This Is Why I Won’t Unfriend You

unfriend“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson

Something has been really bothering me for a while, and I have to just unload.

There is no surprise that we are a nation divided on so many levels these days. We can’t seem to find common ground on many topics. From religion to politics to the war of words between each other, there is an undercurrent of “I’m right, you’re wrong.” There are no disagreements between people anymore, as differences have evolved into “wars.” People have become entrenched in their camps, drawing lines in the sand, seeing everything in black and white, allowing no room for gray.

For the umpteenth time in several months, I have seen people post statuses on social media, and then request of their friends and followers the following: “If you don’t agree with _______ (fill in the blank), then unfriend me.”

Wow.

Whether it is political, social, religious or whatever, the premise is that if I, or others, don’t believe in their cause or with their opinion, they don’t want my friendship online.

But I also take that as they don’t want my friendship. At all. Period.

I take umbrage with that.

I am blessed that I have a huge family and many friends and colleagues. If I have sent a friend request to someone, or accepted an invitation from another, it is because I value the person and want to be in contact. I want to share in their joys, accomplishments and celebrations, offer support during tough times, commiserate about the weather, engage in dialogue, share recipes or great places to dine, see what is happening in their lives. I want to see photos of their family, vacation, garden, artwork or how much snow was dumped in their corner of the world.  I want to read their blog posts, or read what they found interesting or enlightening. For me, there is a connection with the individual – online and offline – and I feel privileged to be a part of that friend’s life.

But I am growing weary of the the “un-friend” me requests. I may not share your religious, social or political views. I may not like your favorite animal or artist or movie or music. I may not like your haircut or the way you clean (or don’t clean) your house. I may not like the state you live in or the hobbies you have or the car you drive. I may not like the charities you support. I may not like that you don’t support charities. I may not like the joke you shared or the beverage you drink. I may not cheer for the same team you do or like your stance on something or agree with your parenting views.

But I like you.

With all our differences of opinions. With everything that makes us completely different or polar opposites. We have a history. We have shared life and secrets and dreams and conversations.

I like you. My friend.

Why do we need to be in complete agreement on everything in order to remain friends? Why do our differences – or our perceived differences – have to be the end of a friendship – online or in person? Is it easier to let people out of our lives with the click of a mouse than over a meal at a local diner?

Maybe we can just chop our online friend lists so easily, because we see each other as a status with a profile photo and not for who they really are – a living, breathing person.

If I were to unfriend someone each time we didn’t see eye-to-eye, I would be posting statuses and photos for my own enjoyment.

Go ahead and unfriend me. That’s okay. But for the sake of friendship, I won’t unfriend you. Because with all that is wrong in this crazy world, we can’t have too many friends, whether we are in agreement on all subjects or not.

What do you think? Share in the comment section. If this post resonates with you, feel free to share with others.

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

 

This entry was posted in Family, Friendship, IMHO, My Take on the Subject and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to This Is Why I Won’t Unfriend You

  1. Wow. That surprises me folks actually say that on Facebook. “Unfriend me.” That’s a childish statement, and I’m ever so grateful I’ve not had friends say such a stupid thing. Honestly, I *would* unfriend them whether I agreed or disagreed or didn’t give one hoot about it, just because that’s absurd. But, that’s also my opinion.

    Interesting post. Thank you for sharing it!
    Lisa @ Grandma’s Briefs recently posted…10 things I’d happily pay others to doMy Profile

  2. SusanB says:

    Great post, made a lot of sense.
    SusanB recently posted…Shingles & BracesMy Profile

  3. SusanB says:

    oops not sure why the link showed up – so sorry!

    • LynneCobb says:

      Thanks, Susan! Also, I have a new feature on my comments that allows your last post to be available with one easy click! Just a way to help fellow bloggers :-)

  4. Hi Lynne! I have never honestly gotten one of those “unfriend me if you don’t agree with this post” comments before–and can’t imagine posting one on my page! I so agree with that quote by Jefferson although it does make relationships a bit more challenging. In this day and age it seems that people are so busy that even maintaining friendships with people we do agree with on most topics is difficult enough. It’ so much easier just to avoid or “unfriend” anyone that doesn’t. Plus I think it has become “popular” to draw the line between what we believe to be true and what others believe to be true and then make that a black and white issue–sometimes to the point of snarkiness. Thank you for your post…it definitely made me think. ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted…Lent—6 Powerful Ways Believers and Non-Believers Can BenefitMy Profile

  5. I don’t usually unfriend someone on Facebook, but I have to say, sometimes I unfollow people’s daily feed if they’re just driving me crazy. For me, that was especially true during the presidential campaign, when there were so many differing opinions about the race, so I wound up just going in to unfollow some of my friends feeds so that I didn’t have to see all the political ranting and raving. Then after the election was over, I went back and un-unfollowed them so I could see what they were sharing again. The world of social media etiquette can get so confusing, sometimes! Thoughtful post!
    Claudia Schmidt recently posted…I Used To Stalk Our Neighbors When My Kids Were LittleMy Profile

  6. Beth Foreman says:

    Thoughtful post, Lynne. I’ve heard about others “unfriending” but haven’t experienced it yet. So sad, really. Like you, I love the colorful friendships in my life, online and in person. I love when friends make me reconsider my perspective. Sometimes we agree. Sometimes we agree to disagree. Thanks for sharing!

    • LynneCobb says:

      Thanks, Beth! I agree – sometimes we have the chance to reconsider our perspective. How boring if we were all the same!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge