You are narrow minded and intolerant if you disagree with me
Ah, social media.
Today I lost a Facebook friend. By that, I mean she “unfriended” me. A real nice person too, and I feel bad about it. But these weird things happen on social networks.
In this particular case what happened (from my perspective) was that she claims to be very tolerant of diversity and opinions, yet basically accused me of being intolerant because I spoke up about what I see as the intolerance found in mainstream Islam. In other words, I disagreed with her.
It was an irony within an irony within an irony.
Earlier this year another incident happened with a “friend of a friend.” That woman is also is an interesting person, but she posted a rather strange article which claimed “all men are part of the rape culture.” I disagreed. I don’t happen to think I’m part of the rape culture. Because I disagreed she said I was narrow-minded. I pointed out that, logically speaking, if I’m narrow-minded for disagreeing then the same could be said about her because she disagreed with me. As you might imagine, it went downhill from there.
I’m glad to say we did not unfriend each other.
However, I have unfriended a few people in the past. One was a real friend from college who kept on going on these homophobic rants, which was irritating, and also irritated all my other friends. Another was a Norwegian friend-of-a-friend who kept on espousing how great Hamas was and basically sounded like he was in favor of violent terrorism. I never really knew him personally, so it was no loss.
Helpful hint: Never get into middle east debates on social networks.
A few other people have unfriended me as well. One really nice actual friend from undergrad school unfriended me after I posted some messages disputing some of his pro-Tea Party posts. As a Tea-Party person I guess he was not really interested in discussing things. It was a shame though. I had always liked him a lot.
Another friend from college unfriended me after he posted a lament about incandescent light bulbs being made illegal, and I pointed out that that wasn’t quite true, they just had to be more energy efficient and Phillips is still selling them in the U.S.
It’s silly stuff to lose friends over.
You have to be careful of what you talk about with different people. I know people from different periods in my life, and different parts of my life. And they don’t always mix well.
Sharing can also just sometimes be too much. Like I’m doing now!
That’s all. I was just feeling wistful about losing a nice Facebook friend over a going-in-circles dispute about who is intolerant over what. Tolerance should have ruled the day, but it didn’t. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
Most people live in a very insular world and think that because a few close friends agree with them that then everyone must feel the same. So when they post opinions on social media to a wider audience, they are surprised to find their opinions challenged, and some don’t know how to handle that. That’s one reason I favor blogs like yours over things like Facebook, because in general they allow for more fleshed out opinion, instead of the bite-sized nugget, and you have to seek that opinion out more and really want it, rather than scrolling through what comes up on your “wall.”