Tag Archives: social life

You Are The Weakest Link. Goodbye.

Alright kids, gather round. Today we’re going to talk about the ultimate burn in this day and age: being de-friended on some sort of social media. I originally wrote this back in 2009 when I swear I was the only person in my friend group with Twitter and things like Instagram didn’t exist yet. So let’s focus on Facebook because being de-friended on Facebook sucks every bit as much today as it did in 2009. I’m not really sure what the pre-Facebook equivalent would be. Being picked last for the kickball team? Someone not returning your calls? Being completely ignored, kind of like the episode of South Park where Cartman thought he was dead? Anywho. Let’s get on with this.

To de-friend someone on Facebook is basically saying “I never want to see you again. I want nothing to do with you. You are dead to me. I am cutting you out of my life completely.” Once your former lover/roommate/best friend de-friends you, your updates will no longer show up in their news feed. They won’t be forced to endure status updates, pictures posted, or Farmville notifications. But Author, what if somebody is just cleaning out their list or really doesn’t give a crap about your engagement photo shoot? Nowadays, there are ways to hide that stuff! I have plenty of people on my Facebook that post a little too frequently about their kids’ potty training that I selected to hide their updates. Also, you can hide updates from games and other things. The best part is that the other person doesn’t know you selected to hide their updates whereas if you de-friend someone and then they go to look you up for some reason, they are suddenly VERY aware of this de-friending.

Personally, I have only felt compelled to de-friend people on two occasions in my life. The first was a completely normal occurrence. Remember when Facebook was for college kids only? (Man, I’m really dating myself here.) And the best moment of your summer before freshman year was getting your college email address so you could get Facebook (or as it was known back in the day THE Facebook)? And how many random people you friended that were members of “FALL INCOMING CLASS 200X WOOOO!!” Yeah…well…after I finally arrived on campus and realized that I wasn’t actually going to be friends with all these people who I had told about my down alternative comforter and flamingo string lights, I did a little cleaning. Understandable? Yes. If you don’t know the person in real life, you can delete them. During Spring Semester, I became friends with a kid that was in one of my new classes and he actually CALLED ME OUT ON IT. He was like “Well we were Facebook friends and then you de-friended me.” Ummm…today is the first day I met you?!? But sure enough, when I checked my OLD messages, I had found out that months and months before this, we had gone back and forth about how his building was closer to the dining hall than mine. Real friendship right there. Sigh.

The other time I de-friended someone was later in my college career. I was having a bit of a stalker issue and it got to the point where I didn’t want him in my life anymore. I was doing a great job at avoiding him in person, but he would always make snarky remarks via Facebook AND he had started friending my friends to talk to them about me. I was young and at the time didn’t realize how serious the whole situation was so I simply de-friended him, thinking that MAYBE he’d take the hint. He didn’t. Instead, he re-friended me and included a little message. I don’t remember it word-for-word anymore but I’m pretty sure thought it was awfully rude of me to remove him from my friends list. I’m sorry. I didn’t like when you Facebook messaged me twenty times in one day. At this point, I had to take it one step further and block him. I had never blocked anybody on Facebook. At this point in time, my blocking knowledge was limited to AIM. I’m assuming it worked because I never heard from him (at least on Facebook) again. Also, I can’t search for him. So it does go both ways. That’s alright. I can live without his creepy/emo status updates.

So readers, what brings you to the point of having to de-friend a person? Did your break up leave you in your pajamas for a week with only your good friends Ben and Jerry for company? Did your best friend steal “yo man”? Sick of looking at somebody’s ugly mug? Or…more grown up problems…are you sick of hearing about somebody’s upcoming wedding EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.? These ridiculous situations always make for great stories, so put yours in the comments and get ready for tomorrow’s post!

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Let’s All Go To The Bar…

…or not. At least not one nearby. Definitely not one within walking distance. Maybe to be safe I’ll head to the next town over. Why? Students. My biggest fear is that I’ll be at the bar dancing with a relatively attractive individual only to later find out that he is a student at the school I work at (Please Don’t Fire Me University) PDFM U. Even though it’s a small school, I definitely do not know them all!

Like 90% of the time if I ever run into a student at an establishment known more for it’s drinking than say…it’s meals…we acknowledge each other’s presence and then make sure to stay far, far away from each other. That way it’s not awkward, we’re not trying to hide from each other, and we’re probably making sure that we don’t become sloppy messes. In my mind (and when speaking with most of my student affairs friends) that seems like a reasonable solution. You don’t need to make a HUGE deal about avoiding the chance run in with students but at the same time you’re not getting all up in their business or throwing back shots with them. That’s not cool (even if it makes your students think you’re cool). If you think you’ve had one drink too many or feel the need to procreate on the dance floor, it’s time for you to go home. NOBODY needs to see that (especially your students).

Including the above sloppy mess scenario, there are plenty of instances when a run in with a student is NOT OKAY. It shouldn’t be a thing that you are running into students constantly. If you know that a certain bar hosts “College Night” or some other event that your students love on a certain night, don’t go there on that night. Heck, if you know a bar is frequented by your students, JUST DON’T GO THERE. If you happen to run into students while out and about, don’t try to dance with them or have lengthy conversations about anything. Don’t buy them drinks or recommend drinks. That’s not appropriate. If there are students that are underage, LEAVE.

There will be times where you have to leave because of students. One time, my friends and I were out having a good time when a student came up and started dancing with her. Now I mentioned this being one of my fears…her situation was a bit different. She knew he was a student so she literally RAN off the dance floor. So was it a case of a student not knowing she worked for PDFM U? NO. HE IS A STUDENT WORKER IN HER OFFICE. When he crept up behind her, he even said, “Hey IndirectSupervisorLadyThatIHaveNoBusinessCreepingOn”. That’s not appropriate. What made it worse was that all of his student friends kept hanging around our non-PDFM U friends. Time to leave.

Does it suck that sometimes I have to leave because of students? Yes, it’s happened twice since I’ve been here. But you know what? I like my job and I like having the respect of my students and colleagues.

One interesting thing is to see my various friends’ reactions. They have all worked at different schools with different policies before this one. I have one friend who remains panicked whenever we go out just at the thought a student MIGHT be there. I have other friends that think nothing of it. Both Undergrad U and Grad School State were much larger schools. At Undergrad U, I wasn’t old enough to go to bars until the very end of college and the administrators weren’t coming to house parties. At Grad School State, I would go to our nice set of typical college town watering holes that were incredibly strict about IDing people…meaning if I saw students there, they were of legal age. Sometimes I’d see my boss or her friends out and about…the important thing was acting appropriately and drinking responsibly.

What sort of policies does your current (or previous) institution have regarding this matter?

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