by DAN CALLOWAY
Published 12 May 2010
WEAVERVILLE, NC – Do you have a Facebook account? If you ask that question today, the most likely response you’ll receive is a resounding “YES.” There are literally millions of individual accounts on Facebook today and most of the connections that you make on Facebook–the predominant Social Networking website–are friends, family, and close relations.
But, an even more important question that might be asked of you is, “Have you ever been unfriended?” Yes, has anyone ever just simply dropped you because you pissed them off or because your opinions on issues (political, religious, or otherwise) were different from theirs?
Well, I can tell you that this has happened to me twice now in less than a month. I had 106 friends on Facebook, but now, I have only 103 because one of my friends unfriended me, and then another friend did the same thing, but a friend of that friend followed suit. It’s very frustrating.
The first friend that unfriended me was a person who lives in Swannanoa, NC by the name of Don P. This friend got into a heated argument with me over the issue of healthcare. His views on Obama-care were radically different than mine and for that reason, he sent me a final Facebook message letting me know that he was no longer going to be a friend of mine on Facebook. The next thing I know, he was gone. Well, all I have to say to that is, “You’re a coward. You took the coward’s way out. You weren’t man enough to stay in the debate through the long haul.” So, good riddance to bad rubbish, I always say. If a friend leaves you abruptly on Facebook, then perhaps he/she wasn’t a friend after all.
The second time this occurred to me was today. I had what I thought was a friend from Raleigh, NC by the name of Debe W. who I have interfaced with many times on Facebook. I thought our relationship was very friendly and that we understood each other. Well, apparently not. When I made a comment to her about something she had said to another local friend of hers, she became upset and told me that I didn’t have the right to interject my viewpoints on what she considered to be a private matter. Hello…Facebook isn’t a private forum, it’s just the opposite, a public forum. As a rule, public forums are ones in which everyone can interact with one another, and nothing is private among friends. Since Debe W. was one of my supposed friends on Facebook, I felt it wasn’t necessary to ask her permission if I respond to one of her other friends on Facebook who happened to be one of my friends as well. I suppose I was wrong. Debe W. even told me that I shouldn’t stick my nose in on a conversation that she was having with her friend (who was my friend as well) and I had no right to make a comment. In other words, why should it be all about me rather than about her friend.
Debe W., I have to tell you that you don’t understand the first thing about social networking. Social networking means social intercourse. It means that everyone talks to everyone else. And, if someone happens to make a comment about something that you said to someone else, then either make a comment yourself or get over it. But, unfriending that person is what I consider the coward’s way out. Why? Because rather than confront that friend and let them know how you feel, it’s easier to just drop that friend without even telling them you’re going to do it. How lame is that? Very!
So, to Don P. and to Debe W., two supposed friends of mine on Facebook, I say, “I hope you have a great life in your social bubble.” Just don’t come begging to be taken back, because it won’t happen. You left, so get lost!