I’m Sorry, But I’m Going To Have To Let You Go.

It’s a shame, particularly to do this right before Christmas, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to let some of you go.   Why?  Because I like you.  And I want to keep liking you.  But you’re not making it easy.

Let me explain: I love Facebook.  Over the past few years, it’s allowed me to re-connect with old friends, and those connections have kept me relatively sane during the really rough times.  Facebook even made it possible for me to re-connect with Tammy, and we were married a year ago this month.  So Facebook has truly changed my life, for the better.  Much better.

When I first started on FB, I posted a lot of opinion stuff, and had more than a few heated arguments with friends, with whom I had political and philosophical differences.  And although they remain friends, I did not enjoy the arguments that sprang from my Facebook postings… or those of others to which I felt compelled to respond.  So I decided to keep any opinions that might be considered controversial, off Facebook.   Now, I find, it’s a pretty congenial place to be.  It’s sort of like a big party:  most people avoid topics like religion and politics because, well, it’s not polite to get into arguments in a social setting.  Makes other people feel uneasy.

Gradually, then, I set Facebook rules for myself: no controversy, keep it generally light and upbeat.  If I’m feeling down, it’s okay to share, though, because someone will come along and say something cheerful.  I even like those posts that some people find annoying: I just finished two slices of French toast!  They’re not offensive, and, well, it doesn’t hurt me to know that Charles or Bill or Pat enjoyed their French toast this morning. But if I want to get involved in a good rant, or a knock-down-drag-out argument, I’ll find another venue.  In fact, I’ve found several.

But some of my friends… some of whom I like, respect, and generally find to be good company, both online and in person, love to post rants.  Sometimes, and I know it’s not intended this way, they rip and slash and insult the very things I hold dear.  By proxy, they call me stupid, evil, or wrong for holding some of the positions I hold.  They’d never do that in person, but they rip to shreds some of the things I hold dear, and some of my deeply-held beliefs.  They don’t mean to get me all riled up, but they do.  And if they want to use Facebook as a place to rant and vent, well, that’s their perfect right.

But more and more, I find myself actually hiding their comments, so I’m not tempted to respond.  And I’m getting a little tired of it.  It’s like having to avoid the loud opinionated person at the cocktail party because you’re just there to relax and visit with friends.

So after careful thought, I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go.  I don’t want to de-friend you, but I want to continue to like you, so that’s really my only choice.

And to be perfectly honest with you, I won’t even be fair about it.  If you’re someone with whom I’m likely to agree, and you choose Facebook as a place to rant and rave, your position on my friend list is safe.  Why?  Because, since I generally agree with you, you don’t get me all riled up, and it’s not difficult to keep on liking you.

I didn’t say this was fair.  I’m just doing it for my own self-preservation, and to keep my Facebook experience generally positive, upbeat, and fun.  If it’s not, what’s the point?

So, good-bye to some of you.  I still love you and I want to keep it that way.  I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, a Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanzaa.  I hope you live long and prosper.  I hope you’ll stay in touch.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brian Baney on December 10, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I have posted some political opinions of my own. I hope they didn’t qualify as rants, but I am afraid a few may have.
    I have paid attention to politics since I was 7, rushing through supper so I could watch Walter Cronkite.
    Now, I find I have a passion to argue my conservative point right into the forehead of any liberal that will take me on…lol. I nearly got into a rumble with my brother’s 78 year old mother-in-law. She marched in the 60’s against the Vietnam War and disrespected the soldiers when they came home. She is in love with Obama and thinks he is just a peach.
    Well, enough of that…see, I may be one of the ranters.
    But, at least I am a “reagan-conservative” ranter.
    Good luck with your deletion process. I hope I make the cut.

    Take care,
    Brian

    Reply

  2. Nicely said and your perfect right. It’s been your mature and kindly choice to keep controversy out of your profile. But the fact is, our country, and by that I mean the people who live here, haven’t been so sharply divided, so mutually suspicious, so full of not just disagreement but desperation, any time since the late 1960s that I can recall. It’s only natural that other would make other choices, and only natural that someone with your wisdom and restraint would find it difficult to be around. I don’t know if I am one of the “transgressors” here but cannot imagine it to be otherwise. My obsession is fairness, and I tend to balance things if I can. Sometimes that means a most unbalanced reply. Steve, you’re a good man and if my posts have offended you, I apologize. You have every right to be offended, but in fact, no right NOT to be offended. I almost find relief in the loud debate, because there has at last come a balance in the imbalance, an eschewing of political correctness, and a kind of passion. Congratulations on insisting that your world conform, as much as possible, to your standards of decorum; it’s nearly a lost art. If I am among the flushed, as I can only imagine I must be (unless there are far worse), then leave knowing that I wish you all the best, and hope you are able to find those other forums where these very trying times are expressed in less trying fashion.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Pete on December 10, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    I know what you’re speaking about from first-hand knowledge…but I was on the receiving end. I connected with an individual whom I had listened to on the radio waaaaaay back in the mid-60’s and never known personally, but having had similar backgrounds we “friended” each other – for a very short period of time.
    He quickly took exception to my political point of view because he couldn’t stand (in his words) my “warped, arguementative and radical conservative views”. (Things such as the wording of the U.S. Constitution, or re-posting political cartoons…Sorry, Richard – too radical) I never imagined that anyone would take Facebook postings so seriously!
    In my response to him I pointed out that someone cannot be offended unless they allow themself to be offended…it was probably lost on him. We’ve not had any contact since that time – too bad, actually. I really like the guy and although I didn’t agree with HIS political leanings, I was never personally offended by anything he posted.

    Reply

  4. I hear this – have done the same thing – rabbet

    Reply

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