Unfriending on Facebook

Over the years a number of former students have found me on Facebook and asked to be friends. In almost all cases, I have agreed. Sometimes I agreed because I saw that they were friends with other people whom I admire and care about. In most instances, these friendships have been okay as the former students have gone on to lead successful lives and it’s been fun to see the progress. However…

I have recently seen, played out on Facebook, the unraveling of lives. Some of the former students have small children, and the tragedies of failed lives are involving those children. I can hardly sit still and not give advice. Well, most of the time I don’t sit still but let my feelings be known. I can see the terrible mess they are making of their life, much like the life of the parents before them, and it makes me so angry that they did not learn from those mistakes. And, they seem to have forgotten what we taught them in class.

Today I started unfriending those who make me the most upset. It seems cruel to drop them, but I cannot keep watching the train wreck as its happening. They aren’t going to listen to my advice to get out off the track and out of the way of the speeding train. It all makes me feel like a failure. So, I’m going to look away.

7 responses to “Unfriending on Facebook

  1. I’ve not unfriended a former student for life style choices – unraveling life, but I have unfriended one or two for their language. There are a lot of kids on facebook, many under the age of 13 and I just can’t sit by while they use profanity ALL the time. I usually give two warnings and then un-friend.

    • For awhile, FB had an unsubscribe feature and I used that, but it is no longer an option so I unfriended. I cannot watch train wrecks about to happen while shouting from the sidelines to get off the track. Yes, the language is another factor for unfriending, but less so than the bad choices over and over again.

  2. oh it must be very upsetting and I’m surprised that it’s all unravelling on Facebook!

  3. I don’t unfriend but simply use “hide” so I don’t have to see what’s going on. I haven’t used it for awhile, but I hope that feature isn’t gone, too.

  4. It’s really wonderful that so many of your students have maintained contact. It shows what kind of teacher you were and are. It is sad to know students are unable to improve their lives.

  5. I have had a couple of ‘unfriending’ sprees. I like FB quite a bit so I figured that if they weren’t bringing a positive value to me as a ‘friend,’ it was probably for the best to just cut them loose. No guilt.

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