Posted by She Said
An issue has come up several times in my life over the last few months that has finally shown its festering head and is ready to be popped by means of this blog post. I’m squeezing that bitch. It may get political, so if you don’t want any on you, consider yourself warned.
Facebook has always been an outlet for me to express my political views, views which have turned me into the black sheep of my family and the black sheep-in-law in Greg’s. Other than through Facebook, these scandalous views have only been expressed at my own dinner table with my own husband or with like-minded friends. What views? (Hey, you were warned!) The firm belief that every person should have the right to marry the love of their life, regardless of sexual orientation. I know, GASP! The belief that the issue of women’s health and birth control is deserving of a respectful discussion, without booing and hissing from an audience. I know, I’m a dreamer, right? The belief that I’m not going to succumb to right-wing fear mongering. There are others, but I think you get the point. I lean left.
So, anyway, Facebook. I have used the social networking beast to express those beliefs. Lately, after a few comments from several of my posts, I am doubting this outlet. Around family, I am polite and pull my proverbial head into my shell when it comes to politics and religion and keep my mouth shut. To their credit, they generally do the same around me. Why rock the boat, right? But Facebook feels like a gloves-off kind of arena, where kicking, biting, and spitting all fall under the rules of fair play. That is why Greg has decided to stop posting political commentary on Facebook and put it on that other social networking site. Damn, what’s the name of it again? Oh yeah, GooglePlus. I’ve kind of stuck to my squirt guns and kept on posting whatever I felt like on Facebook.
But now, I’m questioning this. I’m questioning this because of the political lurkers. You know, the people who are your “friends” on Facebook but ONLY comment on your political posts. They ignore all the cute anecdotes about your kids. They ignore all the cute pictures of your puppies. They ignore the fact that you are checking in at the gym, busting your ass trying to get in great shape by your
40th 29th birthday. But the nanosecond you post something political, BAM! they have to let you know how much they disagree with you, how much they feel they have the superior belief, and how much they think you are a douche for having the beliefs you do.
Is this a form of cyber bullying? Seriously. I don’t feel like I need to put up with this. I’d had it with one lurker and ended the Facebook “friendship” after sending what I felt to be a polite email explaining why I was doing so. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle a political discussion – when it is possible. It’s the snark-filled, rude comments for which I have no energy, no willingness to dust off my debate skills. Those kinds of comments do not pave the way for a healthy discussion. Seriously, why bother? They’ve already essentially told me they think I’m a douche for my beliefs, and I doubt any kind of wicked debate skills would reduce my douchery level in their eyes.
How do you handle this? Do you sensor your posts? Do you maintain better control of your friends list than I obviously do? Do you comment on political posts with which you do not agree? And if so, how do you do it? If it starts with “Hey, douchebag…” then I think you missed my point and you don’t need to answer the question.
Ah, hell. It’s spring. Maybe it is time for a Facebook friends list spring cleaning. Thoughts?