A close friend recently got engaged. How did I find out? Oh, you know, by seeing her Facebook post. I feel silly about all of this. At the end of the day I’m happy she’s happy, but also actually I am really hurt!
I thought we were pretty close! We don’t live nearby, but we still manage to see each other every couple of months, we talk on the phone every other week or so, and we text and Instagram and just generally communicate. I knew she was expecting to get engaged soon, but I also expected that she’d actually tell me! Finding out on Facebook just, idk, sucks? Like I am, apparently, of equal importance in her life to our eleventh grade English teacher and her cousin’s second wife.
I’m obviously not ending a long friendship over this, but what now? Do I tell her how I feel? Do I just need to let it go? And please tell me if I’m being really unreasonable to even feel this way?
—Found Out on Facebook
A: Dear Facebook friend,
Ugh I hate this so much. Yes, absolutely, this is not worth ending your friendship, but I don’t think you are unreasonable at all to feel this way. And not in a “feel your feelings” kind of way, but in a “we’ve collectively lost our damn minds” kind of way. Because of course you’re hurt!
An engagement is a really important life moment, and not so long ago, we all got that we owed it to our loved ones to share huge life changing joyful news person to person. It seems like somewhere along the line we lost the plot on this. (And I’m not just blaming millennials. Plenty of sixty-year-olds are Facebook abusers as well—let’s not let the Baby Boomers off the hook here.) So let’s have a little restart, and discuss:
How You Should Share Your Engagement With Loved Ones Before You Blast Facebook
Step 1: If actual in-person time isn’t possible, reach for the next best option: The Phone. I know, people have an irrational hatred of the phone, but a text just isn’t good enough for someone who is special to you. If you have their phone number, use it! Who cares if you’ve never spoken on the phone before? Who cares if they don’t answer? Who cares if it is a little weird? It’s still the most personal option you’ve got, and people just don’t walk around feeling offended you called to tell them important happy news instead of texted. (But yes, if calling is a thing that just isn’t going to happen, texting someone the good news directly is vastly preferable to a generic Facebook blast… so at the very least, use your phone to do that.)
Step 2: Once you’ve called everyone you are close to, keep thinking and make sure you really, really have, and that you haven’t missed someone. And then maybe text some more distant people. And then think again. Only after all of that is it time for a social media announcement.
Step 3: Now, and only now, you can post the news on Facebook.
But, back to you. Your friend didn’t do that, and you feel hurt and sad, and that’s okay.
I think you could go one of two equally valid ways here. You could say something like, “Hey I was surprised to find out about your engagement on Facebook! It would have meant a lot to me to hear that directly from you!” Or you could just accept that this is one of those things—no one is perfectly thoughtful at all times, your friend messed up here, but oh well, she’s great in other ways. I’d probably choose the second myself, but if you’re leaning toward saying something, that’s fine. Just keep it kind and focused on your friendship.
A Word About #RingSelfies
Oh and will y’all just indulge me for a minute on a tangential point? #ringselfies. I love them. I really do. They’re pretty and sparkly and ya know what? If you want to show that thing off, I will like it with genuine enthusiasm. But. Please. Please. Do not announce your engagement with just a #ringselfie. At least squeeze the two of you in the picture! The ring should be playing second fiddle to the people involved.
Allright, let’s have it. Who wants to debate Facebook etiquette? And who’s here for more real conversations with friends?