In a life full of firsts, I had a first this week that marked a rather momentous occasion. It brought me back to some other firsts. I remember my first cavity, my first taste of lobster, and my first car. This week’s first was more on the social side of things. This week marked my first deletion of a Facebook friend.
Many things crossed my mind as my finger hovered over the delete key, which was to mark my final act to end this cyber relationship. Notice I did not use the word “friendship.” This wasn’t the end of a friendship, and this wasn’t just some random name I aimlessly added to my list of friends at a weak moment. This was a relative.
So what was the crime that created such a bold act by my finger and the delete key? It was the messages, the non-stop political messages, the non-stop political messages that were slanted in a consistent, myopic, and intense direction. And it was a message I disagreed with for three reasons.
My first reason was because I did not agree with the messages. They came daily, sometimes two or three times a day, and they were angry. My son taught me how to hide the postings, but this did little good when I arrived at my Google home page, which has a small section of Facebook that loads with it. Every time I logged on, I saw this anger.
My second reason was because every half a year or so I would weaken and make a polite comment. Bad move. This created a thunderstorm of even more radical and angry remarks from others. I was sent email from some other others who were equally offended by the remarks that were posted. They were just smarter than me and chose not to get pounded by any remark that questioned the message.
My third reason was because I just don’t think that’s what Facebook is for. We choose our friends, but we are somewhat helpless by what our friends do with this friendship. I was hoping they would tell me about their lives, their families, and their feelings. Many do, and some do not. I decided to finally delete one who forced his opinions on me.
Before I deleted him, I spoke with him. I suggested a blog. I suggested rather than cherry picking stories that he did no research on himself, and simply passed on to others with his commentary, that he actually sit down, put his thoughts together, and create a blog as I am trying to do. And here’s the best part: with a blog, he could not only say anything he chose to say, others could choose to read it!
He respectfully chose to decline the offer, so I chose to delete him. Want to know something? I feel GREAT! I don’t dread seeing the insulting links, messages, stories, and commentary that put a sour taste in my mouth. It doesn’t reflect on my love of this person. He’s family, and a nice member of the family I care a great deal about. I’ll always count him as my friend… just not my Facebook friend.