Disclaimer: I will not play your Facebook games. Or your Twitter games.
I’m not talking about the Candy Crush or Farmville invitations I’m constantly getting (but really, please stop sending those). I’m referring to the recreational blocking, unfollowing and unfriending that happens on social media sites.
We seem to have entered an era in which we deal punitive blows to our friends, acquaintances–and, yes, even family members–by deleting their very existence from our timelines and friends lists. I, personally have been deleted/blocked/unfriended on three different occasions. Not one of those times was it based on anything that I’d done, only because I happened to be the friend of a friend of someone who may have been involved in drama with my “unfriender”.
I don’t like conflict. I’ve whittled it out of my life and aside from the inevitable (work place, family, kid issues) I live a very quiet and drama-free existence. It’s chaos (I did mention the kids, right?), but a quiet and manageable chaos. Very rarely will you see me voice my opinion or get involved in any online debates over issues. I feel that online debates are held in a forum that doesn’t support resolution or even a respectful discourse. I’m more than happy to debate face-to-face, but I just don’t see the internet as an effective means of debate on social issues or conflict resolution. So, with that, I must say that if you try to engage me in an online argument, I will not join in. If you’re involved in an online battle, I won’t join in. I don’t feel the need to prove myself or be “right”. I’m just as happy to walk away and enjoy my quiet, peaceful existence. I can say with 98% certaintly that I haven’t, nor will I ever, tried to engage in an online battle with anyone or slander anybody. But as much as much I am an Olympic champion at letting things roll off my back, I am also a reformed hot-head and being “punished” for someone else’s actions/words is one of my hot-button topics. If you delete/block/unfriend me simply because I’m acquainted with someone who you have conflict with I will never reestablish that connection with you again (I do have family who can attest to that).
Please don’t misinterpret my position: I’m not referring to legitimately wanting to remove negativity & drama from your social media life. There are going to be times you’re completely right to block someone. If you’re being harassed or just find that someone’s posts are offensive, then by all means block them. But please don’t rush into being punitive when dealing with everyone. A little bit of disagreement and opposition are good things, as are cooperation, compassion, empathy and respect for those we disagree with.