The community wankfest Friendster must be getting hit hard by MySpace. I'm not talking about the "Friendster Misses You!" pleas that regularly stream through my inbox. I am talking about a very special message that arrived today.
Subject: Re: * Reminder: Christina Nunez has invited you to join Friendster
Sender: [A man with whom I ended a relationship two years ago]@aol.com
Message: I assume you didn't mean to send this. If you did, I'd prefer never to hear from you.
There was no indication of what precisely had been sent to J.C., but it wasn't from me. I did invite him to join Friendster -- in 2003. He joined, and was among my friendsters. When we broke up, I took him out of my list. End of Friendstory.
Friendster earns nothing but enemies in this scenario of Internet marketing E-vil. For his part, J.C. gets a reminder of pain and bitterness. And I get my own an unsolicited "reminder" : "Don't forget! I still hate you."
My first reaction to this message was a mixture of confusion and amusement. But then something else took its place: Hurt and sadness. Though I too would check the "prefer never to hear from you" box in my J.C. account settings, it doesn't feel good to inspire such enduring hostility in anyone.
It's a common refrain at the end of relationships: "Do you hate me?" "Now you hate me." "I don't want you to hate me or anything." Some people I know, both male and female, knock themselves out to stay "friends" with people they should leave well enough alone. Nobody wants to be hated, sure -- that's just bad karma. But what's worse about ex hate is you can't control it. Once somebody decides how they feel about you in retrospect, there's nothing you can do (assuming you decide to stay broken up).
Sometimes it gives me a pit in my stomach that in anybody's version of a story, I'd be the bad guy. Still, I accept that if you hurt or disappoint someone, you don't always get the benefit of forgiveness or understanding.
Apparently, even if you do forgive, Friendster ain't never gonna let you forget.