The Facebook Friend Self-Execution

Michael Takasaki is a regular contributor to Hazlitt. In his non-free time, he writes...

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My laziness is well known, as is my aversion to conflict. Which means that like most people, my “Friends,” “Following,” and “Connections” lists are littered with people with whom I could only grimacingly endure a face-to-face encounter. But I would rather be in a receiving line, forced to make idle chit-chat with each and every one of them than attempt to cull them from my social networks.

Which has given me a fond appreciation of what I’ve started calling “The Friend Self-Execution.” Rather than skim the flotsam myself, I wait for someone I’m iffy about to give me a reason to de-friend them. But it has to be a good reason, not just an annoyance like posting stuff from your life that I care nothing about, because then the de-friending just seems arbitrary. I don’t want anyone wondering why I decided to opt out of their cleanse updates just now.

No. The heights of my dudgeon must be scaled. I must be able to point to the moment I had no choice but to end things. For instance, someone I know from about four jobs ago recently shared this, from

Before this, I would have been happy to be rid of her shilling for her home-based, Herbalife-esque business, but I was too lazy to track down her profile and figure out how to 86 her. But this, this was a chance to express indignation, my second-favourite emotion after ‘hungry.’ Now I am not the jerk, heartlessly turfing old acquaintances; my hand was forced.

Sloth, passive-aggression, and self-righteousness—the ketchup, relish, and mustard to the burger that is my soul.

Incidentally, if you’re reading this and you are on my “Friends,” “Following,” or “Connected” list, don’t worry. I’m not talking about you. And if it does happen, thankfully, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn won’t notify you.