Thursday, March 15, 2012

Facebook Friends

15 March 2012

“So I held my head up high, hiding hate that burns inside which only serves their selfish pride." – Creed, August 1997, from the song “My Own Prison”

How many people are on your Facebook “Friends List”?  As I write this, I have 262 friends and family on my list and with the exception of maybe fewer than 10 people, I have actually met and spent time with each of them. With those I have yet to meet, I enjoy a good relationship on line. Does it matter who’s on your list and how many people you have on it? Not really. It depends on what you are using Facebook for. I use it to maintain contact with old friends from the past, people I’ve met in the military and of course family. I pretty much keep to people I know in some capacity.  To me, there is no differentiation between “Facebook” friends and “real” friends.

So when someone decides to “unfriend” me, I take that serious and it does upset me.  I know other people don’t take it as seriously as I do while others don’t even notice, but I do. I’ve been the one to unfriend before too. It’s not an action I take lightly and without a lot of consideration and weighing of options. Every one of the people on my list are important to me and I enjoy their presence in my life, no matter what form of presence it is. So I think about it, realizing that it is a real person I am dealing with and one I did call a friend.

You see a lot of people treating others, their “friends”, poorly on Facebook. And most times it just ain’t pretty. About 2 months ago, I had a falling out with someone I regarded as a very dear friend. This person began ignoring me at first which I noticed. I then noticed commentary in her blog that seemed to be aimed at me, especially when she pointed it out to me on her Facebook page during the course of what I thought was an open and friendly discussion on internet censorship. She had been writing about bullies and bullying and was also urging people to avoid contact, ignore, people like that. I tried several times to talk to this person to find out what was up and to resolve the problem and I never got any response. I found out almost immediately from others that she had directly asked some of our mutual friends to unfriend me. At that point, I unfriended her. To date only one person has done her bidding, however some friends have reduced their contact with me and are apparently ignoring me and my posts on their pages or my emails to them. This incident has bothered me greatly ever since and still does today.

At least, up until the other day when I got a small bit of off handed advice from a friend I have a great deal of respect for. His advice? “Slow your roll, We don’t have enough time left on the planet.”  I’m not so sure the effect on me was intended but it made me think of things better, learn a better lesson. This is how I see things. If you are a friend of mine and you choose to judge me based on the word of another, then you and I cannot be friends. If you see fit to ignore me, give me cause for duress, disrespect me and treat me with your intolerance without talking to me, unfriend me.  We cannot be friends. If you are upset because we don’t share a same opinion or have several differing opinions and if that has an effect on our friendship, then buh-bye. For me it is very clear. I simply do not have the time or inclination to continue holding on to past friends that do not share the same respect and love for me as I do for them.

I do not believe I have achieved perfection and have done no wrong. I am a sinner! I have flaws. I am no different, better or worse, than any one reading this now. But I try to do the best I can. I try to treat people, especially friends, the best I can. I’m not perfect but I’m not going to whisper crap in your ear and ask you to unfriend someone just because I got my feelings hurt. That’s about as cowardly and juvenile as one could possibly get. 

But my friend is right and so from now on, I will slow my roll. Try to relax and concern myself with appreciating the good in life and the positive things in my life instead dwelling on the negative. Despite my feelings on the inside, I know I have a better lesson to learn and demonstrate to others.

Have a Blessed Day Ya’ll!

Related Links:

A poem by Shannen Wrass on friendship

A poem on friendship by “Anonymous”

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