Facebook Has Taken My Friends Away…

picture-2…Literally. I am deleted from someone’s friends list because apparently his wife was jealous at me. I also found another friend has deleted his own cheeky comments and his tag in several pictures because his wife has just joined facebook and might see our pictures grinning at Dragonfly and wouldn’t be happy about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I would be deleted from his list too. [updated Friday 27 March 2009: I have just found out another friend has vanished completely from facebook; I only realised this when I was about to tag him on several old pictures and couldn't find his name on the list. Mr.mck also didn't find this guy on his list. We have no idea when and why].

Facebook has been spreading in Indonesia just now. When I joined this social network website a couple of years a go, just after friendster was overloaded with spammers, I had only a handful of friends. Recently I have found long lost cousins and relatives I never even knew and from them I learn about our family tree, especially from my father’s side. About three months a go my friends from school also started to appear, practically one by one, from college to primary school. I have had fun reconnecting with them and getting excited about how they look like after 15-20 years and where they live now. The number of friends, which started from 30 two years a go, is close to 500 now. As usual, I tend to keep my friends list as real as possible. All my friends in facebook are real friends, school friends, ex-colleagues, clients, vendors, and blogbuddies (and even now half of my blogbuddies have turned into real friends). A handful of them would be good friends of my friends’ whom I have met in several social occasions.  It’s not unusual for me to have a friend whose spouse, brothers and sisters, even in-laws, in my list too. If their kids are in facebook I probably will have them as friends as well  (one actually does have two kids and both are in my friends list!).

picture-3But now there are two new generations of participants enter the website. One is the wives of my friends. The second is our parents.

The first generation has much bigger impact on me. Since I have almost 500 friends, I couldn’t possibly be close to every single friend’s spouse. And in some cases, some friends don’t feel comfortable about their friendships with me in facebook anymore, once they know their wives are also there. Although our pictures are just normal, taken in restaurants or clubs, and always in groups, they seem to be powerful enough to cause a row in the house. And although, and this is the confusing part, I know their wives and they know me. I am not just some strange girl these ladies never met. They have seen me greeting and talking to them and treating them with respect. Plus I am married. Not to mention that I live 12 thousands kilometer away from Indonesia and only get to see their precious husbands once a year. I am certainly not a threat. If they want to be jealous at someone, I guess the secretary in their husbands’ offices should be top priority, but not me.

I couldn’t understand the logic, and I told mr.mcK about the whole thing and asked  what he thought. His answer is simple, that girls don’t like to see their partners have female friends.

ist1_4388508-girls-night-out Well, that’s a brand new concept for me. I never thought it should be an issue. But having said that, my best friend in high school used to phone me every few days when I was still living in Jakarta, until his wife found out about it and forced him to stop doing it, even though she knows me well, always welcomes me whenever I visit them once in few years, and lets her husband taking me around the city. To her, once a few years is ok, but everyday conversation by phone (as they live outside Java) is a no.

I think the reason their wives get jealous is pretty simple: they don’t know what their husbands are up to. Their husbands are somewhere in Jakarta jungle, supposedly working hard to provide for the family, then come home late looking tired, and the next day they see the husbands’ pictures at some girl’s facebook, dining, dancing, and wining. I think they wouldn’t mind if the husbands ring them up and say they’ll be meeting some old friends at this place, but nobody likes surprises. Some of the husbands also like to avoid the confrontation by not telling at all about their wehereabouts or their friends and business, so the wives never know that I exist, the only thing they see is a captured moment with a stranger lady smiling looking happy next to their husbands, not knowing that I might be their husbands’ client/vendor/primary school friend/second cousin/half-sister. They also probably do not share what’s on their mind, and knowing that their husbands can talk excitedly and endlessly with someone else perhaps is unbearable as it indicates the other person knows about their husbands a wee bit more rather than their own spouses.

