I “un-friended” someone today. That’s such an unwieldy – yet very precise (in this age of social networking) term.
I don’t tolerate people spewing negativity on my Facebook wall, especially if said negativity has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic or status at hand. When we make friends we let them into our personal spaces, and into our thoughts. If a person is on my friends list on Facebook that person is a guest in my personal space. As a guest that person is enjoined to behave with the courtesy and respect he/she equally expects of me, when I am a guest on their wall. When people know me from way back, that does not give them special privileges to behave badly towards me, or forget their boundaries.
It’s so easy to be an asshole when one is halfway across the world, or to engage in some delicious schadenfreude. It’s so easy to disregard social graces when the persons you relate with are separated from you by a modem. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that feeling of entitlement does not extend to bad behavior.
The person I “un-friended” had injected out-of-place commentary on my super-mundane, non-inflammatory posts on three separate occasions. Nobody was stopping him from taking it up elsewhere (apparently he couldn’t get an audience on his own, he had to choose my wall). Reminders to discuss issues on his own wall were ignored. When others ignored the direction he was trying to take with his comments, he claimed “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” I’ll take that with a grain of salt – there are civilized means of discussion where nobody has to create an argument where there was none in the first place. It is useless to remonstrate with someone who only listens to his own voice. Well, I don’t like my wall hijacked with unsolicited negativity.
I’m not talking about one of those jejemon idiots who like to spam offensive but meaningless posts in different venues. This is someone I knew when I was a kid, who has intelligent opinions but otherwise has a Mel Gibson-like streak. He just couldn’t get the fact that, “we can discuss that, but I don’t think this is the right venue for it.” He wasn’t picking on me, he just liked dumping on my Wall. He was like the playground bully who shoves your ice cream cone into the mud. Troll, if you like. If he thought he could be aggressive, then I can be aggressive back. But you see, all that’s unnecessary to begin with. Life is too short to be spending it fending off the Mel Gibsons of the world.
Actually, he’s the second person I “un-friended”. The first one insisted on posting his gory video on public feed, I suppose he thought it made him look cool. Of course I could just have hidden his posts and not “un-friended” him, but no amount of reasonable communication could make him reconsider his actions. I don’t give a flying frak if he enjoys tentacle porn hentai, but I certainly don’t ask to see gore – or his sick enjoyment of it – on my early morning Facebook feed. I mean, who does?
I treasure my real friends. I don’t add many people I don’t really know to my contacts lists, so if I “un-friend” somebody there’s usually a very good reason. I may never speak to them again; some people are recidivists. No amount of remembering that you were kids together, or that there once was a bond, excuses the adults they have become. I won’t be their enabler.