Unfriending….

ee cummings quote

Facebook is a great tool, but it sure makes life more difficult. A someone with autism, I often totally ignore or misread social cues in-person & therefore try REALLY hard not to offend people online. Yet I am very opinionated & try really hard to speak my mind without insulting someone or making someone feel badly.

For instance, approximately 7 months ago, I had a longtime e-pal whom I met on an Episcopal Church Facebook group unfriend me suddenly.We exchanged email at least twice weekly & chatted in ” real-time” n Facebook several nights per week. She ” unfriended” me without explanation. Even though we were only e-pals, this hurt my feelings immensely. But since I didn’t want to cause drama, I refrained from asking her why she chose to end our e-friendship.

The ending of e-friendships is even worse when someone you know IRL { In Real Life} suddenly decides they want nothing to do with your online or offline self….again without letting me know why they chose to end our friendship/acquaintance.

One of my sorority sisters unfriended me after I nicely but firmly told her on a discussion thread on my page that I think that both men AND women are equally called by God to Holy Orders. She wrote a bit of proof-texting from Scripture on my Facebook Wall & then unfriended me before I could reply. While I welcome the views of folks who do not agree with my principles, I am hurt by the lack of decorum among some Facebook debates & debaters. If my sorority sister would have allowed me to express MY side of the discussion, I would have felt less miffed. But she chose to remove me from her Facebook contacts & I cannot hold this against her. Yet I have some other long-time friends who manage to focus on & build our friendship based on what we have in common{ our faith in God & His only Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior} & not on hair-splitting polity & politics which can & so often does hinder or destroy friendships.

I try to keep my Facebook page as a safe avenue for what one of my favorite professors at UWF calls ” the marketplace of ideas”. How can the information ” superhighway” of which Facebook is a part be effective as a medium where ideas are exchanged if many users are not willing to keep channels open for discussion that might unnerve them?

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Comments

  • Angela Abel Goldsmith  On 07/24/2011 at 6:15 am

    It has been my experience that those who hold the tightest and narrowest viewpoint of how the world should be, tend to be the ones who are least willing to debate those viewpoints. I accept that some of my friends are more openly religious than me and they are free to be that way and I would hope they accept me as a more private person when it comes to my religious beliefs.
    Hopefully they will miss you more than you will miss them…
    Rock On Sistah!!

  • Sarah Beth  On 07/24/2011 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks, Anj. I hate it when the folks who, as you said, hav the most rigid religious beiefs are unwavering when it coms to others beliefs. Faith is a very personal thing & humanity is so rich with many faith traditions.

  • hotshot bald cop  On 09/02/2011 at 11:41 am

    Excellent weblog!

  • xixx  On 08/03/2012 at 3:36 am

    I have had the same experience where I have gotten messages telling me to keep my mouth shut and not express my opinions or feelings on topics regarding religion and politics and I feel that, it being my own facebook, I should be able to say what I feel. It hurts more that people are judging ME by my opinions when I don’t impose them on others or judge them. Unfriend me if you want, I have actually been in the practice of unfriending those who’ve just caused too much stress in my life with the conversations we’ve had. I don’t know what else to do.

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