Tag Archives: defriending

taking facebook face to face

last year, i very briefly visited austria.  when i say brief, i mean four hours.  a layover in between success and certain disaster.  in my around the world trip to visit all my facebook friends i had put a lot of effort into meeting claudia klose in dortmund, germany.  i wasn’t quite sure how we knew each other.  we had two mutual friends in common–both of whom had worked with my son eastman during his very brief movie career.  i assumed claudia was a producer, makeup person, lighting director. ..  and that i just couldn’t connect face and name.

claudia and i exchanged a bunch of messages about my trip.  she was very reluctant to see me and said she didn’t like meeting new people.  especially since she said her english was very poor.  i admire people who can say that their english isn’t very good because whatever language they speak i can’t say more than “hello” “goodbye” and “where is the bathroom?”  and i can only do all three in french after two years of high school french.

nonetheless, i won her over and she agreed to meet me.  and with a precision that confirmed my sense that germans are way more organized than the rest of us, it was to be at the dortmund train station hb 7 gate tuesday november 1 at 6:30 p.m.  we agreed we would have coffee and engage in the universal activity of female friendship–shopping.

on the thirty first–the first halloween i had spent outside of the country–i was in italy visiting a facebook friend and i decided to reconfirm.  oh, let’s not call it reconfirming.  let’s call it what it was–re-re-re-re-confirming.  we had just been in touch not a week before.

i tried to send her a message and discovered i was not only defriended but blocked.  and she had defriended our two mutual friends.  i was stunned.  i wanted to change course.  get out of going to dortmund.  but changing flights, hotels, the itinerary was to expensive to change.  if i was going to meet the next friend on my trip, i had to take a train to the rome airport, fly to vienna, fly to dusseldorf and take a train into dortmund so that the next day i could fly into luten, england to meet the next friend on my facebook friendship itinerary.

i had a wonderful time in dortmund.  got laundry done.  drank beer.  saw the christmas tree (man, the germans get it going on about christmas earlier than anybody–maybe they need a stopgap holiday like halloween or thanksgiving!)

maybe it was great to just chill out.  but i thought about how i approached my new year’s resolution to meet all my facebook friends.  there were some who just didn’t want to meet me.  who wanted to keep things online.

i think it’s important for friendship to sometimes be extended beyond the virtual.  and there’s another friend of mine, from austria, who agrees with me.  andrea warmuth wrote to me with this:

I´m impressed by Arlynn´s story, so I want to tell you mine.

I´m no agoraphobic, but Arlynn is an inpiring example for me too!!!!

As she visited all of her FB-friends, I managed to visit 2 of them.
Regina Jauk and Edith Garcia Chacon.
Regina I would call my soulsister and I visited her october 2011 in Sollenau, Lower Austria
and I visited Edith this June in Kassel, Germany!

Both of them are one of sweetest and nicest persons I´ve ever met!
I´m very lucky to say that I was very welcome and always felt like home!
I´m planing to visit more of my FB-friends and hope to know them all in real life!

This is my story and I was glad to share it with you.

we became friends in january of this year when andrea reached out to me after hearing about my facebook adventure. maybe you can’t see every facebook friend this year, but what if you made a commitment to see two or five or ten? i really hope to make it to austria for more than the four hours i was in the airport waiting to go to dortmund because i would like to meet andrea!

andrea has 817 friends to meet and that’s a daunting task.  i have a similarly daunting task of figuring out how to get to new york tomorrow because i am re-connecting with a facebook friend i met earlier this year.  michele persiak is an agoraphobic who lives on staten island outside of new york city.  she wants to broaden her horizons and she will. . . and i’ll be there to witness it!

when did the word friend stop meaning friend?

that is not actually f2fb friend #223 mary's porsche. it's not mine either. but a porsche is a nice background!

when i first joined facebook, i was just a girl who couldn’t say no.  if someone friendship requested, i said yes.  i figured they had a good reason.  or i was popular.  or i would be rude to say no.  i was, to not put too fine a point on it, a facebook slut.

