We’ll pick up on the whole, “Artists not working for free” thing later. Is free a good thing? Yes and no. Benjamin Franklin has a saying I’m going to adopt for how I feel about FREE.
Free is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.
But while I’m working on those posts, let’s return to the discussion we began—the notion of unfriending. My first post was about why we are wise to keep as many friends as possible (even for folks not out to specifically “build a brand”) so I recommend checking it out.
And on to the next leg of our adventure. Here’s the deal…
People are Not THINGS
Guess what? You are not a gadget. You have value and have meaning simply by being you. So keep being spectacular 😉 .
Whether we want to admit it or not, unfriending is a form of rejection. On Twitter I’ve never paid attention to my numbers. It was the same way on my FB profile until I got close to that 5000 limit and then, every time someone bailed?
It was obvious.
For all I know, it could have been a bot that was suspended, but in my mind?
No one likes rejection and rejection hurts feelings. Why hurt feelings if we don’t have to? Do you like being treated like a “thing”? I don’t, so I don’t do it to others.
When we “add as a friend” we are entering a relationship based on social norms which are the rules that guide and govern human relationships. Treating human beings like they’re an e-mail list to be culled is unkind and breaks the social contract we agreed to.
Socia Media Isn’t All About US
If people aren’t “things” that means they do not exist solely for our amusement/benefice. It’s why I loathe it when people make announcements that they’re cleaning up their friends list.
Well, if we have never talked or you don’t like or share my content I am cutting you.
Passive aggressive much?
Seriously? Who does that in real life?
You haven’t been within 500 feet of me in the last year so this protective order shouldn’t bother you.
You haven’t called me since last year so it shouldn’t hurt you that I blocked your cell number.
What do we do in real life? We go on! If people stop by or call or we run into them? We’re pleasant. We don’t act like a bunch of drama queens.
First of all, quit thinking the world revolves around you. It doesn’t. It revolves around me 😀 .
Someone might not be liking or interacting with our content for any number of reasons.
Maybe they had a major surgery or life event (a death) and haven’t been on-line. Maybe they haven’t yet figured out how to use Facebook but eventually will. They may not be interacting with us simply because of Facebook’s algorithms. Our content might just not be showing up in their feed. Period.
It isn’t personal.
(Though unfriend and it is totally personal.)
Thus, it’s rather unfair to unfriend people because they aren’t interacting with us. That person could be the greatest connection we ever make so unless they are actively and chronically misbehaving? Leave it alone.
I said, chronically misbehaving…
If a person generally has great posts and suddenly posts or likes something that offends you?
If they have a bad day?
If Something is Phishy, It Might Be Phishy
I once got a really racy message from a female author on social media. I’d never talked to the woman but I took a look at her wall and the message was SO off when laid in comparison to her content (that and there were a crap-ton of spelling and grammar errors).
Instead of unfriending, I politely messaged back I wasn’t interested in a rendezvous with handcuffs but thanks for the compliment. Turns out she’d been phished and was mortified. Porn bots had been messaging everyone in her list.
But, had I not messaged her back, she would never have known why people were fleeing from being her friend.
A good friend tells you when you have digital pigeon poo in your hair. Come on, folks!
We’re Going to HAVE to Give Some Grace
Just like we do in person. In real life, we give others latitude and that’s why we can remain friendly. Expecting everyone to behave perfectly 100% of the time is as ridiculous on-line as it is in person.
Also, remember we might not know as much as we think we do, so the benefit of the doubt comes in super handy.
Since we’re talking about the subject of unfriending I’ll share a story. Back at the holidays, out of nowhere I was hemorrhaging friends on Facebook. Like 30 people unfriended in the course of a couple of days. I’m at the 5000 limit so it isn’t all that unusual to lose one or two people a day, but 25+ was just bizarre.
It wasn’t until a childhood friend publicly shamed me for “liking” a post that I realized what happened.
NOTE: Facebook announces every time you fart in the sidebar unless you change the settings. I choose not to. I feel that if everyone can’t see what I’m doing I probably shouldn’t be doing it on-line. I generally avoid privacy settings because I believe they’re the water wings of the digital world and create a false sense of safety that can land us in big trouble.
