Magnolia trees The Danny Sims Blog

Here are my occasional insights, stories, conversations, perspectives, ideas, reflections, theological musings. And whatever else I might post.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Why did you unfriend me?

I was asked, “Why did you unfriend me?”

My answer:

Well, we are not friends. We were acquaintances in college. I have not seen you in thirty years and if I ran into you in an airport I am not sure I would know you. So I did not “unfriend” you. Rather I adjusted my Facebook settings so you could no longer see my posts or comment on them.

I’ll ask your question this way: “Why did I adjust my Facebook settings so you could no longer see or comment on my posts?"

First reason is simple. You argue. All the time. Argue and debate is all you do on Facebook, at least on my page. If that is all you do in your real life, and we were friends, I would unfriend you.

You show up in comments on my page only when it is about culture, religion or politics. And when you show up you act as if you alone could possibly be right. Newsflash: People can agree to disagree and allow one another dignity and respect. Besides, we might both be right. Or wrong. But it is entirely off-putting to read someone again and again insist he alone is right. The world is bigger than your concepts. You are not 100% right about culture, religion or politics.

Also, you write public messages to complete strangers; abruptly negative comments you would never say to strangers in conversation. At least I hope not. I have privately messaged you about this habit on many occasions, with obvious zero impact. It appears you troll for people who “like” a comment you disagree with so you can make sure you know someone out there knows you don't “like” it. It is at best presumptuous and worse terribly rude and offensive to tell a stranger they are "self-righteous" or “ridiculous” or “absurd”. And even worse when it is in ALL-CAPS!

And speaking of private messages, you know how I have encouraged you and affirmed you privately, even as I asked you to adjust your approach on my Facebook page. Not once did you agree to make a change. Instead you ask questions, which I answer. Then, rather than discuss my answer, you fire off two more questions. Your idea of a discussion is more like dodge ball. Or it’s as if we are on one of those panels on cable TV where people yell at each other. I’m tired of playing dodge ball and being yelled at.

Finally… and maybe this is of lesser importance but somehow became the straw that broke the camel’s back: You perpetually employ poor grammar. It is not a typo when time and again you type your instead of you’re and there instead of their and it’s rather than its. They are doing marvelous things on Internet grammar websites.

So please, stop it. All of it. Poorly repeating the same points again and again is not persuasive. So what if a hundred people clearly disagree with you? Here’s a tip: if we don't agree the first three times you make your point we likely will not have a sudden change of perspective after the fifth or sixth.

Trust me in these things. I know of what I speak. I used to be you. And a true friend took me aside and shared quite a bit of the above advice with me. So perhaps you’ll consider me a fellow traveler along this road. And if this finds its way to you, and if you’ll take it to heart, maybe we can become friends.