The Zen of Defriending

Seen on facebook:

Welp. There goes another Facebook friend, who decided facts about the southern border were inconvenient and did not fit her worldview, and decided that as a messenger I must be unfriended.

I’d like to remind people that “unfriending” simply means “retreat into my echo chamber”. If I was disrespectful, vitriolic, or hateful, then sure: unfriending would have a completely different meaning. But that isn’t the case. I don’t call people names. I try to respect others’ views. I don’t yell. I try to stay on-topic.

Unfriending is a retreat from thoughtful discussion. It isolates you from opinions that differ from your own. Stick to your views, respect your friends’ views, and talk to them. We need more talking

People should be free to friend or unfriend whoever they like. Freedom of Speech doesn’t mean I have to read your shit (or you, mine), and it certainly doesn’t apply to the failure pile in a sadness bowl substitute for real social interaction that is Facebook.

I never unfriended anyone on Facebook (or Twitter) until November 2016, but I never had a problem with anyone unfriending me, before or after.

Nor can I relate to those who do. Personally, it’s been quite a relief when I got defriended — my haters are pruning my social network for me! This way they can spout their shit freely without me. If, by some miracle, they have an original thought about a good programming design pattern, someone will eventually point me to it through a different avenue. I use Facebook for the baby pix and death notices and Twitter for the memes.

I suggest you feel the same/similar about being defriended, because being a butthurt snowflake when someone you don’t agree with unfriends you says more about you, then it does them.

If in our social networks we can unfriend others who are useless shits to us, if we can be happy when we are unfriended when we are useless shits to them, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of social work.

You’re welcome. Just call me the Thich Nhat Hanh of your social network.

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