ist1_4751590-multi-ethnic-group-portraitRather than keep meeting him behind his wife’s back and feeling guilty for something that is not a sin, I ask my friend who deletes me from his facebook to arrange a dinner together next year when we are back in Indonesia, four of us: he and his wife, me and mr.mck. Bring along the kids if we have to. I want to show her that I never have any intention to diminish her existence, that I respect her being the spouse of my friend’s – whom I have known for almost a decade. That my friendship with her husband is genuine because we went to the same school, work in the same industry, and know the same clients and vendors, so we have a lot of things in common. We gossip about people we know, we bitch about work and pay cheques, and we discuss about strategy to overcome each other’s problems at the office. She could also see that mr.mck is not a virtual or fantasy husband, that we are in fact happily married and live thousand miles away from them. I am not a threat. Basically what I want to tell her is to stop worrying about her husband who is very faithful and adores her and the children. That it is ok to for her husband to have female friends!

Maybe, if this works, I’d be his friend again in facebook. We’ll see what’s going to happen next year.

Note: image on the teaser is taken from The Huffington Post.

Comments

  1. I feel sorry :( hopefully it won’t take any longer time to get your friends back. people said that there are three friendship hazards : time, distance, and lover.

    christins last blog post..Konversi MMSCFD

  2. Oh well, social networking sites apparently don’t make us better people. Even Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer’s relationship is over because of Twitter!

    I actually had the same experience on Friendster (before Facebook’s happening); when I broke up with my bf, he deleted me from his friends list because the new girl saw me as a threat! LOLz!

    Devi Girsangs last blog post..How Often Do You Say ‘Thank You’?

  3. Christin: true. Very true.

    Devi: yeah but you’re his ex-girlfriend. This friend was married when we met, and he is still married with the same lady until now. I’ve never been more than a friend, so I don’t understand why I’m worth to be jealous at.

  4. OK, first off, I really have to try to look you up there. I have friends, but, not a lot. Good friends, though, all.
    AND
    Leave those who leave your side (for whatever reason) because you, even though having never met, are friends.
    Well, so I think, anyway. Afterall, you laugh at my silly jokes and such. I ain’t letting go, ever.
    Well, unless you say….and I’m just the kind of big goof to let go. I like people and can’t believe that some spend so much time actually TRYING to hurt others. Dang! Too much trouble goimg on already.
    Wait… I might just have a Birthday Present for you…
    Let’s see…
    ( http://www.humortimes.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=83 )
    It’s from George Carlin. It’s a funny Birthday Present I give to my friends, but, check out where it says HOW TO STAY YOUNG
    (ok, it doesn’t actually SAY that…you have to read it)

    bonemans last blog post..All Good Americans burn Oil and Gas, right?

  5. You know, I could totally relate to both sides of the story. I am kind of glad that the husband doesn’t have a facebook. I mean, he’s so busy with work and all that even YM-ing takes to much of our precious time together, I think.

    At this stage in our marriage, it’s ok for me to have my exes to be on my friends’ list but probably I won’t like it so much if the situation was reverse. I think this must have something to do with the fact that I have no life outside my mummyhood. LOL

    katadias last blog post..Politically correct toys

  6. Well y’know, (not) only death do them apart :P

    Devi Girsangs last blog post..Quote of The Day

  7. Boneman: well, you’re a simple man, like any other guys. Girls tend to be… more complicated. They like drama and cat fight (which guys like to watch). I guess I have to live with that. I’m lucky to have lots of male friends to keep me grounded and sane *wink.

    Katadia: maybe that is the reason too? Since these wives do not work, they have no idea what their husbands are facing on daily basis? Care to explore more? I mean even though I’m not working now, I don’t feel the need to be clingy to my husband. Yet. Not yet. (Hence I need to go back to work next year before turning into a vegetable).

  8. There could be one or more cases happening here.

    Case #1: The husband tends to keep things from the wife, because he doesn’t like worrying or creating unecessary problem. Some men are like this – they don’t like confrontation, even more if the wife is an insanely jealous person.

    Case #2: The wife feels unconfident and insecure (some women feel this way even after they’ve been married) so the thought of her husband even socialising with the opposite sex is already horrifying her. This could be due to her not working, not having a career or productive activity, thus making it more difficult for her to relate to her husband’s life – when her husband’s out meeting new people, learning new things, she’s stuck at home, feeling bored.

