Nov 27th 2009

Have you ever been Unfriended?   If you have, don’t feel bad, the action is common enough that the New Oxford American Dictionary made “unfriend” it’s Word of thenew-oxford-american-dictionary Year for 2009.   Words it beat out include:

  • Hashtag which is the hash sign added to a word or phrase that lets Twitter users search for tweets about the same subject.
  • Intexticated for when people are distracted by texting while driving.
  • Birther meaning conspiracy theorists challenging President Barack Obama’s U.S. birth certificate.
  • Deleb referring to dead celebrities, and
  • Zombie bank — a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support.

For those who have not yet entered the social media world, unfriend is a verb that means “to remove someone as a ‘friend’ from a social media network.  So a possible sentence using the word would be, facebook“I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook because she is a frequently intexticated birther who supports zombie banks and is obsessed with delebs.”

Now listen, if you’ve ever been unfriended, don’t get too discouraged.  The reality is that most of us have too many facebook friends anyway.  Facebook is a front-porch for relationships.  You sit out on the front porch for a few moments every evening to see who walks by.  You don’t know everyone who walks by equally well.  Some folks, you don’t even know their names, just their face.  But they walk by and you wave, or maybe they give you a brief status update and then they are on their way.  But the reality is that if you had a 1000 people walking by your front porch, it would be called a parade route not a neighborhood.   Facebook is a good front porch, it’s only so-so as a parade guide.

I enjoy facebook.  I use it to take an occasional walk through neighborhoods filled with people I know, some better than others.  Some front porches I stop by for a moment, some I just give a wave, sometimes no one is home.  Then some nights I just stay home and let others walk past my porch.

BUT here’s the deal — don’t settle for only front-porch friendships.  Make sure that you know the inside of a small handful of those homes that you walk by… and make sure a few of those front-porch friends have had a cup of coffee in your kitchen.

More later on facebook friends.