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You Are So Off My Buddy List

 (actual shirt owned by someone else, circa 1990)

Without getting too deeply into the election, the candidates, Chick-Fil-A, hypocrisy, and rural Virginia, I’m finding Facebook a tricky thing.  Tricky like that kid who hid behind a closet door on Halloween and jumped out at me with a snarl.  Asshole.  I’m that sort, though, who is no fun to scare, leaning more to the quiet fury camp than the eek you silly boy! camp.  Right.  We’re completely off track.

Facebook.  If you’re an anti-facebook person anyway, you might as well move on to this awesome link to the 50 Shades of Grey gifs.  If you are an anti-50 Shades person, then consider this site for cats in space.

I’ve hidden a few family members for their bigoted commentary.  Mind, this is not “my” definition of bigotry but a commonly accepted one.  There’s a rash of folks rabidly claiming that if you call bullshit on a clearly rasist/sexist/homophobic-cause-that’s-what-we’re-really-talking-about issue, your differing opinion of that controversial issue is invalid because FREE SPEECH, MAN!  Look, as always, I’m not going to invite you to a dinner party at my house if you are so different than I am that even the choice of chocolate over vanilla in the delectable dessert will cause vitriol.  I like level-headed (by my definition) folks.  I’m picky like that.  But family is family and I just hide those people even though the only place we’re having supper together is at someone else’s house.

With several hundred Facebook friends (and, yes, I’m obviously using that term to include colleagues, acquaintances, train wrecks, former college besties, and two very jealous spouses of male friends.  Gay!  Honestly!   Some people.)  I’m not a Facebook elitist.  Want to be friends?  I’ll totally be your friend.  I don’t comment much but I have a dozen different lists and I love to see what fellow parents, my old grad school chums, and my librarian cohort are up to.  Lucky for me, I seem to run with a crowd that is absolutely cool.  Folks have social and religious opinions but they aren’t douchecanoes (official term) about it.  But surely, I thought, the Chick-Fil-A uproar is going to sort the wheat from the chafe.  But, I was hopeful! This isn’t the first time I’ve thought that about an issue and I’ve always been wrong.*

All was quiet on the political front for a few days – meaning no one was irrationally attacking either side of the issue.  This is a multi-faceted thing and I’m pretty impressed with many of the stands my friends took.  Nearly all had measured, even comments, even if they were in opposition to my own.  Then suddenly, one person, a completely unexpected high school friend, posted something that made my mouth fall open.  In a short tirade, she defended the execution of gay individuals and continued oppression of gay rights under a flimsy umbrella of anti- -ism.  I don’t know if there’s an official term for that, but it was essentially a “whites are discriminated against because of anti-segregation legislation” argument.  That argument sounds preposterous, I know.  But we’ve had years for that one to sink in.  I wish I could capture this as unbelievably as she did, illustrating the misfortune and oppression of Christianity by a minority of people with other opposing beliefs.  Look, anytime someone gets onto the “You People” or “All Those People” trains, I’m going to boot your ass right off the caboose.

I don’t feel any need to make gentle corrections in the name of advocacy.  Zealots are zealots.  It hurt my feelings more than I thought it would, as did all the supportive comments from people I didn’t know.  So I did what I’m sure all of you would do (except those of you watching Fifty Shades gifs and space cats), I booted her from my friends list.  I just wish I’d never seen the ugliness to begin with.

*I suspect that if I actively posted political commentary or kiss-in pics that I’d get removed from more than a few friends’ lists.  I don’t though, though I don’t mind if others do (as long as they don’t promote hate).

10 Responses

  1. I have been very tempted to hide or de-friend a number of people because of their posts in this issue. I havn’t though because I FB on my phine 99% of the time & can’t figure out how to do it.

    • I’m happy to have done it, even though I’m sure it will go unnoticed and the damage is done. Hateful, irrational people make me sad.

  2. I have a whole list of people (mostly relatives) that I call the Penalty Box. Hidden and they can’t see my posts either. I am happy to interact with intelligent conservatives, but these folks are just either stupid or crazy or both. Facebook is definitely a window into American culture, for better or for worse…

    • That’s a great way to think about it. I have my own penalty box but it hadn’t occurred to me to hide my own. I’m on it. Stat.

  3. Oh I defriend people all the time when they make obnoxious and offensive comments. Family is harder so I hide their feeds. It is insane. I’m all for free speech — just not all for bullshit 🙂

  4. Yikes! I don’t know what it is about this whole Chik-fil-a thing that brings out the crazies.
    I think one thing that makes these conversations hard is that people don’t understand how personal this stuff can feel. For other folks it’s an abstract political issue, but for me it’s an attack on my marriage and my family–doesn’t get much more personal than that.

    • I think that’s why I try to be more tolerant, nicer, happier and kinder than the average person. I always hope that personalizing the issue in a way that people can’t object to will help bend them…eventually.

  5. really?

  6. right there with you. it just hurts more than we want it to.

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