    Case #3: There has never been an open, honest communication between the husband and the wife in the first place. Because the wife wouldn’t feel so insecure if the husband tells her everything – what he’s up to, where he’s going, who he hangs out with etc. A woman’s jealousy and negative thinking is usually triggered by what she DOESN’T know, and so she tends to think the worst things first :)

    My fiance has a female best friend whom he’s known before he met me, and he told me about her since the very beginning, how they used to call each other up and talk for hours until morning. But I didn’t get jealous because the fact that he was being honest to me was enough for me to know that they were merely best friend.

    And now I’m also her best friend :)

    therrys last blog post..Weltschmerz

  9. Aaargh, I know what you mean. I lost a friend because she didn’t like the fact that his her ex-boyfriend called me on my birthday. I even had a fight with a guy I was going out with because I posted something in Minekey (at that time, iThink) saying, “Sometimes I think about something else while having sex”. He thought he was not good in bed and took it personally.

    Facebook, depends on how you use it, can be a two ended sword. Just use it with caution, like other social media. Facebook, so far, serves it purposes by keeping my family and relatives closer. Gather those who we used to know together and reunited like highschool buddies. Share pictures. Make it fun and useful.

    And, Gosh, whoever takes Facebook seriously is recommended to GET A LIFE!

    parvitas last blog post..So many Calegs, so little choices…part one

  10. Anita, typo…it should be “…she didn’t like the fact that her ex-boyfriend…” instead of “his ex-boyfriend”. Can you edit it so I don’t look stupid? Thanks, Dear….

    parvitas last blog post..So many Calegs, so little choices…part one

  11. Just adding onto Therry’s second point. Perhaps it’s not just the wife being jealous of her husband’s friends, but’s it’s more because the wife feels jealous of her husband having a social life while she’s stuck at home wiping asses all day, scrubbing pots and pans, picking up towels off the floor, and watching daytime soaps. The only chance she gets to socialise is probably at carrefour and the like. Sad. Sad. Life. That’s why married women could have so much angst and anger. LOL. Did I just refer to myself using a third person? LOL

    katadias last blog post..Three is the new black

  12. communication problem, I guess

    boys last blog post..Last Day at the Office

  13. @Therry; you summed it up in much clearer sentences. You should be writing this! :D

    @Parvita: I guess we will face this all the time and there will be no win-win situation! However, I never ask mr.mck to delete his friend’s annoying wife from his facebook, no matter how rude she is to me. But maybe because I do have a life outside, and these women don’t?

    @katadia: But I think life is all about choice, and considering specifically that this friend’s wife has maids who’d take care of her kids and house, she would have plenty of time to socialise, no?

  14. dang! I can’t get anybody to get on the computer and say one way or the other!

    Here I am a b’zillion miles away and there is a terrible flooding going on in and around Jakarta.
    Can’t seem to get anybody to say how everybody is doing….

    bonemans last blog post..Battery Operated Lover?

  15. Facebook seem very impressive to you.
    My wife also ever jealous when saw me provide a comments in a blog whose author is a beautiful woman. I said to her, you should not jealous with the machine, ha … ha …

    tiknos last blog post..Children of WAR!!! Kurdistan, Iraq, Iran

  16. good news/bad news/best news of all
    good news, Rob is in DC, still, and evidently don’t live close to the dam break.
    bad news, I never did know where treespotter lived, so, I don’t know how he’s doing.
    best news of all, You live in SCOTLAND!? NOW?!
    (How come we’ve never seen you in a kilt? Yeah, I know they’re for guys, but, still…not even WANT to try one on?)
    OK, well, Rima is in Belgium, you’re safe, Rob’s safe, and Therry? Well, she was writting at 1:30 in the AM when it broke, so, everybody except that danged treespotter is accounted for.

    See?
    That’s what friends do…worry about absolutely nothing, but, dang! We put so much energy in it!

    bonemans last blog post..Battery Operated Lover?

