Social media is an interesting beast. I have friends on Facebook who claim to have 5000 or more friends. Are each and every one of those people actually people they've met? Furthermore, do they care about each and every one?
Of course, I'm probably being a hypocrite. I have people in my friends' list who I guess shouldn't be there. People I knew back in high school or elementary school, those who I really don't keep up with on a daily or even monthly basis. Hell, some of the people on the list don't pop up regularly enough on my feed to keep me interested. I can't really even say when I last interacted with them. I probably should let them go, I guess.
But unfriending someone is also an interesting beast, if you ask me. Because unfriending someone effectively cuts them out of your social media life and says to them, "I don't like you enough to keep you in my very large acquaintance circle." I can also think of a few other things unfriending says, but those aren't appropriate for this forum. Since I'm the sort of person who mainly gets along with most people, and who tries my best to see the other side of things, I have, to date, only unfriended one person.
Why? Because that person, regardless of what I said, always had something contraditory to say to me. And that person always thought he or she was right. And most of all, that person always, and I mean ALWAYS, used SHOUTY CAPITALS to try and make his or her point. As well as profanity. Imagine profanity and those shouty capitals. I just couldn't take it anymore. I asked once for the language to stop. It didn't. So I hit the button.
Well imagine my surprise when I realized the other day that yes, I had been unfriended. I think I know why it occurred--that's for me to ruminate about--but I have to say that truly, I was gobsmacked. I reserve unfriending for the most extreme of cases. Anyone else I disagree with--I just don't bother engaging in conversation if they refuse to discuss and insist on arguing. And this person--well--we didn't really have an out and out disagreement. We just didn't see eye to eye on something. One time. But instead of simply ignoring that particular post or trying to pursue a thoughtful conversation to discuss our different points of view, this person felt the need to say goodbye.
I actually went back in my timeline to see what I had posted recently that might have set this person off. All I could find was that one post. The rest of my posts were related to one of the following: my dog, this blog, where you can find facts, Black History Month, funnies about kids, and some science news. And if any of those topics turned this person away, so be it.
I should be honest and say that I'm not hurt by the lack of connection. This person merely stood on the periphery of my small friend circle. I interact with him or her, but not enough to warrant thoughts from me every day. But I will say this: I held this person in higher regard than I guess I should have, and thus, I am disappointed. I really thought he or she possessed the maturity to discuss with me our differences, to maybe sit and chat and figure out what I meant with my post and what he or she meant with the reply.
Clearly, I was wrong.