I don’t care if you block me or unfriend me on Facebook, or so I like to tell myself.
Each morning I check this blog’s stats—I am, after all, the Stat Slut—to see (1) if my number of followers has changed, and (2) if anyone viewed my pages, clicked Like on a post, or made a comment.
Here’s a little inside scoop about the number of followers you might see on a WordPress site: The second you connect your blog to Facebook, all of your Friends are counted as followers of your blog. It doesn’t matter if they don’t even know you have a blog, or they’ve forgotten who you are, or they’re dead but haven’t gotten around to cancelling their Facebook account. They’re a follower now.
My follower count stands at a lofty 103 today, but about twenty of them actually choose to follow me outside of Facebook. That’s something, right? Not that I care.
So when I checked yesterday morning, I saw that my followers had dropped by one from 104. I shrugged with faux dignity and said, “Oh, well.”
Then I looked at the Still Friends app on my phone. Just out of curiosity to see who dropped me. I still didn’t mind either way.
I found the guy—to respect his privacy, let’s call him “Asshat,” or “AH,” as his friends might call him—and thought, “He’s not interested in staying connected? Whatever. I rarely give him a moment’s thought anyway. That’s fair.”
Then I logged in to Paul’s computer to see if I could find this sinking-ship rat on a different account. AH and Paul weren’t Friends before, so he should be findable, but he had disappeared completely. The logical conclusion is that he opted out of Facebook entirely, and I tried to ignore my relief that it wasn’t just me that he abandoned.
This has happened with several former Friends in the last year, and I say good for them. Social media is not much more than “People curating their lives,” as Tina Fey says. I agree, but I still lurk to watch and judge.
Even those I’ve blocked on Facebook are being stalked without their knowledge. Once a day I get into Paul’s Facebook account to peer into the lives of people with whom I don’t converse, just to be outraged at their various hypocrisies.
Thanks to my blog stats, Still Friends app, and Paul’s Facebook account, I can prove once a day that I’m above the pettiness and narcissism I judge in others on social media.