Saturday, November 28, 2015

Unfriending Saturday

Let's call this Unfriending Saturday. It falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday when there is a lull in the shopping frenzy. It was pointed out to me that the Black Friday shopping greed comes the day after we are thankful for all that we already have. Perhaps Unfriending Saturday will help balance out some of our hypocritical Karma.
The problem with my newly created "day" is that it involves the word Unfriending. For a person of my generation it has such a negative connotation.  Facebook has turned this useful noun into an awkward verb. In FB vernacular "friending" someone simply means you have turned on their Facebook channel. You get to see what they are saying, and they get to see what you are saying. It's not like a conversation, nor a social interaction, it's more like communicating by really fast carrier pigeons.  
Sometimes the "friend" you "accept" on Facebook is someone you already know from real life, sometimes it is not. There may come a time when the friends channel you have subscribed to becomes clogged with racist, homophobic, holier than thou, mean spirited "shares", "memes" and "posts". It can happen even with people you think you know well.   In the outside world if you encountered a person spewing such bull shit, you would avoid them,  the last thing you would do is call them a friend. 
But on Facebook the racist, evangelical, NRA loving, homophone is publicly listed as your "friend".  Eventually you become tired of being in the loop of their social media hate and wish to distance yourself from such ideas. It requires that you physically "unfriend" them. 
In real life I place such significant value in my friendships that even in Cyberspace I find it hard to let one go. It is because of this word "friend" which Facebook has co-opted and redefined as a link to a personal media page.  I wish FB had chosen some other metaphor to base their connections on or at least some other name.  Call them Cleethans. "How many Cleethans are in your group?" Rather than "how many friends do you have." The reason is, if you have more than a couple of hundred "friends" on Facebook a vast majority are Cleethans.  It is a statistical certainty.
Today I noticed a "friend" published a link to Sean Hannity interviewing Phil Roberts. Sean Hannity who is a fear baiting Fox Hound and Phil Roberts the gray bearded redneck duck dynasty reactionary. I could not watch much of it mainly because it involved Sean Hannity and Phil Roberts. I only watched enough to know that Phil Roberts had his "preachers" hat on and Hannity was wearing his " Jesus University cheer leading" uniform. Any real friend knows I would not find any agreement, enjoyment nor satisfaction in a link like this. Comments from this "friend's" other "friends" indicated they did enjoy it and agreed with Mr. Duck's rambling stupidity.  That's when I realized, I had mistakenly tuned into the wrong social media station. This information was not intended for me, I just needed to change what I was looking at.  In my day it was just a matter of changing a channel on the RCA television. But with Facebook, I actually had to go to that channel and click "unfriend this person". And it still makes me feel bad that some how I knowingly said no to friendship. Even though this was an acquaintance of someone I knew in High School who requested a friendship because she knew my work. I am not sure we have ever really met. In real life this wouldn't even make the threshold of a solid introduction, much less anything similar to a friendship.
So, take this Saturday to be proactive. Why choose things you don't agree with and let them clutter up your "news feed".  It is Unfriending Saturday, enjoy your day.
As you were,


Eric said...

Here's how dumb I am. When you unfriend someone, are they notified? On Twitter they are alerted to the unfollow. But on FB?

P. Grecian said...

I try to warn 'em if they come on my wall. If the continue, I send 'em to the cornfield.
Seems to me we live in angry, cruel, mean-spirited times.
Seems like that sometimes, anyway.
I am often terribly disappointed in my fellow man.
And woman.
I don't understand the hate and meanness.
I hope to hell I never do.