When we were young and carefree, friendships seemed so simple. You would have your compulsory playground argument and after a good sulk you would, "make up, make up, never do it again" and all would be forgotten. Nowadays, the world of social networking has made it virtually (excuse the pun) impossible to make and maintain any form of genuine friendships.
While I am grateful for the new acquaintances made over 2012, I soon discovered that as soon as Facebook can create friendships it can also end them. Which is why I intend to do a Facebook cull to rid any toxic friends intent on spreading negative energy to ruin my karma!
The other day I was talking to a girlfriend who discovered that she had been deleted by a long-term, mutual friend of ours. Thinking it must have been a mistake, after all, were we not all recently laughing and joking together over dinner and cocktails? So I checked my own list only to find out that I too had been unceremoniously dumped. What was more baffling was that were no obvious grievances or specific argument to actually justify the 'defriend' status. It made me wonder whatever happened to picking up the phone like the good ol'days and having a "heart-to heart".
But with just a click of a button our friendship had been written off with no call or explanation. I was racking my brains in confusion. Was it something I'd said online? Was it taken the wrong way? Or was it because I didn't click 'like' on her photo album? See, that's the thing about communicating (or not as the case would be) in cyberspace. A simple meaning can get lost in translation and be misinterpreted altogether!
Then there are the social invites that you may well and truly miss because you were expecting a 'personal' invitation. One lady was incensed that she saw tagged photos of a group of her close friends enjoying themselves on a night out. When she asked where her invite was, the response was, "I invited you on Facebook". One person event went as far as to put her child's baptism on as a Facebook event?? On the flip side, you have those on your friends list who automatically expect an invitation to your events. Never mind the fact that they haven't seen or spoken to you for 10 years yet live 15 minutes up the road!
So before you do your 2013 Facebook cull here are a few simple rules: Have you checked that you know all 876 people on your friends list? If there are any dubious ones who you don't know from Adam, delete. Ask yourself, what role does that person play in your life and is it a positive one? If you don't know, delete. And finally, how would you feel if that person was no longer a friend? If you wouldn't feel any way bereft then hit that delete button now! Out with the old in with the new.
As my wise pops told me as a child: "You don't have to like everybody, and not everyone will like you." Something to remember before you click accept on that random friend request!
Follow Cynthia Lawrence on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Cynteee