Even virtual friends can get boring. TheSite.org helps you get rid...
Net friendships hurtle along at a much faster pace than those face to face, soon you'll know each others most intimate secrets. But what happens if you tire of them, or decide you actually don't like them any more. The emotional ties might be quite strong, and like a love relationship, breaking those bonds can be difficult. So where do you start?
The method of dumping:
This really depends on how much you feel you owe them...
- Nothing: If you feel no bond, you could just ignore them, and hopefully they'll get the message. But they might not...
- Not much: If you were just bored and started chatting, but now the constant barrage of emails from them is too much, email them and tell them so. Or chicken out and say you don't have time to respond to them before you add their address to the block sender list. Don't want to get into a virtual argument about the whole thing now, do we?
- A lot: If you were close and talked on the phone, it would be kind to ring and say you don't want to be mates anymore. Friends do drift apart, and they may well be feeling exactly the same. Explain your thinking, and decide whether you want a clean break, or to just cool it. You may not want to close the doors on the friendship completely, and so if that is the case leave the communication channels open, but be aware you won't be in contact as much.
I'd like to stay in contact, but want to control how often:
- Email: Tell them that you will have limited net access soon. If they think you will be online less, they should understand that you can't spend your limited time talking to them and only them.
- Messenger: Set your messenger status to 'appear offline' so that you can choose who you chat to only thing is the rest of your contacts may be doing the same thing!
- Who's online: Hide from discussion board 'who's online' functions so others don't know when you are around.
I want to keep them out of my life completely:
- Email: Choose the 'Block sender' option, or remove them from your address book, and keep your inbox for address book entries only.
- Instant messaging: Simply delete them from your contact list, and hence, your life.
- Ignore list: For PMs (private messages), by adding a person to your ignore list you won't receive their messages.
If they turn out to be a cyberstalker and harass you/ get aggressive when you try to break it off, you'll have to take more drastic measures. Firstly report them to their ISP or email provider who may be able to sort it out. If they don't:
- Set up a new email, and tell all the contacts you want to keep your new address.
- Change your handle/ username to something completely different to before, or if necessary break all ties with the community you were involved with before, at least for a while.
- Ignore the person doing the harassing. Do not reply to them.
- If threats are of physical harm, contact the police.
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