When Friends Go Bad – Friend Expiry Dates and Why They Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Take the standard milk bottle. Not the cute glass kind that you see in British movies, or are mentioned in books. (For example, in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – Aunt Petunia finds baby Harry on the Dursley’s doorstep when she opens the front door to put the milk bottles out; just some evidence to prove my point). Where I live, it’s the ugly plastic ones with their plastic lids, ranging from dark blue, to green, advertising their ‘fullness’ all the way to their ‘liteness’.
I want one! I want one!
And I was thinking, it would be so convenient if friends, too, came with expiry dates. Isn’t that such a callous thought? What a cow! the reader is thinking. That is, if there is a reader at all. But first let me make myself clear. I shall make my point and then you may attack. Or not, thou vast empty cyberspace at which I continue to chatter – or type – away.

I first came across this concept through the use of facebook.
Ah, facebook! How convenient you are! Such an integral part of most of our online lives. And a very central part, to some. Happily I am not one of these ‘some’. One very uneventful day I was scrolling down my (limited) list of friends, pondering on who I should delete next, when I noticed that my cursor would hover for some seconds over the profiles of several of my old school friends, before reluctantly pulling away. I realized that almost half of those on my friends list were actually those whom I had gone to school with. And evidently had befriended, or been befriended by, in order to keep in touch. As you might guess, after that first add, and few subsequent “Hey, what’s up? Nothing much. So glad high school is over”s there wasn’t much interaction among us. A decided lack of it, both on my part and theirs. And that’s when I realized that some friendships are made to be broken.

Those high-school friends that you’re able to talk so easily with, and can laugh at stupid jokes with, or complain about school work with? They are simply your high-school friends. Take away the school setting, throw in real life with uni and meeting new people, and suddenly things are a little awkward, and dialogue dwindles until there is absolutely nothing.

Let’s go back, say 10 years. Before the whole social network thing started attacking everyone like a very determined flu. You went through high-school, you had your close friends, and then the ones you got along pretty well with, the ones whom you were indifferent to, as well as a few (if you are lucky) of those you despised with the fire of a thousand burning suns. And once high school was over, you would be on your merry way, to make the best of what you could in the vast and terrifying world, and ideally you would be in touch, via e-mail or snail mail, with your very close friends; and if you were very lucky you might even develop great friendships with those whom you just ‘got along pretty well with’ and eventually lose all contact with the rest. And that’s how things should be. What is natural need not be forced.

But with facebook, this is impossible. You are still in contact, or ‘in facebook contact’ at least, with several of those school friends, whom you are too nice to delete off your friends list because then – gasp – imagine the ugly misunderstandings that would arise. It’s all just so much more complicated. You are forced to pretend to like each other when actually you don’t really give that much of a toss (or only a slight toss) and that’s when things start to go bad, like sour milk that’s gone by its expiry date. Suddenly you start to see the original friendship (which would have been pleasant enough) in this new and tainted light. You wonder, why aren’t they talking to me? They’re talking to her, and him, so why not ME? Don’t they like me? What did I do? I’m being ignored! Why oh why oh whyyyy. And so on and so forth. I am exaggerating for entertainment purposes. No one need worry for my mental health; well no one need know about it anyway. Or perhaps, you’re the one who’s moved on first, and you’re receiving very resentful vibes from your online peers. Whatever the case, it’s just unnecessary; it’s a waste of energy and time that could be spent on more useful things, like picking the lint off your woolly socks (which, by the way, is not as time consuming as one might think, if you’re strategic about the whole thing).

Of course, having said all this, I’m kind of, maybe, probably, most likely not going to be running off and deleting those people. And maybe in the end it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s just a sort of pet peeve that I wanted, or needed, to rant about. And also, most likely, it’s something that everyone needs to figure out or realize on their own. I just resent the unnecessary accumulation of these ‘friends’ when they aren’t even really your friends. I suppose it’s all just for appearances, anyway. We are talking about facebook after all, where it’s about nothing but appearances.


2 thoughts on “When Friends Go Bad – Friend Expiry Dates and Why They Shouldn’t Be Ignored

  1. Ha! I like your thoughts. Woolly sock picking beats facebook anyday. Thank you kindly for you comment on my blog – it cheered me greatly to know I have a fellow Amy March resenter, and it also directed me to your blog, so hurrah all round!


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