i was friends with f2fb friend #223 mary knudson before there was facebook and will be friends after facebook fatigue sets in.  we worked together on a pta benefit but hadn’t seen each other face to face for close to two years.  it was fun to sit down and gab.  we both coped to misunderstanding the word “friend” in the facebook sense.  your facebook friends list very often is just a phone book of everyone you’ve ever met.  your personal friends list is entirely different.

after a lovely lunch (thank you mary!) i walked home and ran into a friend with whom i was once facebook friends.  i think she defriended me.  and this is what she had to say and you won’t believe what i said out loud.  but with great affection.

i wish the lady in the van hadn’t stopped to ask for directions because this was getting pretty interesting!


a massive apology and that trigger for self-destruction. . .

i have been laying out money for tix and lodging for the international leg of my facebook new year’s resolution.  i am very nearly broke but i believe i can do this.  still, i have spent a lot of nights worried about money and logistics.

i have been sending out messages to the phillippines, mumbai, korea, taiwan, uae, and other places confirming that people will be where they say they are.  then i received a message from one facebook friend whom i have not seen in a quarter century.  we have been facebook friends for about two years.

in two separate messages, she indicated she wanted me to buy and bring to her a computer.  she is an american working at a university in a country that would be seven stops into the trip.  i had two concerns:  a) money because i am on such a tight budget, and b) transporting this computer.   as to the latter, i was concerned about dropping it, having it stolen, having it get lost at on of the seven airports, or–after my experience with the canadians, i really freaked–having a border or customs official ask me why i was carrying my own computer and a brand spanking new computer.  was i transporting something for somebody else?  off to guantanamo!

i considered that if i could solve (a) money i could ship the computer.  i also wondered if this meant that if i got into the country where she was living (an eight hour flight from the previous stop together with a nine hour train ride) and i DIDNT have the computer, would she refuse to see me.

and this is where facebook (and all virtual and epistolary) relations get into trouble.  i posted about the dilemma yesterday, including a video of murphy my friend with a car who said “don’t do the computer, let me drive you to arkansas to visit one of your facebook friends” within hours had an angry message from the friend.  well, ex-friend–she has defriended me and blocked me so that i can’t even send her an apology and i owe her one:  i was wrong.

she wanted me to purchase the computer, yes, and to transport it, true.  but she intended to pay me back for the cost of the computer.  i didn’t get that last part.  she is quite rightly offended and she made some attendant comments about my project, my personality, and the unforgivable nature of what i had done.

this is something i use for self-destruction. i wanted to put on my pajamas, bolt the doors, turn off the phone and watch movies on hulu.com while drinking this. until i passed out!


sometimes i think amy winehouse got exactly what she was aiming for, which is what i felt like aiming for–oblivion.  just so i don’t have to be me anymore.  just so i don’t have to feel the self-loathing anymore. i didn’t do it, although i know i have to watch myself for a few days to make sure the memory doesn’t trigger a trip to the grocery store liquor aisle.

and so i shoot out into the internet, knowing that i can’t do it through facebook, an unrestrained apology that i know will not be accepted and i will be unforgiven.


darn it! friendship, deactivation and the MC KATO concert

every winter, there comes a time when weather prognosticators get their groove on.  and an outpouring of forecasts, each more apocalyptic than the other, scares the bejesus out of chicagoans.  today, the general consensus is that the upcoming snowstorm will be worse than, ahem, the snowstorm of 1967.  the winnetka community house has already announced it will be closed.  ohare airport, out of which i was to fly off to tallahassee, is on full ground stop for tomorrow.  and mc kato has been forced to postpone the concert he was to do at my house.   his dj and the rest of his posse are going to try again later this month.  it will be the “welcome back for a little while” concert for my face to facebook project.  sometimes i am reminded that friendship requires flexibility.  especially in the face of the elements.

