Someone recently unfriended me on facebook. Over politics. It’s always either that or religion. It certainly wasn't the first time, but it might be close to the last. Because everyone I’m on FB with generally agrees with me. I don’t WANT it to be like that, but they’re dropping like flies in a Monsanto field lately.
People complain about the homogeneity of FB, how you go onto the limitless internet, yet still end up in your own little world, nothing but affirmations all around. After this last go round, I saw a pattern. It’s always the conservative christian doing the unfriending, in my case. However I know liberals on FB are also doing some unfriending, especially these days, so no side is blameless.
Please, my people! There is nothing to be gained by this spate of unfriending I’m seeing on FB. You cannot complain about that velvety soft bubble of belief that is your FB existence, when you’re the one doing it to yourself. Salvage at least some small usefulness from all that late night internet navel gazing.
In my own case, I am currently holding the line on 2 firm principles: 1-there is no god, but hey, whatever lets you sleep at night just stay the hell out of the schools; & 2-Trump is a gigantic tick. I am confident in my beliefs. I don’t run away from debate or criticsm; these are the ways I learn to test my beliefs & make them stronger. You are extremely unlikely to ambush me. Why? Because I listen to the other side. I read what they write. The garbage, the nonsense, the lies that seem so silly, yet still somehow manage to influence laws. I slog thru it because I want to understand my world & be on whatever side it is that is not trying to get Uncle Sam to chug hemlock. I WANT to know what others are thinking. Information is power. Yes, the cat puked on my homework, but I did it anyway. So what’s up with religious conservatives? Why are they so eager cut & run? *cough*chick, chick, chiiiiicken*cough*
And liberals. If you think your postings are simply quite standard for any thinking citizen, meanwhile you're appalled to find your cousin has found an emotion just for spittle, for the express purpose of including it in his comment to you, why in the world would you respond with unfriending? It’s words on a page. At least you’re talking. Treasure the fact that they are even in a convo with someone as liberal as you. And they’re illustrative to your friends of exactly what you’re saying. Win/win! Remember: proximity is crucial to a successful dopeslap.
If you’re out there posting some article about how Hillary is part of some decades long plan to rule the world, & you hate Trump but you refuse to vote for either because you want to “stand by your principles,” you can expect pushback. If you are putting up articles about how awful Hillary is, & longing openly for the way the country was back when it was founded by the clean, white god of your fever dreams, understand you are putting up provocative material. On what is, for every practical purpose, a public venue. An adult understands that there will always be people who disagree with you. So why is there such indignant outrage when someone responds to your incendiary public post? You’re on a site with a “comment” button. What were you thinking?
And - this is for BOTH groups - don’t even think about posting some little meme about letting go of negativity & finding courage. You are not turning your face to the sunny future; you’re turning your back on reality. You are not distancing yourself from bad energy, you’re running scared. These issues - religion, & politics - affect ALL OF US, every person in this country, every day. This is your JOB. Toss your beliefs out & let the dogs chew on them for a while. See how they hold up. If you can’t even bring yourself to read another viewpoint, then you should definitely not be voting. Don’t give yourself a pass. You can withdraw into your little safe hole, bolt the windows, & hunch there in solitude, harrumphing at the world, & congratulate yourself on being some kind of zen warrior, always seeking the noble higher ground. Listen carefully. Put your ear to the screen. There is no escaping these issues. Save your civic laziness for something more mundane. Go not care about how many parking spaces the farmers’ market gets. Religion & politics affect every one of us, every day. If even FB is too bright a sun for the delicate flower of your belief, then you might want to try a different crop.