Apparently, I had “liked” a seriously tasteless cartoon. But the thing was, I never actually liked it at all. I have an android phone with a touch screen. Very often when I am using my finger to scroll through my feed, I accidentally hit things. Sometimes I like things unintentionally.
I actually did get somewhat angry with the friend for calling me out and shaming me publicly and politely confronted her over it (and she apologized). We aren’t just social media friends, we’ve been friends since the age of five. This person knew me. She even admitted that she was shocked I’d “liked” this cartoon.
So, if what you saw was unlike anything I’ve ever shared. If it was so grossly out of character it even gave you pause, why not just message me and give me a heads up? Hey, Kristen I saw you liked this cartoon making fun of kittens being punched in the face. That seems odd and not like you at all. Were you phished?
But at least my friend was brave enough to say something and I did thank her for that because then I could go back and “unlike” that cartoon (thus solving the mystery of the missing friends). But what gets me is this. How many people automatically saw one thing they didn’t agree with and they hit the unfriend?
And that is neither here nor there because if people are going to leave that easily then *waves*.
But why are we THAT sensitive and is it healthy?
Diverse Friends Help Critical Thinking
I’m a born and raised Texan. Enough said.
It’s pretty easy to spot where I sit on the ideological spectrum upon meeting me. But, if you look at my biggest friends, most of them look nothing like me. I collect Jews, Muslims, atheists, Wiccans, democrats, socialists, communists, libertarians, vegans, gays, feminists and on and on and on. We are more than our faith or political party, and liking people who are just like we are is no great accomplishment.
Living in an ideological echo chamber is bad and it’s especially bad for authors.
First of all, it makes your brain turn to pudding. If no one ever challenges what you believe and makes you actually have to articulate why you feel a certain way, it kills brain cells. Everyone sitting in a circle saying the same stuff rots the noggin.
Last I checked, we writers needed a good noggin to do what we do.
It’s a False Reality
Everyone agreeing with us isn’t life. I often wonder if this is why millennials are having such a tough time interacting in person. They aren’t properly socialized. They’ve grown up in a world where they can craft and cultivate their world to never ever be uncomfortable, so when they get into reality, they have no idea how to get along. They crumble or explode the second someone has a different opinion.
Writers, we are selling books to all kinds of people, and some of them are not very nice. Some are downright trolls and if we insulate ourselves in this false reality on social media? We are ill-prepared to deal with the very real difficult people we will all eventually face.
My fear is that this ability to friend and unfriend and edit and redact is creating a world where no one is allowed to be different lest they be punished.
People Have a Right to Be Different
Guess what, you do not have to agree with me on everything for me to like you. And if we can only be friends with people who agree with us then we need to get rid of the Pampers and grow the hell up.
Adults can actually handle someone else having a different opinion.
I get so tired of seeing people being bullies on social media. “I am just announcing that if you don’t agree with me on X issue then I am unfriending you.”
Really. Just really. Are we five?
So we get along in 9,000 other areas. We share a mutual passion for history, books, kittens, jokes, Star Trek, but if I support X political candidate you’re out? Can I offer you a sippy cup and some used DVDs of Yo Gabba Gabba?
We mere mortals have been handed the greatest tool to change the world in the history of humanity and all we can do is play digital dollhouse? Because when we bully people that they have to be just like us, that’s what we’re doing. Carefully crafting and positioning everyone who can be in our little artificial habitat.
This world is screwed up and needs changing. And we adults are going to change it, not a bunch of thin-skinned babies who need Political Pull-Ups.
To be successful in life we are going to have to play well with others. Yes, what we learned in Kindergarten was pretty much all we needed to know about life. We are going to have to work with all kinds of folks who are a different race, creed, religion or political leaning and we are wise to learn how to navigate differences without anyone crashing on the rocks. We have to learn that a heated disagreement is simply one event on a timeline and move past it.
*waves at Frank (RantingMonkey)*
When Frank initially commented on my blog, he was on the spicy side. So I was a tad extra spicy. But you know what? We calmed down, saw we weren’t really all that different and the differences? Eh, fuggetaboutit.
My PEEP! Yes, we are now pals and pretty dang good ones, too.
