Recently, someone I met while I was in still High School asked me why I still put up with them and he was literally reading my mind. A politically-based post of an infographic I shared on FB sparked a big debate with him that was less about the graphic and more about the recent election and politics in general. I didn’t go looking for the debate and at first I didn’t understand why he felt the need to bring it to my Facebook page. I had hidden this person from my main news feed some time ago. I thought it had only been for a few months, but in reality it turns out it had been closer to a year. So, I hopped on his site and found that several of his followers had grown weary of the recent “debates” he’d started on his page and asked him to tone it down. He did (on his page) but decided to bring it to mine (and maybe the pages of others?).
Now, I don’t mind if someone doesn’t share my political or religious views, as long as they generally treat people decently. I don’t need to know why they disagree with me. I understand why some people are pro-choice, don’t believe in gay marriage, and don’t want their taxes raised – before I make my mind up about something I consider both sides of the situation and make the final decision on what I’m the most comfortable with and what would likely be most beneficial to the people I care about the most. And yes, I’m usually more concerned about social rights and issues than I am about tax increases. Sometimes I have some doubt about certain decisions, but allow myself room to make a decision that feels the best, wait and see, and readjust if necessary. I can accept that others have their own thoughts and opinions and that they get riled up about them. But really, why go agro – what else is going on?
Note that if someone posts with manic fervor (too much and/or are attempting to create a false perception of their life), but I basically enjoy them in person and would be happy to run into them in the grocery store, I hide their stream. It’s nice to be able to look in on them from time to time, and even nicer that I don’t have to see their latest MILF photos (yes, I know someone that takes these) or hourly updates (which in my opinion are really only necessary in times of personal crisis when you need support from your friends in the FB community).
I’m also not anti- kid updates. At most, a handful of folks have cute posts about their kids a few times a week. Many folks post about kids once a week or less. There is one person in my FB realm (a man) that was at one time posting hourly about their kid and it was taking over my news feed, so I removed it – not for content, but for frequency. Sometimes less is more (less posts, more satisfaction from seeing the posts).
So, as 2013 approaches, I’m going to be streamlining my list of FB friends using the following criteria. Most of those I delete will probably just go away for reason #1. However this is also an effort to remove general negativity from my FB feed and make more room for the positive people and their positive experiences in my life. Some folks going the wayside fall into the 3 – 10 range, some are even multiple offenders.
- I like you, but you rarely post so which means this probably isn’t the best way for us to keep in touch. If we need to get in touch I’m sure you will email me or vice versa, or we can find each other on Linked in.
- You’re an animal. Literally. You are someone’s pet and are super cute, but we don’t need a Facebook connection.
- You communicate in an angry and/or aggressive style that often makes people feel they are under personal attack.
- You are openly disrespectful and/or insensitive to people’s lifestyle choices if they differ from your own.
- You don’t respect boundaries and/or don’t listen. When friends direct message you to tell you not to invite them to play games or apps, you still invite them. When friends tell you they need a break from the debates or aggressive communication on your page, you find a post to use to start a debate on someone else’s page (without permission). When someone is truthful with you about their actions, you attack them. When someone feels personally attacked by you, you continue to attack. When someone tries to set boundaries with you, you cross them. No means no.
- You pick fights. Regularly. You might want to do some psychological research on why that is.
- You openly communicate the ups-and-downs of your marriage or romantic relationship on a regular basis with a pattern that is icky. Example: You proclaim ultimate, undying, “I’m so grateful for you love” for your spouse/SO one week and are then publicly apologizing to them for treating them badly the next. It might be better to seek couples therapy rather than “likes” and/or absolution from your Facebook community.
- You post about the struggles in your life and how you’re trying to overcome them, but appear to spend an inordinate amount of time creating more struggle (for yourself and others) by finding some person/party/group/entity to blame, bully or attempt to make feel as bad as you feel.
- Your posts and/or FB behavior indicates you are one or more of the following - homophobic, racist, sexist.
- You don’t accept me as I am and I doubt you ever will. You’ve openly expressed and voiced your opinions about everything I should change about myself, from the way I think, my political views, where I live, how I hold faith. You think you know me well enough to know what is best for me and will make me happy, but you don't. I will not sacrifice who I am, or my happiness, to please you and fit the mold of who you think I should be.