My friend Pam made a comment today on Facebook that she was dreading the upcoming political season. Her comment was something like "Your calling me a fool is not going to get me to agree with you..." (I am paraphrasing). I completely agree. Pam and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but we definitely agree on this. We've been friends since we were 5. I suggested that she simply hide the people that she found annoying. I do it all the time on Facebook.
I think Facebook is fun. It's a perpetual conversation with people I know. I can join in. I can watch from the sidelines. I can start a conversation. When people take it too seriously, get offended, etc, I usually smile. No one is making you log in. No one makes you friend people. It's a choice. And I am pro-choice.
I want to hear your opinions, see your pictures and George Takei's posts always crack me. And if I post something, comment on it. That's why I posted it. I have friends all over the world of every religion and political affiliation. I wouldn't post it if I wasn't curious what other people thought. In fact, I often start my links with "Curious as to what everyone thinks..."
With that said, it does not mean that over the past few months I haven't filtered my feed. The "hide" feature is awesome.
There are a few annoying types that I find on FB and eventually end up blocking or unfriending:
THE POLITICAL DIATRIBE
Along with my friend Pam, your posting of photoshopped pictures of the First Family does not exactly give you political credibility. At least check stuff out on Snopes.com people. Seriously. I love politics. I often post links to articles that I find though provoking. Even though I'm a Democrat, I subscribe to "The Economist"- it's a conservative international finance magazine. It makes me think. I posted an article to it once and asked for discussion on it. My husband's cousin who is also liberal made some great points. Another person made a comment that it was clearly a liberal perspective and went on and on.... they obviously hadn't read it or if they had, they didn't understand it. When I commented that the author was actually a conservative, she made a comment that I just thought I was so much smarter and stated that my friends and I were ignorant.. well, they actually READ the article before they commented... so I unfriended the person. It wasn't anyone I had seen or spoken to in nearly 30 years. Seriously, don't insult me or my friends. You wouldn't do it in my living room, don't do it on my wall.
There's another guy that I went to high school with who I always thought was a bit of a douche in high school. He was the kid that I would cringe when I walked into one of my non-AP classes and saw. I immediately knew that 30% of our class time would be spent dealing with his antics. He thought he was funny. I thought he was an attention seeking whore. When he friend requested me (or maybe I requested him), I thought maybe he had changed. Some of his comments were funny. Apparently, he's a born again Republican. So nearly every post I made had some sort of political commentary attached to it. Because of my job, I'm really limited on what I can say via social media. After about the 10th post regarding an innocuous post like "It's cold today" and his responding "Proves your silly global warming theory wrong." I simply unfriended him. Because in reality, we weren't really friends in the first place. Of course now, when I post something on a mutual friend's wall, he makes comments about how his liberal friends dropped him because of his political views. I have friends that are elected Republicans, buddy. I dropped you because you are a moron and I find you annoying. And based on your nasty commentaries, you didn't like me either. Let it go.
THE SCHIZOPHRENIC POSTER
You know the one... every other motivational quote is followed by "If that f**king a-hole at work doesn't leave me alone, I'm going to kick his a** all the way to the curb...." Or the love-hate "My husband is the best, " followed by "My husband is a TOTAL jerk... I cannot believe he thinks...."
Pick a personality, people. Stick with it.
These also tend to be the people that update their relationship statuses far too often. Unless you have a drawer and a toothbrush at someone's house, you are not "in a relationship." You are either dating or a booty call. And you BOTH need to be "in a relationship."
I will admit, these people are like watching the Kardashians and I would be lying if I didn't say I kept them around until I just couldn't take it any more.
PITY ME POSTERS
The occasional "I'm having a bad day" posts are usually hilarious. At our book club we were laughing about when I posted about how I stepped in dog crap, didn't realize it, crawled back into bed... and well, it wasn't pretty. Or when people have a typical bad day- flat tire, idiots at work....
It's the my job sucks-nobody understands-why doesn't anyone love me- my kids are idiot posters that get hidden in my world.
I've got enough stress in my life. I don't need yours.
I have a friend who is going through chemo. SHE can post whatever the hell she wants. And by the way, her posts are usually funny or inspirational. I'm sorry your drawer didn't balance at the end of the night. Maybe if you weren't Facebooking through your shift bitching about your life....
This one really creeps me out. If I've unfriended you and you're curious as to why, this is probably it.
It freaks me out when people that I haven't seen in forever comment on my life when I do finally see them in person. It's as if they don't feel the need to speak to me in person because they think they already know what's going on in my life. Or they re-post pictures of mine. That's REALLY creepy.
If you read something, comment on it. At least every once in awhile so I know you're alive.
If you never post and never comment, I assume you're not actually using Facebook.
It's like you're having a relationship with me and I'm completely unaware.
THE OVERLY MOTIVATIONAL POSTER
I like a good motivational quote. I don't like one every single day from someone that I had a brief conversation with at a party 15 years ago.
If the majority of your posts are reposts of other people's insights, really what is the point? It's YOUR status update, not Socrates or Tony Robbins.
THE OVER SHARER
I don't need to know every detail of your life. I tend to fall into this category, but honestly, even I don't share as much as some people do.
That rash you have.... sshhhh..... no one else really needs to know.
In reality, I actually do cut off friends. It sounds a little harsh, but it's true. I call it "going through my Rolodex."
Everyone gets three strikes. If I call you three times and invite you somewhere- lunch, movies, - or even just to chat and you don't have time- there is no fourth call. I'm busy, too. I have a business, two kids, I volunteer, I'm addicted to Scrabble and now Words with Friends... if you're too busy to be my friend, I'm really okay with that. Just don't expect me to drop everything when you need me.
I am truly lucky to have a great stock of good, real friends. I don't need to ruin my day with online acquaintances.
So if people really are bothering you, simply hide them or unfriend them. You don't have to like or be liked by everyone.
In real life or online.