On The Off Chance You Notice That I Unfriended You

facebook-rant

Enter at your own risk! Hazmat suit recommended.

Dear Friend,

Maybe I should have addressed this “Dear Ex-Friend.”   After all, I just unfriended you on Facebook, and many would consider that the very definition of an ex-friend.  But I don’t consider you any less my friend.  I did it because I am no longer willing to slog through the hate-filled swamp that your Facebook page has become.

One of the best things about Facebook is how it helps old friends like us reconnect; we who were close before time, distance and circumstances caused us to drift apart.  How I’ve enjoyed learning about the ups and downs of your life today.  I’ve oohed and ahhed over your adorable grandchildren.  You’ve congratulated me on my kids’ triumphs.   I’ve sent heartfelt thoughts and prayers during your health struggles.  You’ve laughed at my goofy jokes.  It’s obvious you’ve become a person of strong political conviction, and I honor that passion.   But you’ve gone over the line.  It’s not an exaggeration to say your passion has turned to hate, and I’ve had enough of it.

People I care about run the gamut of the political spectrum, from far left to far right.   I have no problem with that.   I don’t pick my friends based on their political views, and none of us get to pick our families, much as we might wish we could.  Differences of opinion and robust debate are crucial to a strong, vibrant democracy, and people of good will should be able to disagree.

This election cycle has seen negative, ad hominem attacks ramped up like never before and you’ve embraced this corrosive rhetoric more than anyone else I know.  You rightly condemn those who hate others based on sexual preference or skin color, but you are obviously filled with hate yourself.  You reserve your discrimination for those whose ideas are different from yours.  You spew your intolerance with the same spittle-flecked, wild-eyed screeching as legendary hate-mongers like Adolph Hitler, the Grand Wizard of the KKK and Louis Farrakhan.

Every day you post new, toxic political screeds on your Facebook wall.  I don’t know how you find the time to track them down – it must  be a full-time job.  That poison vastly outnumbers the pictures of your cute grandkids.   I wonder if you realize what you are teaching them; that those who disagree with you are not worthy of respect or courtesy.

Time and again I’ve wanted to comment; to suggest that perhaps people can have different ideas without being intrinsically wrong or evil.  I’ve been tempted, but I’ve seen so often what happens to others in the public square who suggest multiple points of view might have merit.  The response pays lip service to the concept of a free exchange of ideas, but the bottom line is a variation on the same theme:

“Diversity should be respected and celebrated!  Except diversity of thought.  If you disagree with me, you’re bad.”

So instead of pleading, arguing or cajoling, I slipped quietly away.  Maybe I’m a coward, but daily life sends us enough pain and anger without going to the trouble of seeking it out. You’re selling toxic, and I’m not buying – not anymore.

I don’t post on Facebook very often, so you may not notice that my little picture has gone missing from your wall.   I hope you read this.  I hope you take a moment to think about what you want from life.  I want to surround myself with people of integrity; honorable people who speak the truth as they see it with quiet conviction, and with respect for ALL their fellow men, no matter their skin color, sexual preference, religion, gender, economic status or political views.

How can we have peace between countries if we can’t have it between friends????

I want peace in my life.  And that is also what I want for you, my friend.  My dear, ex-Facebook friend.

 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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73 Responses to On The Off Chance You Notice That I Unfriended You

  1. Oooohhh Facebook… I tend to avoid posting anything contentious on Facebook because, like you, I have friends/family of all different political and religious stripes. And while I can generally respect my friends’ differing viewpoints, I can’t rely on my friends to respect one another on my wall… I had to unfriend someone once because they picked a huge, destructive battle with a bunch of my other friends on one of my posts. It was awful. And the whole “diversity always… except when you disagree with me” thing seems to be getting worse, particularly among my more liberal friends… which seems counter-intuitive. Anyways, I appreciate this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. okiewinegirl2015 says:

    Hear! hear! I’ve done the same thing. Having to dodge enough garbage daily, I only want to know about your new puppy, vacations and your kids accomplishments. Thank you.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. List of X says:

    But you are both working for peace between all of us. It’s just you are doing it by doing nothing aggressive, and you ex-friend is doing it by yelling at anyone who seems to be giving peace a weird look.

    Like

  4. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I never opened a FB account. Aside from Mark Z having all my, and my families, personal info at his fingertips, I am protected from the kind of garbage you describe above. Makes me look a lot smarter than I actually am. I probably could get a larger audience for my blog out of the deal, but I’m not sure it’s worth it.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I don’t know. I’ve heard that some people use Facebook to “push the brand”, but I don’t even know how to do that. I keep personal life and WordPress life separate for the most part, and that’s the way I like it. I’m sure things will change if I ever produce something I expect to get PAID for (dream, dream, dream.)