If I’d unfriended everyone who was unlike me (or only friended Kristen Clones), I’d have missed out on some of the kindest, most generous and brilliant people I’ve had the honor of knowing, loving and serving.
Come on! GROUP HUG!
What are your thoughts? Though please keep any political, social or religious commentary on the down-low. We can share general experiences here without this turning into a political rant on Fox/CNN.
Do you think it is ironic that we have the abilities to share ideas more now than ever in history, yet have become more closed-minded than ever? Do you get to the point where you don’t even want to share an opinion for fear of being bullied? Have you ever had something happen to your accounts (I.e. hacked) and people just unfriended instead of saying something?
Are you concerned that this Photoshopped/crafted world is unhealthy for us? Are you super grateful for the friends you have who are super different from you? Do you gain new insights and perspectives?
I really DO love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of FEBRUARY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel.
Finally caught up and got us two winners for December and January. Normally I am faster but been blessed to have a lot of blogs go viral as of late. Congratulations to:
December’s Winner: AmieGibbons15
January’s Winner: Lisa Fender
Please e-mail me a Word document with your 5000 words to kristen at wana intl dot com.
Double-spaced, inch-inch margins, NTR font. Congratulations!
I think this is going to be pretty much one of my favorite posts of your ever. Great truth here, and good common sense, too.
Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
Social media is not to be messed with and neither is friendship. Kristen says it all in her latest post. Don’t jump to conclusions. You never know what is behind your source of discontent…Thanks for laying it on the line Kristen. ~Elle
I think friendship and loyalty is fickle these days. I see it all over the place in how I deal with other companies at work and relatioships generally. It is like we’re forgetting how to form relationships and to maintain them.
I love what you’ve written here as always some great and well delivered wisdom.
This is great advice. Not just for writers, but anyone with a social media account. Well done!
When I unfollowed a friend recently, it wasn’t so much because we had different opinions, but rather the way he expressed that opinion. I have someone else on my friends list (who I’ve never met in person) whose opinion isn’t vastly different from the first guy’s but you can have a sensible debate about an issue with him. The refugee crisis for example, they both believe that the UK is unable to cope with such a sudden influx. The friend I unfollowed expressed that opinion whilst making jokes about them drowning in the Mediterranean, the latter expressed that opinion and opened a discussion about what could be done to help the refugees. I know many people would have unfriended the first guy but I still believe that deep down he’s good at heart (plus I don’t want to look as though as stomped off in a huff). I’m hoping that when the current climate calms down we can go back to having a laugh and engaging in philosophical discussion. Until then, I’m out.
I usually just hide their feed until whatever blows over, but I get you. And this goes back to us being grownups. We also need to be sensitive to what we are putting out there for others to consume. I am not saying to do anything other than filter the way we would if we were in person. In person or at a workplace we wouldn’t rant and call names and show pictures of abused animals. It’s just stressful for others. Just do the same on social media. If you want to share the extreme stuff, PM it to likeminded peeps.
Being able to unfollow someone’s feed is a godsend because once the crazy has died down, you don’t need to send a friend request to start seeing it again. Technically they need never know there was an issue. It’s a tad passive aggressive but I’m comfortable with that. I’ll check my aforementioned friend’s feed in a couple of years to see if it’s safe to return!
I completely agree with you on giving consideration to others when posting content. I’m not sure what posting pictures of things like animal abuse even achieves. If anything of that ilk shows up in my news feed, I just scroll past it as fast as possible because I find images such as those upsetting.
I really loved this post, Kristen. Just the right amount of raw truth and understanding. I’m a person avoids conflict and confrontation. I’ve always been this way. This contributes to me not wanting to write opinions on social media, for the most part. I sit back, watch and listen, but I don’t usually jump in and a part of this is because if my opinion isn’t shared, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of the nasties I see happening on the regular on Twitter. It ends up with me pulling back and not using my account so much.
I’m not saying this is what other people feel or do, only that this is my thing.
And man how I agree with being friends with a variety of people. You said it when you pointed out how writers need to be around a diverse group of people, and as many as possible, if even to hear the conversations and glean from the words, but hopefully to learn some tolerance, if they need, and to gain experiences to incorporate in their stories. Not to mention gaining a new friend or fifty.
It’s ok to not agree with everything about a person.
