How to Lose Your Facebook Friends

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2016 kicked off with the promises of sustained happiness and renewed growth. My life is colourfully comfortable, rich and interesting; but at the same time there is an overall sense of calmness and order.

It’s surprising to me when I look back over over the past 8 months and realise that I have lost {as in they chose to not be friends with me any longer} not one, but two Facebook friends!

Think about that for a second… two people have consciously decided that they no longer want to co-exist in a cyber, social media space… with me.

How extraordinary!

When I analyse the facts surrounding these “de-friendings,” both are male, over 50, married, Republican, both have known me for over 30 years (although remotely), both white, both are in a very comfortable financial bracket.  One I worked with for many years and the other was a close neighbour for over 15 years.

If you know me at all; and you’ve known me for any length of time, you probably have come to the conclusion that I can be a bit of a “rebel.”  (Okay, okay perhaps a trouble-maker, rabble-rouser, instigator, provocateur… a general pain in the ass!)  However, I assure you that is not a metamorphosis that as taken place recently!

I was born asking “Why,” rooting for the underdog, having strong opinions, disagreeing with the status quo.  I remember when I was about 8 or 9,  my Dad telling me that God was so strong, that he could do anything.  After thinking about this for a few minutes I asked if He could make a boulder that was so big, that even He wouldn’t be able to lift it.  Hmmm? Maybe that’s why my Dad didn’t talk to me much?

Anyway, I digress…  I the point is, I have ALWAYS been like this.

When these to two now ex-friends really “knew” me, as in saw me on a daily basis, hung out with me, talked face to face with me, this is the ME they knew.  Strong, opinionated, stubborn {bordering on pig-headed}, a little left of centre, controversial, loud, brash, argumentative…  and all the rest!  I have not changed, in these regards.

So why now?  Why do you decide after 30 years you no longer want top be exposed to the various  posts, photos and opinions of someone who’s company you used to enjoy? Someone who made you laugh, made you think?

My first “de-friending” was straightforward.  He was offended by my frequent use of the  “F” word, plain and simple. (Or so I believe)  He publicly  suggested I not use the word so much; I seriously thought he was kidding and responded by saying if he didn’t like it, he could “fucking de-friend me.”   He did.

WOW! Really?

I didn’t pick this word up in the last 10 or 20 years.  It has been a major staple in my vocabulary since I was 16 or 17.  He had heard that word come out of my mouth a thousand of times…  but that last post, where I used “that” word again, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

This last de-friending is a lot more complicated.  If I am left of center, my ex-friend is definitely right of center.

We frequently debated world events publicly and much to the amusement of our other FB friends.  We’d go back and forth until one of us would say, “Okay, let’s just agree to disagree.”  We’d laugh it off and go on our merry way.

However, I recently felt things getting too heated and I sent him a private message saying I thought our debates were getting a bit to personal and out of hand and I thought we should invoke a “truce.”  He should not comment on any of my posts and I would not comment on any of his.  We could debate privately, but not drag it into the public arena.  It seemed like a good solution to a problem that was getting out of hand.

He agreed and all was quiet on the FB front… until I posted my opinion about Colin Kaepernick’s right to sit while the National Anthem was played at an American football game.

My now ex-friend came out slinging!

We went vehemently back and forth in our usual style, with a hight level of conviction and vigour…  until it turned nasty.  We both started to take little shots at the other, implying {if not straight out saying} what an idiot we each thought the other was, and why he (or I) was so totally WRONG!  I’m not proud of that… it’s just the way it went down.

In all truthfulness, in the end we both came to the conclusion that being FB friends was not healthy for either of us and I guess we made a joint decision to break it off {but, he broke the fucking truce!}

It’s really very sad in a way, because as I said to him, if two individuals, who have known each other for 30+ years can’t just “agree to disagree,” respect the other’s right to his/her opinion and walk away; how are large, diverse masses of people, i.e. blacks/whites, men/women, Christians/Muslims, Americans/and the rest of the world, etc supposed to not end up hating each other and trying to obliterate the other?

Oh… I see… maybe we can’t.

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