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?