Rejection in the Time of Facebook

Facebook Friend?

 

Have you ever rejected someone in Facebook? (That is, if you have a Facebook account.) 

If you do have an account then you know what I mean… You check your notifications one morning, then you find friend requests from people you don’t really know… or people you used to know in earlier life but never really talked to.  And so for a moment you contemplate on befriending them because, after all, you have matured and you are friendlier now.  Or maybe because the stranger’s profile picture looked just like George Clooney… oh wait, it IS George Clooney in the picture! Duh?!

Sometimes I feel bad not responding to someone’s friend request that I just let the invitation sit for, say, about six months… Okay, so maybe that person would have already figured out by now that I didn’t really want to accept the friend request.  Though at least technically I haven’t really rejected said person so I have no reason to feel guilty.  But then again, not confirming the request is pretty much telling.

Facebook friend wannabe

So am I a bad person if I hit the “ignore request” button? But then again, do I really want to be friends with Monsieur Delifrance from Paris or Mr. Macho-Wearing-Tank-Tops from uhm, the gym?  What about this high school classmate that I NEVER breathed a single word to, all those years we were classmates?  All I remember is that the boys used to tease him a lot.  And Mean Girl Me couldn’t help but laugh whenever they teased him (gimme a break, I was very young then!).  And then now this guy wants us to be Facebook friends.  If I hit the ignore button, then it’s like rejecting him all over again. 

Now I feel just like JLo (yes, the new American Idol judge).  We both just can’t say NO.  Watch American Idol auditions and you will know what I am talking about.  (This is not a paid advertisement for AI, you don’t really have to watch the show if it’s not your thing.)

Back to Facebook.  What I am saying is, nobody likes being rejected.  Unfortunately, while to some people Facebook is a great way to ‘find’ friends, well it can also be an avenue to reject people. 

Facebook friend hottie

But of course, you can’t say yes to all friend requests, especially the ones coming from total strangers.  They may look hot and yummy (did I just say yummy?!), but didn’t mother tell you not to talk to strangers??  I guess Mr. H & Y wouldn’t mind being rejected.  Besides, even if he does mind, you don’t really know him so who cares, right?

What about Mr. High School Teased-a-Lot?  Is it right to reject his invite?  But when I think about it, do I really want to know his status updates? Do I really care?? And if I see him walking somewhere, will I even smile or say hi to him (like Facebook friendship gives you a connection). I think not.  I don’t even how he looks like now (no photo uploaded), so I wouldn’t know if it’s him. What’s the point, right?  

Several months ago I received a friend request from another high school classmate (let’s call him Mr. Teased-a-Lot #2).  Despite the same misgivings (I didn’t really know him, I never talked to him before, etc), I accepted the request.  Funny thing was, the profile photo he uploaded was the picture of the wrestler Batista. Yey, I am now friends with Batista.  Maybe I can smile at him (Batista) when I bump into him.  See?! What’s the point in being Facebook friends with someone you don’t really know anything about?  

Facebook friend ferret

The next time I checked, his profile picture was a ferret. Great, I’m friends with a ferret.  Now I am thinking of ‘defriending’ the ferret, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Rejection.  Some people really just ask for it.

Truth be told, I can only think of one Facebook rejection that I had.  Back when I was pretty new in Facebook, I sent friend requests to friends (and not really friends) both from high school and college.  I remember sending this guy (an old college crush) a friend request thinking that he knew me from school anyway – because I was always stalking him (haha, that was a joke, of course!!).   Seriously, at some point in our college lives, we talked a few times. And so I was just being friendly. And mature.  Yeah right.

Two and a half years later (that means today), my friend request is still probably sitting—or rotting – in his friend request box.  Or maybe he has ignored it the moment he saw it.  So there, I was rejected in college… twenty years later, I was rejected once again, this time, in Facebook.  How fun is that?

A Goddess Rejected

Because I don’t do well with rejection, I stopped inviting people to be my Facebook friends.  As much as it pains me (such drama!) to hit the ignore button on someone’s invite, my psyche also can only take so much rejection, so why risk it? 

Besides, the people who really matter know where to find me. 

In real life. Not in Facebook.

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photos via weheartit.com ; Macho Man Randy Savage via google images

Finding friends in a place least likely

It is amazing that people can find friends in places least likely. 

When I started blogging, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I mean, I hoped I will get readers, and I hoped my readers will appreciate my writing — or at the very least, learn something from me.  What I didn’t expect is that there will be some kind of relationship that will be formed between me and my readers, or me and the other bloggers whose works I follow.

I often say that modern technology has made the world smaller.  I even blogged about my long distance romance in the ’90s and how the presence of emails, ym and sms could have helped the relationship survive the distance.  Now, because of all these forms of communication, it is much, much easier to meet people from other parts of the world… from various continents, even.

The thing I love about following other people’s blogs is that more than the entertainment value that some may give, or the admiration for the blogger’s writing style and skill, basically, reading about their experiences reminds me of one’s humanity. People are the same everywhere.  Regardless of race or skin color, or continents where they are at, people go through the same experiences in life.  Okay, so maybe in varying degrees.  But parents from two different places may have the same struggles concerning their kids.  We may all have the same victories and joys, too.

It is a journey.  Life is a journey. And if there’s one good thing that this so called blog world had given me, it is the feeling that no matter what personal struggle I may be going through, or I have gone through, or may go through, there are other people out there who have experienced the same… who can offer some form of learning or support.  People who will unselfishly join me in my journey.  Simply because they have been there… and they just want to reach out and help. 

Last week’s bad encounter in cyberspace with some sicko may have been very disturbing.  Yes, there are disgusting people out there — in real world and cyberworld, alike.  But there are good people, too.  I have read so many words of support given to a blog “friend” of mine from people who are practically strangers… people  she probably has never met in person.  And that is something. 

One of the highest points in my blogging experience was when a writer (a real book author) made a comment in one of my posts.  I was thrilled.  In fact, I was ecstatic. My first thought was, “Wow.  She is a real author.  And I am just a fan!  I have read about four of her books!! And she’s commenting on my blog post!!!”  It was pretty surreal. 

Then I realized that she is human, too.  Author, or not, she experiences the same emotions that I do.  In fact, she posted a comment because she was so thrilled to find out that I have been reading her books.  She is just like any ordinary human being, capable of feeling joy and excitement, as well as sadness and grief.  She reaches out to people with her works, and she reached out to me by showing gratitude and appreciation.

There still are good people.  One can find friends in places they don’t expect.  Even in cyber world…. even in blogworld.  Maybe I should say, most especially in blogworld.

☮

it's a small world after all...

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photo via weheartit.com