Tuesday, April 28, 2015

To 'Friend' or 'Unfriend'

I am not sure how many of my readers are active on Facebook; although to read my blog you obviously have at least Internet access. On Facebook you have the ability to create a personal page; people can request to follow you by being your 'friend'. Within the lapse of a second and the mere click of a mouse you can now increase your 'friend' base. The next question would be how many of your Facebook friends do you actually know? Are all 272 or 843 (which is possible if you're a college student) of them actually friends, merely acquaintances, or perhaps just friends of friends. The thing about being friends with someone on Facebook is that while they will see all of the well thought out posts, funny anecdotes, and whimsical pictures you've posted on your page ... you also get to see EVERYTHING that they post on their page. And there can lie the dilemma.
To 'Unfriend' someone also only takes a click of the mouse. If they're busy they won't even know you dropped them - they won't get a warning announcement, there will be no bells or whistles, or visible smoke signals outside their window. In my Facebook lifetime of a few years I can only remember choosing to 'unfriend' someone a handful of times. Naturally I felt uneasy about it, a bit guilty, and very judgmental, BUT it was my choice. Of course, I am not naïve enough to think for even a second that someone hasn't 'unfriended' me along the way.
In the grand scheme of life there are those things I can control and then there are the endless things I know I cannot. I can choose, however, how I want to live my life; what influences I want to knowingly subject myself to, what decisions I hope to make, what goals I want to set for myself, and what kind of example I want to be for others. When it becomes clear to me that certain influences are no longer favorable (for my life), whether that be the language people choose to use or the pictures they choose to post to their Facebook pages, then I can choose not to subject myself to it. I do not wish to hear stories of drunkenness,  read colorful language filled with useless 4-letter words, or see photos of new tattoos that are in places that can not be shown at work or in public restaurants, etc.
I will not judge people for their choices because they are different than mine. I am not going to put myself on a pedestal to say that my choice is right and theirs is wrong, BUT I can choose not to subject myself to it. I have enough to deal with on a daily basis living with the consequences of my own decisions.
This past weekend I chose to 'unfriend' 2 people. My choice. One was actually a business page that I felt no longer had anything to offer to me and the second was a young woman I met a year ago. We were never anything more than acquaintances who had a few things in common. Perhaps I felt maternal toward her or it was a woman-to-woman bond, but in the last year I've read about her journey and viewed her photos showing choices she made and I felt ... saddened ... perhaps even disappointed. I do not really know her nor does she know me at all. We've never even had a sit-down one-on-one conversation. I know I would never have any kind of influence on her life, so it was time for me to disengage. Again, my choice. There's something to be said for not standing by and watching an unstoppable train speed down the track knowing that there's nothing you can do to prevent it.

This post isn't meant to judge anyone or change anyone, it's only meant to point out that we do have choices that involve our own lives. It's meant to suggest that we should fill our lives with more positive influences.

Have you ever made the BIG decision to 'unfriend' someone? Was it easy or was it hard?

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