      Like

  5. Al says:

    I didn’t realize you were friends with Nancy Pelosi. Oh well, her loss.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nice one! So, so true. A gentle un-friending… so different from shunning of old.

    Like

  7. Catacosmosis says:

    You, my “friend,” are AWESOME. This post is wonderfully written. This post makes me feel a renewed joy in having removed myself from Facebook one year ago this month. I am utterly thrilled in this moment, and I am so glad you posted this.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      A year ago? And life, as we know it, did not come to a screeching halt? Who knew it could be llike that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Catacosmosis says:

        Hahaha!! I was shocked, to be honest. There were a couple of weeks of what I hesitate to call withdrawals, but it was a lot like that. Then, my life steadily became “mine” again. It was an odd thing. I was on the book of faces for about seven years. I literally forgot what it was like to not be there. I like not being there a lot. I see the good parts of it, and encourage people to go for it if that’s for them… But for me? It’s not so much…

        Like

  8. Sigh. It really pains me to say this…. but I truly wish we could go back to the good ol’ days of Facebook status updates about what we had for breakfast that morning.

    Like

  9. Shannon says:

    Sorry to read, Peg. At least it wasn’t also an immediate family member.

    Proud to say I’m FB-free 5 years now. Like with quitting smoking 25 years ago, it’s hard to believe now I was ever an addict (and I was). Life is so much more enriched without it.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Five years, SHannon? Wow, you detoxed every part of your life, didn’t you?

      I’m also glad it’s not a family member. My immediate and most of my extended family all have good manners.

      Like

      • Shannon says:

        The ‘too much is too much’ of FB is the main reason for de-tox. The once-a-year greeting card is usually devoid of politics or Hollywood gossip; just a nice recent picture of the family folded into a letter happily summarizing the highlights of the year. Just right!

        In my family, everyone’s an a-hole. But face-to-face discussions about politics are always respectful (no so with FB posts).

        Like

  10. Bill the Praise and Worship Guy says:

    I have a friend in ministry, very liberal, who constantly compares Trump to the antichrist/Hitler/KKK Knight/Dude that gives parking tickets. She in her hatred posted articles that claimed that a Trump voter could not possibly be a Christian! When her ministry/prolife friends challenged her on this, she backed off for a few minutes, then spewed more political venom within the hour. I’m not drinking the Hate-or-aide any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      “hate-or-aide” – love that, Bill! It’s like the verbal diarrhea that Mom used to caution against. Facebook diarrhea has become a knee-jerk, involuntary reaction for her.

      Like

  11. All I can say to this, Peg, is AMEN!!! Well said!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks so much. Nice to see your avatar again. How’ve you been?

      Like

      • I’ve been caring for my parents. Dad passed away in August, and Mom is now living with us. It’s turned our lives upside down for a while, but things are starting to settle, and I wouldn’t trade the time I had to spend with them.
        I really enjoyed your article. I got fed up with the political childishness a while back and wrote a similar article, but I sounded like a mom scolding a bunch of rude six-year-olds, and decided not to publish it. You said it much, much better. Good job!

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          Oh, I’m sorry to hear about your dad. You have a great attitude about what I’m sure has been a difficult time. I don’t live near my aging parents and my in-town sibs have the burden, but also the joys of that daily contact.

          Like

  12. I’m so tired of my once sane friends devolving into angry hate-filled people who think anyone who disagrees with them is the devil. It’s why I’ve decided to take a break from Facebook for a while. I don’t want to unfriend anyone, but my feed is getting bad for my own sanity.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      “once sane friends” – that’s the point exactly. There are a lot of whack-jobs in the world but you expect bad behavior from them. When people who should know better go down to that level, it’s even more disturbing.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I need to do this. One of my posts recently got hijacked by someone and turned into a extremely offensive and embarrassing tirade by a friend. I knew we saw things differently and simply responded that we would have to agree to disagree. I went and made supper, watched some TV and when I checked again all manner of horror had occurred. I spent a lot of time deleting before I went to bed.

    Like

  14. Pingback: On The Off Chance You Notice That I Unfriended You | Doctor Bob's Weblog

  15. 2thdocbob says:

    You expressed many of my thoughts, so I had to repost, with proper credit, of course. That way people can be upset with both of us. The world has become very ugly in a short period of time.

    Like

  16. I don’t even think the “friend” would notice if you un-friended them. People scroll through FB in somewhat of a selfish and catatonic state these days. Only there to push their agenda and not there for entertainment and to keep in touch with “friends”, like the good old days. Great post!

    Like

  17. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:
    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    I know this feeling. I have one person who is listed as a friend that did me dirt last week. They duplicated my Facebook page and got caught. At first, I thought I would just opt out of Facebook and then I thought – why do i want to make that person happy by losing all of my friends on Facebook. Whoever did that to me – the man upstairs knows who you are and will catch up with you sooner or later. That is his job to root out the evil.

