Sunday, January 3, 2010

Unfriended

Early last year they said that the 35-54 age group is the fastest growing age group in Facebook. That has since been replaced by an older group, the 55+, but my age group still remains 2nd fastest. It's no surprise then that I manage to see many of my long lost friends and relatives in social networking sites. And as we continue to use technology to try to reconnect bonds, we conjure up new words to describe the experience.

Before the holidays, the New Oxford American Dictionary announced that it has chosen "Unfriend" as the word of the year 2009.  The word was chosen from a list of finalists with a tech-savvy bent:
unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.
intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle
sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone
I've never gone sexting anyone. I've never been intexticated. But I've been unfriended.

Whenever I see my 13-year old son Vito's Facebook updates about some Mafia Wars or friends he bought or quizzes he took, I tell him of the correlation between Facebook use and low grades. Then late last year I noticed the updates stopped. Good, I said to myself.

But then, Facebook suggested that I add Vito as a friend. That's weird 'cause he's on my friend list. Or so I thought. At about the same time I learned about Oxford's word of the year, I learned that Vito has unfriended me.

Though I can still see his updates through the walls of our common friends, I sent him a friend request (he made the request the first time).

He hasn't added me yet. B-)

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