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When Facebook Friendships Grow Toxic | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

When Facebook Friendships Grow Toxic

Facebook Screenshotphoto © 2010 Neeraj Kumar | more info (via: Wylio)
What do you do when a Facebook friendship goes south? Not everyone is your biggest fan or friend, and sometimes bad things happen.

  • You get poison pen private messages telling you how awful you are.
  • Someone tries to be funny and over comments on your wall.
  • Someone is verbally abusive to you or your friends on your wall.
  • Someone is verbally abusive about you on other walls.

Not all playground fights happen in the schoolyard.

Sometimes a minimal response can preserve a friendship. These solutions include:

  • Hide the person’s news stories from your news feed. If someone consistently posts flame bait disguised as a status, just don’t read it. Then your real life relationship can remain intact.
  • Filter the person. Create a limited profile list and filter what posts or information you post to everyone. If you do this, be fully prepared to make a mistake and post something publicly that you intended to go private.
  • Restrict the person. Limit your friend’s ability to post on your wall or comment.

Even with these precautions, if someone launches missiles at your page, the day may come to unfriend that person. It’s not an end to any relationship but sometimes is a matter of personal protection. Your Facebook wall doesn’t have to be a place for you to take abuse, and neither is your home. If the time comes you’re subjected to abuse or treatment that makes you uncomfortable in either environment, it’s ok to opt out.

How do you handle a toxic Facebook friend?

3 Responses to “When Facebook Friendships Grow Toxic”

  1. margie clayman (@margieclayman) June 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Those are some great ideas, Mary. The temptation is to do things that would create a lot of drama, but we all know that online drama doesn’t do much apart from, well, create more online drama. Excellent suggestions, as per usual :)

  2. Mary Biever June 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Thanks, Margie. My life has enough drama without Facebook’s adding to it. ;)


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