Author Topic: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?  (Read 1525 times)

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EllenS

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I am not super-savvy with privacy settings on Facebook, so there may be a nuance here I don't know about that would come in handy.

My father's ex-girlfriend is a very nice lady (just not right for him). I became FB friends with her while they were dating, she was very sweet to my kids and had grandchildren the same age, and we have some similar interests like gardening and genres of books. She pops up in my feed from time to time, we'll like each other's posts every once in a while but do not have much direct discussion.  It's been at least two years since they stopped dating/I've seen her in person. They parted amicably.

Well, my father recently got engaged to a different nice lady and we are building relationships with her.  They are getting married in about six months and I'm sure there will be pictures of various events as we get closer to the date.

I feel like I need to disengage from the ex, but I'm not sure (technically speaking) of the best way to do a tactful fade-out-and-disappear.  We engage so rarely she won't miss me and is highly unlikely to come "looking" for my profile, but I would not want to overtly do anything that looks like a cut direct, since she's done nothing to deserve it. 

What setting am I looking for here? Block? Unfriend? Something else?


Harriet Jones

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 10:13:01 PM »
If you don't feel like unfriending her, you can put her on the restricted list.  That way she can see only things you've posted with the "public" permission.

CakeEater

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 10:20:43 PM »
Hide her stuff, post things on without making them visible to her for a while, then unfriend in a year or so. That's what I'd do, anyway.

purple

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 10:53:39 PM »
Just un-friend her.

She's the ex of a family member, even if she noticed I'm sure she'd understand.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 05:53:08 AM »
I agree, there is no need to block her.  Just unfriend her. 

Coley

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 08:01:34 PM »
Hide her stuff, post things on without making them visible to her for a while, then unfriend in a year or so. That's what I'd do, anyway.

I'd probably do the same. It seems like a gentle fade out.

EllenS

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 09:58:06 PM »
Thanks, all!

rigs32

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 10:54:59 AM »
Yes, please unfriend her. 

I discovered that even with my high privacy settings friends of friends could see more information that I would have liked because others have no privacy settings.  I told a friend that was also friends with my ex that I wasn't comfortable with the ex having access to my information and would be defriending him because of that.  Friend chose to defriend my ex instead.

EllenS

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 11:46:31 AM »
Yes, please unfriend her. 

I discovered that even with my high privacy settings friends of friends could see more information that I would have liked because others have no privacy settings.  I told a friend that was also friends with my ex that I wasn't comfortable with the ex having access to my information and would be defriending him because of that.  Friend chose to defriend my ex instead.

Actually, my dad doesn't care. I just feel awkward and don't want to give her a Meg Ryan "He wants to get married, he just doesn't want to mary meeeeeeeeee" moment.
I put her on Restricted for now and will unfriend in a couple of months.

bah12

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Re: Can it be polite/tactful to block a nice person on Facebook?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 11:58:43 AM »
While I think that putting her on a restricted list or unfriending her is perfectly ok...especially considering that you don't interact much online or at all in person, I do think that if the sole purpose of doing it is an assumption that her inadvertantly learning that her ex is getting married would hurt her feelings, then it's not necessary.

The relationship ended two years ago and they parted amicably.  I'm also assuming she's displayed no "why don't you love meee" melodrama or stalkerish behavior since then, so as nice as I think it is to want to spare her some possible minor hurt feelings, I don't think it's really necessary.

I've always lived by the philosophy that it's not anyone's responsibility to help someone avoid unpleasant feelings/knowledge.  Your father doesn't care that you are FB friends with her, so does it really matter all that much if she sees some posts about his upcoming wedding?  If they bother her, she can hide the feeds.

Now, everyone uses FB differently and if you really don't want to be FB friends with her anymore, then it's certainly your perrogative. You can unfriend her for any reason you want.  I just think that you shouldn't worry about her finding out your dad is getting married.  Mature adults understand that relationships end for various reasons.  And to assume that she wouldn't be ok with the knowledge, or would do something hurtful because of it, I think is unkind.  It takes away her ability to react maturely (even if there is some twinge of hurt) by assuming she won't or making sure she avoids the emotion completly.  It's so nice for you to think about her feelings, don't get me wrong, but I also think that by attempting to do something nice, you could actually hurt her feelings more.  At least, if I found out that someone chose to set up a situation so that I never found out about it, because they felt it was their responsibility to spare me my feelings, I'd be more hurt.  It would communicate to me that they didn't trust me to feel something and react appropriately to the knowledge.  (This is obviously not the same as throwing it in her face...if she sees a post, she sees a post. She'll likely find out about this sometime/some way anyway).