    Question – Why would anyone do that – the only conclusion is – they do not have any friends and they wanted all of my friends. They, did get caught by the Facebook Police and were eradicated.

    Just a note to that person – you are welcome to visit with me and all of my posts.

    kommonsentsjane

    Like

  18. Tricia says:

    Came here via 2thdocbob’s blog and so glad I did. I write often on the subject of the increasing demonization of political views in our culture which your post here fits right in with. Just so spot, well done!

    Like

  19. Facebook has become worse than the society pages! I took a hiatus, the political rantings being one of the main reasons! Keep on keeping on pegoleg!!!

    Like

  20. Thank you for saying this. My Facebook page is loaded with hateful polemic. I have been “hiding” post after post after post after post. I may have to “unfriend” a lot of good friends who have metamorphosed into proverbial cockroaches. Well, not cockroaches who are peaceful and repellent. Some dear friends metamorphosed into fanged creatures and I am moving closer to the “unfriend” button every day. I want horses, dogs, creative art, and whimsy on my pages.

    Like

  21. lexiemom says:

    Excellent post. I’m going to share. And then probably unfriend a few former friends who have begun this very type of vile spewing since Nov 8. (And well, a little before, too).

    Like

  22. Jennifer says:

    Brilliant. I love this. I need to share this to MY Facebook page but I just don’t know that some of them would get it. And then those that don’t would yell at me for not falling in line with their way of thinking. I’ve unfollowed bunch of “friends” in the hopes that their “trauma” would pass and they would settle in to reality. And then we can be “friends” again. Makes me wonder though – if that attitude was lurking in there the whole time, how did I not ever notice it? Perhaps I need to clean my rose-colored glasses a little better?

    Like

  23. Neelakshi says:

    Exactly my thoughts! It’s better to quietly slip away rather then wade through very strong opinions about everything under the sun…We have better things to do…

    Like

  24. I am so glad I only have two friends and we do not share facebook time. In addition, I just realized that we really don’t talk about politics. Isn’t that funny? I enjoy your ramblings. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Not talking politics is very smart. I have a couple of friends who are far apart on the political spectrum and, although the odd comment will sneak in, we generally don’t touch on the topic so that we can stay friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. susielindau says:

    You can block people instead. I blocked an outspoken “friend” way before the election. I just couldn’t anymore. I’m sure she has no idea! Once in a while I check out what she is doing and “like” something innocuous. Will I unblock her? No freakin’ way.
    I never comment or talk about politics.

    Like

  26. I exited FB a long time ago (Fexited?). My life is fine, blissful even. There’s something odd that happens with some (all?) forms of social media.
    1. People think that others are fascinated with the paltry details of their lives and uncensored (or at least unfiltered) thoughts. It promotes an “it’s all about me” mentality. Nothing is all about anyone in a society, civil or otherwise.
    2. In face-to-face interactions we monitor other people’s reactions so we know when to just shut up. FB (and other sites) give people their own little “open mic.” With no immediate feedback to the contrary, people tend to use the volcanic eruption form of social discourse.
    3. Because of the immediate/instantaneous nature of social media, people don’t take the time to carefully consider their posts, how they could be interpreted, and the consequences of their posts. When thumbs work faster than brain cells, it’s time to step away from the tiny keyboard.

    Peg, I’m sorry that you had to find out how vitriolic “friend” people can be. Cute puppy and kitten pictures can only do so much to soften sharp, hateful words. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Bel says:

    I just deactivated my fb in general there are too many negative posts…

    Like

  28. I have friends like this. I block them, but I haven’t unfriended anyone yet. I do enjoy talking politics on Facebook, but when it gets ugly, I’m out. My time is worth more than that. Excellent points of view here. I look forward more insight from Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings.

    Like

  29. I weeded my FB friends down. I go for the art as I have artist friends all over the world, and that i would miss, because my feed is a glorious page of mostly their newest watercolors, with a few silly things like the dog trainer or kittens, and some politics. What I was unprepared for wasn’t the vitriol of those who hate anything they don’t understand or those that somehow think hob-nobbing with money will get them some, it was the ones who hated on me and we basically believe in the same things…. For God’s sake, we are ON THE SAME SIDE! But some small questioning of some small principle and they became rabid. On the other hand, I have friends who are much more conservative though horrified at the turn of events in our country and we are civilly talking about how did this happen, this train wreck of a country? We may not agree on how, but we can HEAR each other. Civil discourse. So I have dumped about 10 friends, and blocked about 50 people I didn’t know but never wanted to see in their feeds again…. or in mine… for any reason whatsoever.

    Like

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