  17. @Boneman,

    I am in Indonesia (Bekasi to be exact) and I am alright, fortunately. Unfortunately, the broken dam at Situ Gintung has taken a hundred or so lives of many dwellers who live nearby, and pretty much everything is destroyed – houses, schools, cars, even stray dogs were lost and stuck on some house’s roof – I saw it on the news and it was heartbreaking (I know, I know here I am mourning about lost dogs when there are hundreds of people dead).

    Right now what is happening is that political parties are competing against each other trying to give the biggest and most elaborate charities to this tragedy – which is irritating, of course. Can’t believe these people are taking advantage out of other’s suffering. Of course help is need, but I detest it when it’s done with a motive.

    therrys last blog post..My Dream Destination

  18. Tikno: But there’s a woman behind the machine!

    Boneman: I have picture in mini kilts, in my Facebook! :)

    Therry: I agree, and the government should be embarrassed and take care of this tragedy quickly!

  19. Yes I agree, girls don’t want to see her husband have a close female friend.

  20. Andrew E. Santosa says:

    Thanks for the invitation to your blog.

    When having a bad experience, you can sometimes find comfort from positive comments posted on your blogs, but what do the authors know, really, other than their intentions to cheer you up. Will pray for you to Jesus and Mary.

    You can try to write books, you know. Maybe you’ll do well as a writer and make big bucks.

    Please take care.

  21. Ppl sometimes need relax and not too obsessive… If someone delete u from facebook its ok, take it easy there’s a lot new friend, u can share and having fun with them :)

  22. I think when you have 500 friend list,this thing bound to happen. Maybe you should somehow turn this virtual social friends into real friends. 500 real friend! Now that is one amazing life dream

  23. Just read your blog, it happened to me also. My first ex boyfriend has just deleted me also from his list and I can’t find him. I suspect his wife was also jealous. I’ve never wrote anything on his wall. I am not sure what has happened but I won’t ask him. He still sends me a message though.

    Anyway, you will find many new friends..

    cheers,

  24. Your article drives home the reality It captures the exact thing that has been happening between wife and I for some time now. I’ve never seen the ferocious tiger attitude side of her all the years we’ve been married.

    Just as you’ve mentioned, these girls are friends that we went to high school together and are thousands of miles away. Yes, some we dated then but they are married now and no one is looking to be engaged in infidelity for God’s sake.

    Yet I have asked her many times that she is beginning to feel that I am looking to have an affair of which she said no. But she is yet to tell me what exactly is eating her up on the inside.

  25. Jafeto: see the one who deletes me is my good friend, so it’s not that easy to replace him with some random, new friends.

    Mare: as bizarre as it sounds, those 500 friends are my real friends. I often have a friend whose brothers and sisters are also my friends. Or husbands and wives.

    Mercy: hmmm…. does his wife know about you?

    De: insecurity? jealousy? I am not sure why my friend’s wife suddenly feels jealous, considering she actually has met me and knows me…

  26. Well, not for nothing, but if they dump you as a friend, you really cannot be that important to them anyway. So why care? You have real friends I’m sure and if you see a man every year, while day after day he lives his life with his wife, then you are an aquaintence. Not a friend! Bug off and let them live their lives.

  27. Also sounds like the jealous and obsessive one is the ones bugging that they were dropped for a wife/girlfriend. Wife, spouse, significant other-yes-they come first and it’s definitely not worth keeping someone you used to know if it aggrivates the love in your life in THE REAL WORLD! Facebook friends ARE NOT ALL REAL friends. HELLO!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Alicia: you’ve missed my point. The guys who deleted me from their facebook actually are my real friends. We have a history that stretched for over a decade. I used to know one’s wife even, back in the day when we were students. I might be far away from home, but the communication is still solid, we chat and exchange message regularly. Every time I go back to my country I always meet them, either for dinner, drinks or both. They keep saying they’re very sorry for having me deleted from their facebook, but they’re tired having to argue with their spouses about our friendships.

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