I lost a friend on Facebook yesterday. Like any snubbed amiga, I was positive it was a mistake. I double- and triple-checked. But it was true. I felt sad, hurt, rejected.
So who was it who defriended me? Not the guy I sat next to in organic chemistry, whom hadn't talked to since graduation. Nor the acquaintance whose endless updates secretly irritated me. It wasn't even the colleague whose friend request I took two months to accept. No. Facebook decided it didn't like me anymore.
And it got worse. Not only did Facebook disable my account, it erased every last trace of me. Funny, since I've heard it's practically impossible to do that if you ever decide to defriend Facebook. But I disappeared from my friends' lists and walls. I didn't appear in searches, though I did learn that there are more Alisa Roths -- virtual ones, anyway -- than I ever knew existed.
I should probably say here that I've always been a half-hearted Facebook user. I signed up because it was required for a story I reported. I've never posted a status update. I don't comment on peoples' updates or tag them in pictures or poke them. I hardly ever make friend requests, and I often forget to accept when other people ask me. I don't even have a real profile picture.
Facebook never said what I did that made it so mad. I think I just wasn't a good enough friend.
(Facebook did say it would consider forgiving me, but I'd have to upload a scan of a state-issued ID. Feel free to redact non-essential personal information, like your Social Security number.)
I didn't bother.
But it all started to make sense this morning, when a friend -- real, not virtual -- sent me a link to this story:
It's about how a new bug in a system designed to find and disable fake accounts "caused a very small percentage of Facebook accounts to be mistakenly disabled." This website said Facebook promised it was working to reinstate the accounts.
Sure enough, when I logged onto Facebook this morning, there I was, BFF again, just like nothing had ever happened between us. Phew.
I guess I should update my status now: all is forgiven.