Over the years, I’ve collected a rag-tag variety of friends, many of whom are now Facebook friends too. I made these friends because we started out working together, or in school together, or in some organization or another together, and we connected. Probably because we enjoyed telling stories about our crazy pets, or our crazy customers, or our crazier kids; or we shared the same sense of humor, or we had similar interests of some kind.
I rarely get to see old friends, but when we do find each other in the same space, we quickly fall into the same stories and laughs we shared back-when. My perspective on those friends has been built over time through our shared history. But in some instances that perspective is starting to change, and I don’t like it.
Items shared on Facebook are reframing my image of old friends. The guy that “gets” the crazy way we grew up is now just “the anti-immigrant guy.” The girl that shares a hilarious work history with me is now mostly “the Obama hater.” Friends that post contentious issues I agree with are making me just as angry as the ones I disagree with – not angry at the friends, but at the subject matter. And the comments!
So friends, if I’ve un-followed you, it’s because I want to remain your friend. Let’s maintain our memories, and get together for the same reasons we always got together. Let’s have some fun and stop being so damned serious. Whatever your hot-button issues are, go ahead and post about them. They won’t be in my feed, and they won’t define you for me. Like it or not, you’re more than the sum of your Facebook posts.
This blog post inspired by SNL sketch, “Should I Chime In On This?”