It’s really ok.
Look at me all showing an opinion on the Internet. 😉
GO YOU! *cabbage patch dance*
Reblogged this on My Writing Journey and commented:
One of my favorite bloggers is Kristen Lamb. She’s not only dedicated to helping writers, in their fiction and building a brand on social media, but she’s just a decent human being who makes a lot of sense. I loved this latest blog of hers and wanted to reblog and share with you.
Great post! I’ve always wondered if I was a bit strange because my real life friends come in all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds and colors … even pink hair. Ditto for my online relationships. On Twitter, I initially clicked ‘follow’ to whoever followed me, then one person posted porn, which I did NOT want in my inbox, so now, I click to make certain what they post before I follow back. Since I began verifying what to anticipate, I haven’t needed to unfollow.
Despite the fact that my tweets and blog are devoted to pet information and humor, I follow quite a variety of interesting people – even one about economics, though the ones about science and space research are more likely to inspire my own fiction.
Variety is great!
I’ve only ever unfriended people because I flat out don’t want them in my life. Like ex-partners, or people who didn’t turn out to be real friends offline. I kind of figured that’s how it worked! But it irritates me no end to see those “Congratulations if you can see this post!” or “Having a friends cull” posts. Why broadcast the fact you see people as being so utterly disposable?
I love your blog, Kristen. You always just say it like it is. Can you come and be our Prime Minister in the UK?
Great post, Kristen. It reminds me of an old friend of mine who posted on his FB account that anyone who supported a certain politician was no longer his friend. Why can’t we all just get along?
This needed to be said. Good thoughts.
Great blog! Thank you Kristen. The “thin-skin” hit me a little sideways. I get that a “thin-skinned” person is more apt to fell the burn of an accusation: inferred, concluded, made-up, and otherwise. Being “thin-skinned” myself I often feel that burn. Knowing that I AM that way has pushed me to develop defenses; I simply DO NOT allow myself to react. I carefully judge the merits, the downside and then make a decision.
I do believe there is a more sinister group who care not how they react, and such reaction is to draw attention to themselves, or merely to enjoy messing with people; they are far from “thin skinned,” and they bring to the table a more aggressive nature that any reaction from a thin skinned individual.
My eye rolling has gotten plenty of practice since I joined FB to “build my author platform.” Yes, I was NEVER joining it (which is why you should never say never my friends) and had to take a heap of crappola from my kids when I did finally build a profile. I still haven’t made an author page because I’m nowhere near the 5,000 friend “threshold” so why have something else to maintain?
I’d rather be writing.
Thanks for the laugh. As usual, you’re spot on.
I think there are more people on social media who roll their eyes and scroll on by (like me) than do the unfriending thing. Which goes to show, maybe we are growing up after all.
Kristen, I love your blog posts! Jodi
THANK YOU! 😀
I’d like to disagree with you but I can’t. I’m afraid I agree pretty much 100%. I do avoid expressing my opinion on politics, especially when it’s an election year. That seems to be one of those topics that become heated very quickly. With that said, I love Social Media. Where else could someone who hardly gets to travel, meet so many diverse people from all over the world? Many of my “friends” are also authors of books, magazines, blog and wherever good writing is needed and I’ve never met any of them in person, but I like to think we support one another like a family. I don’t unfriend anyone except for the ones who are probably bots, those who ask for a date or start off by calling me beautiful (I do have a mirror after all) or people wanting to steal what little money I have.
Absolutely loved it!
Love this post! I’m sharing because it’s true! 🙂
Thank you for saying it. So often people dish but they can’t take. It drives me crazy.
This has been a hot topic on my mind for quite some time. I noticed, and lamented, the effects of becoming a “bubble” society many years ago while flying around the country for business. When I would find myself on layovers I used to enjoy interacting with others around me. It was a perk to be able to learn about them. Where were they from? What did they do? Who were their family members. With technology however I found myself ignored or completely unnoticed.
Now we live in an even more bubble based environment where, as you pointed out, we can tailor our cyber living quarters to keep us falsely puffed and comfortable. Our society now accepts that these bubbles can surround us wherever we go. We need not learn to settle disputes nor do we need to have true interaction with humans at all.
