Article by Wendy McCance
This year has been a mess. Lets just be honest. Between the presidential election, clashes with police, race relations and terrorism, this country has taken one hell of a beating. I am not one to write political articles and this article is not political in nature either. That being said, what I want to discuss is values and what type of people you choose to associate yourself with.
Facebook is quite the vehicle for people to discuss their feelings. From talking about family and friendships to moments when your are going through a rough time, Facebook tends to be the place where many people let it all hang out.
Unfortunately (or maybe it is fortunate) many people will discuss political, religious and opinions on people they view to be below them.
In the last year, I turned off the follow button for a few people who expressed opinions regarding presidential candidates, race and class, opinions on who should be considered a terrorist etc… that not only didn’t jive with my personal views, but in all honesty greatly offended me. I have since gone ahead and unfriended these people.
Now, I would like to mention that I am all for people having a different view about politics, religion etc… But, this particular year was brutal. When hatred and segregation are introduced into the conversation and people feel that instead of coming together we should fight each other, I can no longer embrace their feelings. They are just much too different than my own. We are no longer a good fit for each other.
Why did I choose to not follow them but keep them on my friend list for some time? I guess at first it was a combination of not wanting to offend anyone and ego over how many people I was connected to. Sad, sure, but honest. I was also hoping that maybe they were just feeling fired up and their comment wasn’t meant in the way it came out. I did try for some time to find a way to excuse their words because I was in disbelief that these were my friends. After some reflection, I realized that what I was seeing went beyond disappointment about what they really thought. I was under the impression that these former friends held different values and were more open-minded, but I was wrong.
This brings me to that comment about maybe it being fortunate that they posted their offensive views. It gave me the chance to reflect upon what type of friendships I wanted. Who did I want to be connected to and would I be proud to call that person a friend. I have worked hard to keep my life as toxic free as possible. The people I call my friends are honest, loyal, open-minded and decent. There is no bashing or gossiping and there is no hatred towards others.
It was an eye-opening experience to find out how close I really was with the people I was connected to simply based upon their comments. I realized that I had really lost touch with how some of my old friends felt these days. I cut some people out when I realized we were in no way compatible anymore. I feel it was the most honest thing I could do for myself as well as for the person I once called a friend.
What about you? Have you had some of the same experiences within the last year? Are you disappointed to see how many people you would need to cut from your friend list if you honestly just hung onto the people who shared the beliefs and values that were most important to you? Everyone has a non-negotiable list. What is yours?
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