“If you don’t vote for my kid and I find out, we are through being friends! ”
“Unfriend my if you eat at Chik-Fil-A. You support their evil. ”
“Unfriend me if you support Mitt Romney: he hates poor, black people.”
“Unfriend me if you don’t agree with Gay Marriage: You hate me then.”
“Unfriend me if you plan to vote for Obama, he’s not even a real Christian, He’s Muslim!!”
These rants occur when a Facebook user is so passionate about a viewpoint they forget the concept of free will. Facebook, created within the last 10 yrs, did not teach me my values. My parents took sole responsibility for that until I hit adulthood. So basically, everyone had their own ideas and beliefs way before clicking the “accept” button when you “friended” them in the first place. Yes, that’s right, you probably work with them, or have some organizational tie to them, and horrors abound, you find out they disagree with abortion. Oh no, they just got cut! My greatest issue with this? It’s childish. It sounds like “if you don’t like my pink blanket, then give it back, I’m going home, and DON’T TALK TO ME EVER AGAIN!!!!!”
It’s like the cute 3 yr old that doesn’t understand yet that the world does not and WILL NOT revolve around you. Unless it’s your spouse or significant other, no one’s required to give a flip about your beliefs (mine included). Even with my friends, we tolerate or choose to disagree on issues because we care about each other and value the day-to-day friendship. See, life shows you that while you may have the same values, there is no blueprint on how those values will play themselves out. We’re the ones who put limits on it and that’s when the unfriend method becomes the preferred means of expressing an opinion.
Tolerance. Isn’t that how we learn to respect the opinions of others? Ever seen the Stepford Wives? Yea, robots is what I called them. Same hair, same language, same dress. Boring. No diversity, no opinion. Just the same blah. Boring. We are not meant to have the same beliefs across the board and that’s the beauty of living in the United States. There are too many people living in one space to have the same train of thought. And you think threatening them instead of talking to them about your point of view is going to help the situation? Nah.
Here’s the deal. If you want someone to understand your point of view, try civil conversation. Talk about why it matters to you. Share an article and say, this is important to me. But please don’t try to force someone to agree with you just to stay friends with you. Even as I wrote that, I felt like I was back in 8th grade trying to make sure a popular kid was cool with me. (Thank God for graduation!) We are adults right? If you don’t like someone because of their beliefs, maybe you’ve become the problem. This is a big world. So YOU unfriend them. YOU take the time and scroll their feed and decide, does this person like my party’s platform, does this person support my cause? (Note that it also sounds like you are running for office….ahem) In the grand scheme of things, live your life. But if you decide I’m not worth being a friend because I eat meat and you don’t, here’s your blanket back. YOU hit the button. I’m more the idiot to leave you on my “friend list” just to show you can’t control me, my thoughts, or anything else for that matter.
And here’s another suggestion. You have more power when you stop supporting the entity you strongly disagree with. Stop wearing Jordans shoes if Black kids keep getting killed over them. Stop eating at McDonald’s if you have family members who eat there having 4 and 5 heart attacks. Don’t like Chik-Fil-A because of S. Truett Cathy? Don’t go. Don’t like Republicans? Donate and vote for the Democrats. Support Planned Parenthood? Donate. You have more power and more influence in when you respond with your money. Un-friending someone does none of that. Get my point?
I have a lot of Facebook friends who post about Christians. And I mean hate the Bible, hate the faith, and will dog out anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Basically me. And while I disagree with their means of expression, they have free will to say what they want. I’m still kind to them at work to show them in person that everyone they try to group together in a “horrible, hateful” religion is not the same. So, I may hide their FB feed for a while and abstain from arguing, or I may talk with them at work and let them know I will pray for them when they are struggling with personal issues. Notice I didn’t ask them to accept Christ or unfriend me. Sure I can unfriend them, but it shows no tolerance, no willingness to show the love of Christ, and no civility. And note I don’t post….”If you don’t rep for Jesus, GET OFF MY PAGE!!!!!”””
My point in writing this today was.. if you don’t want someone as your Facebook friend, great. YOU do the honors. Hide their feed, or cut the cord and do the unfriending. It’s simply passive aggressive to try to force someone out of a relationship because you found out they have an opposing opinion from yours. Relationships teach us to how to relate to each other. Relationships force us to grow out of selfish thoughts. If you only surround yourself with people who think like you at all times, how are your growing? Oh, that’s right. You don’t.
“Unfriend me if you challenge me unfriending people!” I’m possibly being unfriended as we speak. Carry on.