i thought this past weekend that a friend had defriended me.  and further, when i tried to email her, i thought i was being blocked.  i felt awful.  a little rejected.  a little concerned about whatever i had done to have her not want to count me as a friend anymore.  then i did something totally retro–i called her.  she said that no, she was still my friend and i wasn’t being blocked but that she had deactivated her account for a while.  the reasons are not for discussion here, but i hadn’t known you can deactivate and then reactivate and then presumably redeactivate again.  i  learned from f2fb #4 winston chang that many people on active duty in the military deactivate their accounts so that if they are, say, held hostage, their captors can’t use information gleaned from their page in order to harm them or their families.

and this is not to say that i haven’t been defriended because i have been by one person since this enterprise got started.

regardless of the weather, i’m fighting my way onto the first flight out of chicago to tallahassee so that i can see my facebook friend justin leiber, who is also my father.

it had to happen–i am defriended!

poor, poor, pitiful me!  i have been defriended and facebook don’t make it easy to figure out who defriends you.  it’s like they’re a teenaged girl from the cool clique who is trying to spare your feelings but isn’t really doing such a good job.  i checked the facebook friend who had been with my husband when we first separated–no, she’s still my facebook friend.  ditto the guy i wouldn’t date whose posts are so fun and vulgar that i would despair if they didn’t pop up every once in a while–he’s still my friend.  so is that guy i went out with in college and the rapper inda loop.  and alex beh who used to babysit my kid and now dates jennifer love hewitt.   i don’t blame anybody for defriending me–i might defriend myself given a chance.

but before i defriend myself–victory!  i made it back to my cozy home and if i can do a small trip i can do every trip required by the face to facebook new years’ resolution!  i can meet every one of my remaining 331 facebook friends before december 31, 2011.  this is all said in hubris.

the trip began with kankakee where i saw heather for lunch at her job at target.  she’s not always going to work there–in fact, i think she’s “work at a museum” material.  i can’t wait to watch that develop!  then onto champaign-urbana to see john and alice lafond!  they were such fine hosts and the next morning i woke quite refreshed and ready for adventure.

and i got it!  i was lost several times while trying to find the home of andrew pearce.  andrew is a transplanted brit who worked in the railway industry for twenty years.  his passions are photography and trains so this is the result of our visit:

and p.s. the train engine was running.  my butt got really cold.  andrew makes pickled eggs and declined to give me the recipe but i smelled it and decided it could be used as a diet aid as well.  in exchange for those eggs, he gets free beer for life from the local brewery.  i’d like that deal.

then a sweeping tour of bloomington and i am having dinner with my stepdaughter elisabeth and her husband steve.  elisabeth was seven when i married her father.  her brother was eleven.  i was pregnant with joseph.  i was a wretched stepmom.  i never beat her or locked her up in the basement, but i wasn’t too keen on making school lunches five days in a row and i never celebrated her successes as much as i should have.  nonetheless, she has forgiven me.  partly that’s because of grace–being a new mom really makes one appreciate the stresses of your own mom (or stepmom) much better.  here’s some important information on how to make fishnet stocking if you’re a princess and you have to dress in rugged conditions.

i spent the night at the indiana union and got a call from chris redmond, joseph’s childhood friend.  i remember him as a loud, hyperactive, mischievous boy.  the guy who showed up the next morning to work out was a tall, gentlemanly man.  his parents have done all right by him.  he has agreed to be my necessary bodyguard for the asian leg of the face to facebook new years resolution tour and if anybody wants to apply for any other legs of the trip, sign up now!  here, he demonstrates how to train to be a bodyguard:

one thing i’ve learned is that i know some friends who have purpose and meaning in their lives, whether their purpose is trains, raising grace, Jesus Christ, or even just knowing they will have a purpose one day. i hope to find my purpose.  i hope to find my way.  with my face to facebook friends, i am learning. 331 friends, 319 to go!