"Why don't you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut."
— Annie Lennox, "Why"
I've blogged about Facebook a number of times. If you want to read what I've written about this before, you can click on the Facebook topic in my archives, on the right side of the screen and read those posts.
To recap, I can say that I resisted FB for years, until realized that I was missing lots of family and friend news and photos, joined for that reason, then discovered that it was an important tool for book marketing, and finally embraced it. I was warned by Serena, my "social media guru," that I should stay on point — not get pulled into discussions about anything other than my book — and I adhered to that on my FB fan page.
As for my personal FB page, I knee-jerked into responding to other's political, religious, and whatever posts, then started posting my own opinions. Especially during the election. How does anyone resist? Not necessarily to change anyone's mind, but to be heard?
Water under the bridge now...
So, my FB friends who are paying attention know what I think on a number of issues. I know what they think. There is agreement among some, acceptance (i.e. "agree to disagree" and remain friends) among others, and bitter disagreement and unfriending with still others.
I'm distressed to say that a number of people haven't let go of their positions, even now that the election is over, and are continuing to bash those who don't agree with them. Yesterday a friend posted a chart to show that the states that went for Romney instead of Obama were populated by uneducated people, calling it proof positive that conservatives were stupid. I objected, pointing out that most states' votes were divided between O and R, and were not necessarily indicative of intelligence, and that this was an erroneous generalization. One of her FB friends (who was also one of mine) commented: "Denise, wake up, you live in the most whacked out, bizarre state in the country and you bitch about FACTS?? Smell the coffee, lady, and GROW THE HELL UP!"
Now that's an intelligent argument! What a fine representative of the liberal side she is.
I'm rethinking my friend list. It started with family and IRL friends. I built it up among those with a connection to adoption, not just to promote my book but because of our shared interest in family preservation and adoption reform. I didn't expect them to agree with me on everything, but I thought there would be some civility and courtesy. Apparently not.
I will not unfriend long-time friends and family members with whom I disagree. We love each other and those relationships aren't build on political or philosophical sameness. But I am going to look at the FB friendships that have become toxic and make some decisions along those lines.
I remain open to differing opinions. But I expect that my comments are welcome among those who share theirs, or they wouldn't put it out there in the public eye. Just as I welcome different views on my posts.