Defriending Dad

Today, I had to defriend my father on Facebook.

Today, I had to defriend my father on Facebook.

I have to write it a third time, because I am really traumatized by this.

Today, I had to defriend my father on Facebook.

His account was hacked. His email was hacked. It’s a big headache all around. The bottom line is that, for the moment, he is quarantined. He has the digital plague and I must avoid contact on social networks.

It’s like we’re Amish and I have to shun him.

I hate this.

My father, who is in his upper 80s, has only recently joined the intricate pavane of online social interactions. He seems to be enjoying it, as I am enjoying having him part of my aethereal existence (although it did take a while for him to acknowledge my friend request and there was a sad little period of time when I could get neither my father nor my daughter to friend me – and my daughter still won’t). I like receiving messages from him; I like encountering his comments on posts by other family and friends. It just makes me smile.

So severing that connection, albeit temporarily, was difficult to do. I actually had to think about it and give myself a little mental lecture before I could hit the button that asked, baldly: End this connection? Come on. END THE CONNECTION WITH MY FATHER? Are they kidding? How does one do that?

Well, this “one” doesn’t – not without some intense agonizing.

I’m reminded of a quote from The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde), one of my favorite plays:

It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a very brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity. But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable.

Well, I’ve known my father on Facebook for only a short time and I want him back on my friend list.  I already miss seeing him there.


  1. donna Saady

    Big guffaws from the pater and mater!

    And from me too. I also always love an Earnest (or any Wilde) quote, but I’m reminded of a song:

    “I don’t wanna play in your yard, I don’t like you any more
    You’ll be sorry when you see me sliding down our cellar door
    You can’t holler down my rain barrel, you can’t climb upon my tree
    I don’t wanna play in your yard if you won’t be good to me.”
    (but of course, in the end they’re friends for life)


  2. Wonderfully amusing blog but with a serious message.

    How did all this happen through a breakdown in Facebook privacy? Because if it did, I am out of Facebook for good. Absolutely! I’m getting so much junk email now, begging letters basically, and I wonder if that’s a breakdown in my privacy on social networks. Even though I reinforced my privacy on those same networks.


    • It’s more a matter of the inordinate lengths you have to go to to set your privacy options and the fact that inexperienced users don’t know to do it and can be easily misled by things that pop up in the margins that they click on without realizing the implications. You’re probably fine because you have set your privacy options tightly enough and you know not to click on things. It’s like those book clubs where you send back a form if you DON’T want the book.


  3. My son refuses To Facebook for professional reasons and my daughter is a fanatic about safety restrictions because she has to be secure for professional reasons. However, all that aside, I found this particularly poignant now that your truly can no longer Facebook with your Dad. I’m thinking he was a great Dad!

    Liked by 1 person

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