Personally I rarely unfriend someone. I will unfollow them if I grow tired of their political or religious “anger” posts. If they spend cyber time boosting their own ego, especially at the expense of others, then unfollowing them relieves me of the stress I feel from those posts while keeping me available for a personal message from them should they have a real need of some type. After all, even those we don’t agree with or in fact dislike may need me to be there in a crisis.
I love seeing all the different peeps who pop up on your Facebook feed to post fun memes and comments. Especially Viking kittehs. 😉
So many times, especially in recent months, I’ve wanted to say something very like this on facebook. But I typically delete the post early in the process, and post about my dogs instead. It’s the humor and the light touch that I’ve been missing, obviously. (It’s so clear now that I’ve read your take on the situation! Heh.) Gonna share this one. People need to hear it. Especially in the political crazy season.
And, why (may I ask, rhetorically) does everything… Every. Single. Thing…. have to be political these days? When I grew up, (not *all* that long ago!) people got to just live their lives and do their doings without always having to be making a statement. I miss those days.
And get off my lawn!
(There was meant to be a “shakes cane at kids” at the end of that, but I put it in brackets, so I suppose I must have confused the little people in the computer who sort these things out and bring the packets to the right place… 😉 )
Also… I fear for that clown’s wig… fire on the head would probably not be a lot of fun. So I’m torn… on the one hand, he’s a clown and they’re creepy… on the other Fire. On the head.
Sorry to be the complete opposite, but… I only ‘friend’ IRL friends and not family just because we know each other. If I don’t like them, why would I ‘friend’ them? A few people we struck up friendships with turned out to be a22407es and we unfriended and they know why.
Here’s why I’m going the other way with this: with a nom de plume. Anyone can friend him. He only posts about the book and the ‘world’. That way, I don’t have to put up with people that I disagree so violently with, I want to smash their faces in… Thus I have 14 friends and my author page has a bunch more.
You are my soul sister! Except that aside from both being female and that scribbly thing we call writing, maybe the only outside thing we have in common is having an Open Mind and fillling it with all kinds of Different Stuff. And maybe cookies, you do like cookies, right?
Well said, Kristen. I think the main problem is people treat being social online differently from being social in real life. The rules are the same. In polite company, (almost) everyone knows how to interact, how far to push a point and when to change the subject. On social media, (some) people just seem to just lose sight of what’s socially acceptable. I’ve never unfriended anyone based on their views but I’ve sure chosen not to engage with them on certain subjects, just like I would in real life.
Great post! I have found lately, especially with the presidential election coming up, that differing opinions lead to frequent unfriending & gloating about it. I happen to agree with you, that condensing our circle to those who only think like us can create a snowball effect of narrow mindedness. I personally think that the more you expand and increase your individual community to different norms, cultures, opinions, the more information you allow yourself to take in and process to come up with your own well researched conclusion…no matter what side of the fence you may stand on. Arguments seem to become discussions…and friends remain friends.
Other than that, you can choose not to engage. LOL. Ignorance is bliss.
If we’re talking about an author platform, yes I agree with many of your points. But if we’re talking about personal Facebook accounts with friends and family, why should I keep a Facebook friend who I am no longer friends with in RL? Why should I stay friends with an ex-boyfriend–somehitng else I’ve read. “You shouldn’t unfriend your ex-boyfriends!”
I don’t want to share personal pictures and life events with people I don’t like. I disagree that we always have to fake it till we make it. Some people I just don’t want in my life. Odds are they don’t want me in their life and we should be adults and civily ignore each other.
I honestly believe that authors should have TWO social media platforms in this day and age, a “personal” one, which is their real-life family/friends/coworkers, and their “author” platform. The two can crossover, but especially for an author like me, who writes a wide variety of books from explicit to mainstream, I don’t want my son or my niece in my authorial social media. I have some friends and family who’ve chosen to follow me as an author, but when I am “me” then I don’t have to worry about censoring my real self as far as personal details. I also don’t have to worry about anyone having access to my friends/family who might comment or like or share stuff on my personal profile. Likewise, when I’m an “author” I don’t have to worry about censoring my language or stuff like I would on my private profile.
