably felt the same way I did but she just took that next step and pressed delete. I didn't feel like the joke was on me because we both know what it is. If I was to ever reach out to her again, it wouldn't be on Facebook anyway so it's really a non _______ factor! lol

@ Oni - Again...lol! I stay ducking people on the street and not acknowledging them. I'm just not really good at small talk. It's not about them, it's a flaw of mine. Anyway, I feel you. People take FB additions and subtractions way too seriously. Few things in life are THAT serious and FB isn't one of them. Just as a disclaimer though, I must say this wasn't really about my old friend deleting me. Looking at your comments I get the impression that that's how I came off. I just used what happened as an example. I know why she deleted me. The same reason I would have deleted her.

Also, I'm happy to not induct you into the deleted crew yet, but there's always tomorrow lol.

miss white's #1 fan said...

to keep it real miss white ..i have deleted someone from my facebook page ..just one dude tho..he was posting some in appropriate things that wasnt under the "man code" lol.so i canned him...funny thing is when i first accepted his friend request i really didnt know him anyway...im cool with his man...he was sending me messages like "yo its me..so n so's man lol...so i accepted him....after those posts that wasnt under the "man code"..i didnt wanna see his silly face no more...now he sends me friend request like "yo its me....so n so`s man" lmao.....i havent responded yet

Pretty Ricky Fontaine said...

I think FB carries a different definition for everyone. Some people join to network (personal and professional), catch up with old friends or like me, just purely for entertainment. I like to have fun and push the envelope with humor while other take everything posted personal literally.
I have deleted people because they were internet thuggin or overly disrespectful to the opposite sex. I do not feel that what FB is about and choose not to look or affiliate myself with those behaviors.
I have had plenty people delete me and attack my character based on my post. If you know me personally, you know that I am not a malicious person however if you do not know me well, I can understand and have to accept you being judgmental of me because my content. Also, if it is that offensive, delete me; there is no love lost.
Again, I may post some extreme content but I will never disclose my personal business or intentionally disrespect someone. If you have an issue, pick up the phone or meet face to face to dispute your issues.
What FB means, to each a zone.
If you don’t want people commenting on your pics and status’, don’t post them.
Be ready to accept the good and bad with whatever you post because your intent doesn’t matter, it is how people accept it.

MISS WHITE said...

@ mw#1f - that's pretty funny! Guess he had to get the can if he violated the "man code" lol.

@ Pretty Ricky - I use Fb for entertainment purposes too lol. First and foremost,it has helped me to reconnect with friends from the past as well. People are funny though, so when I'm bored and I want to see some shenanigans I log in.

Also, you said something very key at the end of your comment, "intent doesn't matter". I believe the best art comes from true stories so that's why I share mine here. But my "intent" is never to hurt anyone or throw anyone under the bus. So if that ever happens here...feel free to call me out. I agree that it's the end result that counts, not our intentions. Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!

Anonymous said...

Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

MISS WHITE said...

I'm happy you found it too! Thank u!

Anonymous said...

I have been deleted by quite afew people. I am never mad, but a little hurt sometimes? yes. It hasn't been done by a close friend though, and I never notice by my "friend count" I don't know that number, it isn't important. I notice when people show up on my "people you may know" list or Is listed in the non friend section of an event listing. That always makes me a little sad, its a reality check, I am not as well liked as I wish or think I am. :-|

MISS WHITE said...

I highly doubt that's the case (you not being well liked). Like I said before, it's just not that serious. If someone deletes us, it's their prerogative, but it is a reality check sometimes. Thanks for reading and commenting!