With Friends Like Me…

I had some pretty strong opinions on the controversial razor ad that premiered online just before the Super Bowl. I won’t go into that too much here, but I found it to be a bit insulting and heavy-handed. I made the mistake of posting my opinion on my personal Facebook page.

I guess I should have expected a mixed-bag reaction as my friends list holds a very diverse group of people in just about every way people can be diverse, a fact I typically appreciate. But I struck a nerve with at least one friend and I was taken aback, honestly.

A woman I’ve known since we were in elementary school sent a private message regarding my post. She couldn’t understand my point of view, try as she might. She opened by complimenting me on being a good dad etc, but then lectured me and expressed her “disappointment” in my take on the ad.

Now, I’m not exactly proud of myself, but I let her have it. I’m a grown man and I wasn’t about to be condescended to in that way. Disappointed? What, is she my mother? How dare she respond to something that I posted for all to see in such a way! I told her that I couldn’t care less if she was disappointed in me and to my genuine surprise, she promptly unfriended. This, as dramatic as it was, got me thinking.

Why am I arguing with people I consider to be my friends?

Why do I insist on correcting every “wrong” I read on Facebook?

Am I actually being a friend?

Has a digital confrontation ever changed another’s mind and has mind ever been changed?

Will a complex problem ever be solved this way?

I don’t think so. So I quit. I’m still a Facebook user because I didn’t want to pull the plug on so many connections and re-connections I wouldn’t have made without it. But I’ve stopped engaging with any post I wanted to “correct”. No more arguments. Cold turkey. Done.

Facebook is super boring now. But I’ve discovered that I really wasn’t getting much from the confrontations anyway, other than a little high blood pressure.

I wasn’t being the friend I would want a friend to be. That’s no good, even on social media.

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