While I had feared that it was possible, I hadn’t really expected that it would actually happen. It would appear that I have suffered my first in-real-life unfriending of the 2016 election cycle. Look, I’m under no illusions as to whether or not I’m an asshole when it comes to sharing my political leanings; spoiler alert – I’m an asshole when it comes to sharing my political leanings, especially online. Most people who are passionate about their politics tap dance through assholeville on the interwebs, usually whistling an annoying tune as they post a meme that made them laugh a bit too hard. This election cycle, however, it would appear that I’ve been more annoying than usual.
Allow me to tell you a story…
A couple of months ago, a Facebook friend of a friend posted a meme which was basically asking how could the US afford to take in refugees when there are homeless vets who need help. Now, I don’t comment on everything I see on there, but for whatever reason, I found it necessary to point out an actual fact which countered the point of the meme (the resettlement program requires that those who are resettled must repay the costs via a low interest loan program). The response from the original poster went something like this:
- Hyperbole: a remark about a refugee detonating a dirty bomb in my vicinity.
- Dismissive: I’m not a veteran, therefore I shouldn’t have an opinion regarding the topic.
- Moderately insulting: I shouldn’t say anything when “it’s clear that you don’t know what you’re taking about”.
Rather than going scorched earth on the original poster, I made a couple of points:
- If funds are a concern, the GOP is a better target, as they are the ones who keep slashing funding for veterans programs.
- I fully research a topic prior to making comments so that I do know what I’m talking about.
- I’m all for a lively debate; however, insinuating that I’m stupid is the best way to meet my banhammer.
At that point, I figured the best course of action was to remove this person from my friends list, to prevent my saying something insulting that could offend our mutual friend. Based on current events, I was too late.
I had noticed that my (now, former) friend had been acting differently around me for a while – minimal eye contact, short answers, almost zero interaction. At first, I dismissed it, figuring that there must be something going on that I was not a party to. Well, after about six weeks of this, I decided to ask what was going on, because I was unaware of anything that I had done to this person that could have caused a problem. Clearly, I was wrong.
Turns out, my (now, former) friend didn’t like the way I had interacted with this person on Facebook, feeling that I judge those who don’t agree with me as stupid. Further, I’m told that I present it’s a my way or nothing attitude. My (now, former) friend said that they know when they’re being an asshole, but they know when to apologize. Rather than discussing the issue, it was decided that the silent treatment was a better option.
I try to be open when presented with credible information on any given topic. I know that I’m not going to be as good as I want to be, but I do try. I’ve just got to think that there has got to be something more going on than that one Facebook interaction for this to have happened. As my (now, former) friend has officially checked out, I’ll never actually know the real, full reason for the separation.
Look, guys, if you think I’m being a real asshole about something, please tell me, huh? Don’t let that fester for weeks. I’ll be sure to return the favor, because we all still have to live with each other after the election.
Update: It would seem as though I got this fortune a bit too late…