One side-note: when I first joined Facebook, it was VERY common for people to troll friends lists (because I can’t remember if it was possible to block friends lists from public view or not back then) and add friends. And yes, there were times I just hit “approve” if I glanced at their profile and didn’t see any red flags. I have some friends on my author profile still which honestly I have no clue who they are. I think in SOME cases, if I come across someone like that, and I look at their feed, have NO freaking clue who they are, they’ve never interacted with me, I’ve never interacted with them, and there’s nothing in common with them on their profile, it is okay to weed those kinds of “friends” out. But again, that’s a specific set of circumstances, not the generalization like you’re talking about.
I do agree with you on the not doing the “weeding” thing. Unfortunately, Facebook has helped bring this about by “curating” our feeds for us when we don’t WANT it curated. I’ve got real-life friends on my private profile which sometimes I don’t see their posts, even if I’ve GONE to their profile, until the next day. So a goodly chunk of this nonsense is squarely on Facebook’s head. They play dodgems with us with our friends. Last night at DnD, one of our other friends mentioned he had the same problem. His wife always sees our friends’ feeds and posts, and he rarely sees them at all, even though he actively interacts with them more often in their feeds.
Soo… *shrugs* Until Facebook gives us REAL control of our feed and gives us an on/off button for their “algorithms” so we can cultivate it the way WE want to, we’re going to have this weird mix of what Facebook thinks we want based on a few clicks here and there.
Agreed. Having two different platforms helps to keep things separated.
I’ve had three people who defriended me, one was loony, and the other two accused me of something I didn’t do and wouldn’t give me the time to explain my self. So bye-bye. Sigh … I will be friends with anyone, but I don’t put up with others flaming my friends b/c of their political or religious beliefs. I defriend them. And so far, I only defriended one, who was trolling on my board.
I want to get into the van with that unicorn! I just know wherever he’s going, it’s a fun place to be.
Regarding the post, I agree. Some of the nicest people I’ve met are those who are vastly different from me. They are professional in how they act, and I have a lot of respect for them. What’s better? They accept me the way I am and support my right to believe the way I do. People like that are golden.
A van pulls up with a Unicorn driving and says get in! Sounds like the beginning of a great story! On the side of the Van is a mural of an accountant doing paperwork, lol.
Well, I think that is right on the money! I do agree with those who say they don’t want to stay friends on FB with those they don’t actually like – of course, yet, surely, that’s another topic entirely? Anyway, love what you’re doing, Kristen!
I totally agree. I was unfriended by someone I had been friends with since the age of 10! I have no idea why she did it and frankly, I don’t care. Who has the time to scroll through their friends list and actually unfriend someone? And nothing anyone says can actually offend me that much. I’d rather they say exactly what’s on their mind so I can know the kind of person they are. And if they say something off character? Well, either they didn’t say it or like it or they were having a bad day which isn’t something we ever see on social media. Let them have their bad day and move on. No need to hit the unfriend button. You don’t have to live with this person.
This is a cool post. I don’t have much to say other than that, but I’m sharing. I tried friending you on FB a while back but you weren’t allowed to have any more friends at the time, lol!
Ha ha, I know what you mean about the touch screen – I have added things into my cart on Amazon by accident and even bid on (and won) something on eBay without knowing. One break-up line that graphic forgot to mention, “it’s not you, it’s me.” lol
Which reallys means, “It’s not me, it’s you.” 🙂
Great post, Kristen, and thanks for pointing out that having friends who are different, and have different points of view, can be valuable. We can learn much from others who are different.
“Do you think it is ironic that we have the abilities to share ideas more now than ever in history, yet have become more closed-minded than ever? Do you get to the point where you don’t even want to share an opinion for fear of being bullied? ”
Holy hell, yes. I used to never have a problem saying exactly what I thought online. Now? I almost never say what I think, because people can be RABID, especially on twitter. I wish people I know still posted to LiveJournal. The posts were longer, more thoughtful, and generally more civilized – or maybe that’s just memory making everything rosy. 🙂 But it seems that the shorter the messages, the wider the audience, and the easier it is to post, the less thought people put into the message, and everyone’s underwear is hanging out the window but no one cares – and of course everyone is RIGHT. Having a different opinion from someone in publishing is a bad idea. Got a rejection the day after I voiced an opposing view once (on a query at an agency I had already given up as CNR). I don’t tweet much anymore. The world has gone mad.
