I Am Breaking Up With You

breaking up with you melinda todd

Social media tiptoed into our lives and bear hugged the vast majority into it’s claws. It can be a place where we are squished with warm fuzzies.

But the flip side are claws that tear and gash at tender skin, leaving oozing wounds and scars in their wake.

Sharpened talons come out in the forms of snarky comments and tirades masquerading as a “general” status update. No one’s immune and no one’s buying it. It’s enough already.

With that, I’m breaking up with you.

At least online. Because there are times where two people just shouldn’t be “friends” where social media is involved.

Clean the wounds and repair the damage.

Text leaves too much to be interpreted. Too many white spaces to be filled in with our own tarnished filters. Assumptions made. Words misread. Feelings and thoughts expressed that would have never been spoken in person.

There comes a point where maturity steps in and says, “I love you. I want to salvage this relationship but we can’t be friends in the online realm. And that’s okay.”

Today, I’m unfriending you in order to preserve our real life relationship. I’ll follow you face-to-face.

But for now.

I’m breaking up with you.

* Your thoughts matter. Is there anyone in your life you may need to “unfriend” online? Perhaps a relationship where the two of you just do not read each other correctly? Please share in the comments below.




PS: Just so we are clear, this post is not about anyone currently on my Facebook friends list or anyone in my family. This post was created out of a conversation with a close friend about this topic and issues that can arise.

Photo Credit: basketman at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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  1. Mel, you are so right. This is such a profound post. I had recently de-friended most of those from my home church. Sadly, it wasn’t working. I felt as though I was being watched and got calls often from our pastor over things I would say that were taken out of context. It became a gossip chain. People tended to pop in, not so much to inspire or encourage, but to simply be nosy and that hurts. It hurts when you hear from your pastor what you just wrote as a status ten minutes prior to his call.

    That was something I didn’t need as I love to encourage and just simply share. I started getting texts from people, emails from those I had deleted very angry and wanting to know why. So sad.

    Like you I would rather have friendships face to face. Fb gives that opportunity for me to meet people all over the world and have blessed relationships. Funny thing, I don’t get this from those friends. I receive it from those least expected šŸ™‚

    Great post, Melinda

    Robin Prater recently posted..Reconstruction Of The Heart

    • Oh Robin, that is sad šŸ™ Yes, those do seem to be the best encouragers. I suppose because they don’t know us any other way but by our writing. Less filtering of who we are to do, maybe? I’m so sorry that people did that to you. I hope that eliminating them from your online life will improve things. And your pastor shouldn’t be calling you about your status updates, IMO.

    • In response to Robin’s reply….Robin…..I am not on FB for various reasons about things that have happened….but I have talked with you on Max Lacado’s site before it shut down. You are a wonderful writer yourself and you do share the message. I just wanted to know if there is a place that I can read what you write….it is very inspiring.
      In Christ’s name,

      • Donna, Robin is still writing. There is a link to her site at the bottom of her comment šŸ™‚ And I will let her know you responded to her šŸ™‚

  2. I agree very much with your post. I totally dropped FB because of the problems it cause and it was like I had people always looking to take anything I said and twist it around and use it to hurt me. I could not post anything without being attacked by some people. And it was usually people that called themselves “Christians”. The churches are going to be full of those kind of people after the rapture trying to figure out why they are still here and having no clue. Very very sad. People can be so mean and one of the worst sins the people I know are committing is gossip and they think it is ok and does not hurt anyone but it does. I use to go along with the crowd and do it but thankfully Jesus showed me how bad it was and I have been freed from that addiction. That is what it is an addiction as bad as any other addiction but some “Christians” just don’t want to be free from gossip. It is to much “fun”.

  3. Donna, blessings to you. You have made me smile this morning:) What encouraging words to hear. Praise the Lord for Melinda and others who write with passion giving each of us a place where we can share openly and honestly.

    Blessings to you all šŸ™‚
    Robin Prater recently posted..Create Memories of Laughter With Your Babies

  4. I have a friend that I used to stop and drink a cup of coffee with while our little girls played together. I often felt that she just didn’t understand what I was saying. I met someone online who GOT me! I then reduced the other actual, real-life friend to a back seat. We pick-up and drop-off the girls and that’s about it now.
    I doubt and question myself a-plenty! I don’t need help in that area! I need someone that I can come to with my mess who is not surprised, not dismayed, someone who can accept my wreckage and offer hopeful thoughts on dealing with it all. I need a friend as close as a brother. He didn’t know a lot about PTSD when we became friends but he’s a quick study. Yesterday when I had an episode he texted my phone asking me if I knew where I was. Yes, bubba. I know where I am. And I am beyond grateful that I have a brother who realizes that I may not.

  5. thought-provoking post, Mel. we need real love & discernment in friendships. when is a phone call better than a text? how should concerns be addressed? social media offers a lot to us, but in the world of relationships, it requires wise usage. there are some things that can not be solved, resolved, or addressed using social media. they require face to face, soul to soul. maybe even some coffee or chocolate.
    Andrea recently posted..prayer for 2013

  6. I’m impressed with the loving way you wrote this post. It could have gone a different way if you were not so infused with grace, but it is much more powerful the way you wrote it. I have had to break off written communication with a friend for this very reason. She has some emotional issues that leave her vulnerable to making quick assumptions and misreading thoughts. It has saved us a lot of heartache to talk only over the phone, or better yet, in person. But it’s hard to draw those boundaries, at least for me! It took being pushed almost to the edge of losing the friendship for me to grow up and do the most loving thing.
    Fiveintow recently posted..100 Beautiful Days: The Stuff of Shadows {8}

  7. We left a church because of misunderstandings that were ‘perceived’ wrong from Facebook tagging. Great post!
    Katey recently posted..Iā€™m a Couponer!

    • That is so sad. Misunderstandings on Facebook sure do cause a LOT of drama and sometimes trauma. I’ve questioned if staying on FB is worth it sometimes.

  8. Hi Mel,
    I recently decided that certain online social media sites and the “friendships” they create are not all that great, or safe. Especially the big ones that gather all your personal info and can use everything in your account anyway they choose. I deleted my account for good.

    • Dawn, I can completely understand that. I have left several groups too just because of how things work and I feel weird hanging out with other Christian writers/bloggers who are in it to get BIG. That just doesn’t feel right to me. So I completely understand. As soon as my kids are back to school, I will get back to focusing on my writing here šŸ™‚

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  10. I lost two friends, even though we had known each other well over many years, due to misunderstood and incorrectly interpreted messages. It seems to allow people to let out quick, negative and nasty remarks and not even be willing to let you articulate what you really meant. Lesson learned but the positive side is it has allowed me to keep in quick and current contact with family, friends and aquaintances.

    • Same here. But it has also allowed me to remove instant access to a few in my life who were poison for me. Social media has certainly allowed us to air feelings or thoughts we’d never say to someone’s face and that is certainly not always a good thing.

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