Sometimes it’s best to NOT connect with old friends on Facebook


Facebook has become one of the most popular social networking tools.  Once you get on there, it is amazing how many old friends and acquaintances you can find.  The question is if it’s in everyone’s best interest to rekindle these friendships.

Since I run several successful online businesses and websites, I use Facebook mostly as a networking tool, but I have connected with old high school friends… until recently.

I was reminded of someone when looking through nostalgia, and casually looked this person up on Facebook.   She proceeded to tell me what a horrible person I was, told me to go to hell and never contact them again. I was even accused of being a stalker, even though she accepted the friend request.

It is one’s nature to defend themselves when attacked, but I instead apologized for whatever I may have done to offend in the past or present and wished her well in her endeavors.  If one is willing to hold onto stuff like that after twenty years, then they obviously do not have the capacity to move on.  The evidence of this social dysfunction and lack of ambition is all around this person: no relationship, no children, a small career, and staying in the same small town she was born in… and she’s ugly, too.

Another former incident involved an old high school girlfriend who went so far as to block me once I requested a Facebook connection.  I could cite many atrocities that she did to me, including numerous and repeated infidelities, but I moved beyond that.  Yet it was her that didn’t want to speak to me?

The lesson learned from these situations is this: Many people do not want to be reminded of a past period that caused them pain, regardless of whose fault it may be.  Let’s face it: for many people high school is the most painful social period of their lives.

Most people reconnect with old friends via Facebook for the same reason that people go to high school reunions.   They seek gratification of proving to their former peers that they are successful, and have moved beyond whatever person they were (or constraints they had) in high school.

I connected with some acquaintances from high school, but incidences like these make me wonder about some things.  Why establish fake friendships with people to whom I barely spoke, have no relevance in my current life, and are stuck in a world from two decades ago?

Underneath it all, Facebook is technically  a faceless, cold technology, but it brings about real human emotions and reactions like what was once “normal” social interaction.  Just like in real life, one must choose carefully whom they surround themselves with for an emotionally healthy and satisfying experience.

So, think carefully before connecting with an old “friend”, whether it be from high school or an old job.   If there was any negative situation associated between you two then you may have to prepare  for a rejection or negative judgment rather than resolution.

If only I had the ability to “unfriend” or “block” someone in high school…

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.