Being unfriended really hit home for me. My sister didn’t agree with one of my posts on FB and she unfriended me. :(. This was the tip of a lot of issues between us that I didn’t even know existed. she won’t even speak to me now. Her reasoning: we differ in opinion, particularly in religion and politics, and it makes her sad because I won’t listen to her rants. She’s right, I’m wrong. Period. No discussion, no sharing of ideas. Our relationship is just a microcosm of what you explained in this post. Those that scream the loudest for tolerance, rarely have any for others with a different world view. And, that is sad. It just hurts a little more when it is your only sibling.
Great points, Kristen. Thank you for stating what a lot of us are thinking and don’t have the venue to state it where it might actually be noticed. 🙂 <3
Great post. Backed out of social media except for blogging – it’s become far too phony and people are afraid to be themselves. Better to actually talk to people and have actual people as friends that you can meet and share fun with. (Authors require different things – like always dancing for the public, though)
Had to laugh about the “Texas “thing and “if you look at my friends”..they wouldn’t look like you – that seems very typical in Texas – at least the metro areas – we are and have been for a long long time communities of “mutts” and “adopted mutts” as my daughter said in high school. More “live and let live” and “agreed to disagree, but still be friends” here than in many places.
Brilliant post! You are way ahead of your time. Thanks for this, Kristen.
Great post. Really great. I have a lot of diverse friends. I don’t agree with everything they do or think or say, but I like them. I do have a separate Facebook page for my private life and another for my author life.
Some people get very upset if you don’t agree with them. I don’t want to upset anybody, however, I enjoy socializing with people who have difference ideas. That’s one way that I learn. Heck, I’ve even changed my opinion of some pretty serious stuff because I’ve listened or read the ideas of others.
I do try to keep my convictions to myself, and I’m sure I’ve accidentally hit the like button on some things I didn’t like. I agree, we should all act like adults. Well, at least those of us who are. And according to my driver’s license, I am.
That being said, I don’t tolerate toddler-like hissy fits very well.
I think people have a right to their opinions, even if I don’t agree with their opinions. Never before has it been so easy to communicate with such a diverse group of individuals. We should take advantage of that.
I gave up trying to change people in the 60’s. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now. Let’s just realize we all won’t agree on everything and enjoy our differences.
Great post. Very timely.
Thanks again, Kristen.
I particularly appreciate your point about valuing people who are different from us and how much they enrich our lives. I’ll admit, I get a bit hot under the collar when I read things that seem intentionally inflammatory, but in the end, my friends who are very different from me make my world so much bigger and better. Great post! ~Kristin
Reblogged this on Jeannie Hall Suspense and commented:
Difference of opinion? Put your big girl panties on.
There are so many lines in this article I want to quote. I mean, really just make memes and quote you. “Political pullups” I love it!! Thanks for always keeping it real, Kristen
Do it! I’d love to see the ones you like 😀 . I liked that line too, LOL.
I have a lot of friends, from all over the political and religious spectrum, but I “unfriend” people from time to time. It doesn’t bother me when people hold different opinions–people have different lives. They must have respect, though. I don’t lecture them, and don’t allow them to lecture me.
I’ve done the passive aggressive thing in the past and had it done to me. Like most, it never really struck me as that until someone pointed it out, then I stopped doing it because it was a cruddy thing to do. I still go through and “clean up” but it’s usually on Twitter and accounts that are automated and I never look at their content so I’m unfollowing because it’s just doesn’t catch my interest, and since it’s an automated account, they won’t ever know. My FB is only personal, no writer stuff, so I keep it small with family and friends I know as more than acquaintances.
Reblogged this on Nancy Segovia and commented:
Hmmm…she makes some interesting points
This post really got me thinking. I recently unfriended a traditionally published author friend of mine because I felt she was not treating me with respect. In fact, I felt totally and completely ignored my her, but she had time to make comments on her other traditionally published author friends’ posts. My father died, no comment, my husband died, no comment, a year of spinal procedures – 11 total and the inability to even get out of bed for several months and no comment from her. Yet she had plenty of time to make comments to her other author friends. So I unfriended here. My philosophy is that I don’t have time for those who don’t have time for me. She then tried to turn the tables on me and tried to tell me she couldn’t be the type of friend I expected her to me. Seriously? All I wanted was the same respect that she gave other authors. I felt like I did the right thing, no I am a little confused. Are you saying I should have just kept her as a friend and just ignored the fact that she was blatantly ignoring me?
