I have discovered the hide button on Facebook. Did you know about this? It's great. That annoying girl from my junior high who is constantly posting bible quotes? Gone from my news feed. The dude I went to college with who papers my feed with invitations to his punk-metal-fusion band's shows in New Jersey? Fin. The teacher from high school I never liked but whose friend request I accepted because I felt like I had to? Poof.
The thing is, once you start hiding people, it can be hard to stop. Unfriending is too direct--too hostile, but I can hide anyone and they have no way of knowing. It's the covertly passive-aggressive Facebooker's dream come true...except sometimes I wonder if it's moved from a handy way to cancel out people whose posts annoy me to a one-click route to Avoidant Personality Disorder. The ex-boyfriend who posts frequent updates on his very beautiful wife's pregnancy--whose cyber-snippets of his seemingly perfect life serve only to make mine feel somehow inadequate by comparison? He can't affect me if I can't see him. The childhood friend I felt inferior to in nearly every way, whose status updates have the bizarre power to send me momentarily reeling back to seventh grade? It's as if she doesn't exist.
Except she does, inside of me. And so does the ex-boyfriend and his beautiful wife. And I can hide them, unfriend them and never speak to them again, but there they'll remain, trapped within my psyche until I deal with it proactively.
And maybe someday I will have become so Zen, so wise and well-adjusted that I'll stop hiding people all together. The annoying posters will inspire nothing in me but a lighthearted chuckle and I'll rejoice in the happy events of former boyfriends and frenemies with nothing but the sincerest of well-wishes. But until then, hidden they will remain. Safely, securely hidden from my view, until I almost forget they exist--blissfully ignorant will I be.
Same goes for you Farmville addicts.