I don’t lose sleep over unfriending
Years ago I reconnected with an old high school friend on Facebook. She was someone I let read my stories after writing them (when I was supposed to be paying attention in class). I thought everything was cool until one day I saw she was a suggestion in People You May Know. Uh…what happened?
I was unfriended.
I don’t chase people down who unfriend me. It’s likely I said something that hurt her conservative feelings. I knew she was a staunch conservative Republican and I’m … well, I’m not. I make no apologies for my views and I’m not to blame if, like Col. Nathan R. Jessup once said, “You can’t handle the truth!”
Unfriending like this was common in 2012 when Obama and Romney supporters traded barbs and articles written by political hacks touting their positions. People found out their friends held different political views and instead of resolving the situation like thinking, rational people they decided to take their balls (or lack thereof) and go home by unfriending, blocking and retreating into the safe arms of their own respective echo chambers. I get it.
A recent Pew poll finds that liberals are more likely than conservatives to unfriend people on Facebook. While this may seem like it’s liberals running and hiding after finding out that cool chick they used to know way back when now has her nose rubbing against Sean Hannity’s sphincter, but it’s more complicated than that. The truth, according to the poll, is that liberals are more likely to have conservative friends than conservatives are to have liberal ones.
I don’t unfriend people over their political views. There are plenty of people I disagree with politically that I like. I like their wit, their honesty, their craziness, their values, their commitment to their faith and a host of other things. I enjoy knowing people of different backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, sizes, faiths or no faith. I can’t learn from people who think exactly as I do.
I even have…gasp…friends who like the Forty-Niners!
But who I unfriend or block are rude, mean-spirited and inconsiderate people. If someone can’t argue their position without resorting to name-calling or berating others posting on my wall, I’m not going to allow it. My Facebook wall is not a democracy. It’s a benevolent dictatorship and I make the rules. I unfriended someone for continuing to spam my wall with their inane ravings after I’d asked them politely to stop. It wasn’t content. It was behavior.
There was the time I blocked a guy who would constantly post photos of his sexual conquests. I like naked women as much as the next (straight) guy but I don’t want to log in to see some woman’s bare bum with your DNA adorning it. Yuck.
Life is too short to allow inconsiderate, disrespectful people to crash your social media party. Leaving an interaction with someone feeling drained or depressed just isn’t worth my time. So, off with their virtual heads, I say! No need to look back.
I don’t care if people unfriend me on Facebook. You unfriending me is like you banning yourself from Disneyland. Whatever criteria anyone chooses to unfriend me or block me, or whatever, have at it. Absolutely no one is required to see posts by anyone else or be “friends” with anyone they disagree with or who rubs them the wrong way. I don’t care to know the reason.
The way I see it is I’m on this planet for a tiny speck of time in the scheme of things. I’ve got a woman who loves me, grandkids who think I’m fun, the best bunch of brothers anyone could ever want and some great friends in real life and great people I know through social media, too. And since our lives are just blips in time, I want to spend the time I have with people I enjoy. Don’t you?