Not that I’m the one you asked, but in my opinion what you did is fine. I mean, possibly you only hurt yourself? I’m trying to think of what I would do in that situation. If it were somebody that I had a long, strong relationship with in person and they neglected me in my time of need, I’d be hurt. If it were an acquaintance then I’d be less so. I suppose we’d need to consider what you accomplished by unfriending her and what possibilities would have remained if you hadn’t.
I understand what you mean about seeing her comments on others’ posts. That seems to me to be the crux of the situation. Seeing her comments hurts a little (or a lot.) And it’s perfectly understandable and acceptable to do things to protect ourselves when we’re particularly vulnerable. Possibly – in a logical way – you would have been better served to Unfollow or Mute or whatever your particular social media calls it – for a while. But, it wasn’t a logical time. And, all you’ve said is that you unfriended her. If that was it, then you were just dealing with understandable feelings while on an emotional roller coaster. (If you lashed out and publicly called her an evil, two-faced, mentally-unsettled hag-face then perhaps you went too far.)
If I was correct in my previous paragraph, then I’m wondering if you continued seeing her comments anyway. I mean, if she were commenting on mutual friends’ posts, then unfriending her didn’t actually fix the problem. And maybe she’s right; maybe you just need(ed) to reset expectations. But, I’ll say again that going through loss like that, you should definitely cut yourself some slack.
I used the word ‘face’ twice in one of the sentences above. I’d like to change “two-faced” to “backstabbing”, but it won’t let me.
Thank you, I appreciate your thoughtful response, and you might be correct that I may regret it. But for now, I think I did what was best for me.
I think you just ignore it and focus on ones who actively support you. If we want to hit a certain level of success, we have to choose battles and if people are actually being passive aggressive and we react to it? We are only feeding that poor behavior. Few things will starve out bad behavior like just being ignored.
My blogger pal, Tina Williams, said to check this out. I’m glad I did.
Wow, something must be in the air. Kristen and Sarah have both blogged about not getting caught up in a virtual world but needing to get out and meet real people in order to keep a healthy mind. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this stuff.
My thoughts are I LOVE YOU! I wish we could make a bunch of Kristen clones . . . lots of common sense here, especially in an election year!
I’d love to see you get to the point that you could hire an illustrator friend to add pictures to your blog (if you’re not in the mood to illustrate it yourself.) I do love, however, the unicorn in the van. (Yes, I’ve seen it before, but I still love it and love my friends who are like this.)
Oh yeah, the topic of your article. I liked that too. I will say that I delete any picture or mention of Trump from my Facebook timeline, but that’s strictly because I think he get far too much attention. (Most of what I delete is people slamming him and I probably agree with them, but they are only doing him a favor by talking about him.) I do try to keep in mind that my nieces and nephews can see what I like and what I post, but for the most part it’s live and let live. I haven’t achieved a really good heated discussion on my timeline yet, though. I think I’m being too nice. I’ll have to rethink my life.
This post will definitely go to the top of my list as one of my favorites. One of the things I’ve noticed, and I’ve only been blogging a short time, is like in life you attract people to your blog who are like you. Although, I’ve been forturnate to not have experienced phishing personally (knocking on wood). I fear for our kids (more than myself), who are selfie-obsessed. As a volunteer at my kids’ schools, I see young people take selfies in the classroom and post them on Instagram while applying make-up several times and then declaring themselves ‘ugly’. The constant need for attention and validation on-line by people so young should be a concern for every parent but the internet and social media world allows our younguns to exploit each other way too easily. All this ease of connection over the wires was supposed to make our lives easier, but to some extent has made our lives less safe and secure and as a parent, I have to stay observant to my kids’ social media. Its a whole new world that my parents can even begin to comprehend.
Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
n’est-ce pas ?
I think about this quote a LOT while I’m on social media.