Happy last birthday: The humane way to cull Facebook ‘friends’

Over the years, I’ve collected a bunch of people, however, this year, I’ve decided them a very special birthday gift: Deletion from Facebook.



Today is Warwick Greig’s birthday. I know this – because Facebook tells me this.

The problem is, I no longer have any idea who he is.

The overexposed profile photo jogs not a memory. It shows a dog I’ve never met, it shows the shamelessly trumpeted neckline of his beau.

The whole thing is a soup can with the label taken off, a mystery lacking taste, but soup, each new day brought a new birthday.

All of this was a big concern of mine. Each anonymous milestone, I tried to goose my drug-booze-angst addled brain into the catacombs of yesterday to find the most tenuous of anecdotal references in order to celebrate their living for another year.

“Heeeeyyyyy, Lad! Chad’s house” “Goon soldier!” or similar optimistic tosh.

If I remembered, they’d believe it. If the animated thumb of approval met my manufactured memory, I figured I slipped the noose. Onto the next one.

The problem is, I have a lot of friends. Not real friends, mind, they wouldn’t attend my funeral, or sling my obit a measly like of condolence, and certainly not friends I was close enough to have to lie to.

All I saw was 1200 strangers. Something had to change.

I’ve tried the ‘drunk-cull’. It doesn’t work. The sheer weight of the task brought out my fiercest procrastination. Besides, how could I cut one and keep another? I don’t know these people. And what you say? Cut them all at once?

It’d have no sense of occasion, it would be unfair to them – these people were dear to me once.

The solution was blindingly easy: on their birthday I’d give them a unique gift: Deletion from Facebook.

Now, common etiquette dictates that you couldn’t wish them a “Happy Birthday!” before deletion. It would be seen as unnecessarily callous, It drags attention to the fact that the friendship is inoperable.

So what I offer, is a humane solution. No more pain.

Pausing that one last time to reflect on the memories we forgot, before quietly pulling the plug on their last birthday.

We’re in a better place now.





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