Oh boy, Internets. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Do I have a story for you.
So. On election night, one of my Facebook friends posted something about how anyone who voted for Obama is an idiot. In response, I posted something about how everyone needs to realize we’re all friends, and while we might not all agree politically, there’s really no reason to insult each other for disagreeing, and let’s just be cool.
The more I thought about that “friend’s” post, the more bothered I got. I have a lot of conservative friends and family, and I don’t mind reading their different perspectives (although I will admit that sometimes I’m annoyed by some things…). (I will also admit that I’m a wee bit hormonal these days.) I wondered to myself, Why would I want to be friends with someone who thinks I’m an idiot? I evaluated our friendship, and decided we were never actually close friends anyway. Yes, she was in my sorority, but so were a lot of other girls; we haven’t talked since graduation (at least not that I can remember); we lived in the same city for 5 years and never once tried to get together. And in the meantime, I have something ridiculous like 511 Facebook friends – some of whom I don’t even remember but recognize their names from college or high school. So I decided to purge the friend list. And so I de-friended her (and about 50 other people, regardless of their politics).
I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. People de-friend each other all the time on Facebook, right?
Um…boy, was I wrong. About 3 hours later, the girl sent me a one-word email: “Hysterical.” (I guess you can send people Facebook emails if you aren’t friends with them.)
I considered responding to it, but what was I going to say? ”Gee, sorry, but let’s face it, we weren’t ever that close, and I don’t want to be friends with someone who thinks I’m an idiot?”
So I just left it.
Here’s where things really get crazy. About 6 hours later, she sent yet another message. Here’s how it began:
“Day 7: Thankful for intolerant liberals who defriend me for expressing my beliefs.”
Crazy, yes? Annoying, yes? It gets worse:
“I’ve tolerated your daily posts about that unruly, undisciplined child of yours for 2 years. For Pete sake, act like a damn parent. Good luck with #2. You’re gonna need it.”
My heart starts pounding just reading that again. It shocks me even now, 24 hours later. What is WRONG with this person? When I read the message to Wilbur, he said he was surprised that I wasn’t crying (I’m a total weeper). The thing is, though, I know that was intended to hurt me, but I don’t understand how it possibly could, because what does someone who only knows me on Facebook know about my parenting (or lack thereof)? So I’m left, instead, with the awe that this girl responded to something as trivial as me defriending her on Facebook with such a massive amount of vitriol.
And oh, how I have spent time drafting responses to her in my head. My favorite one involves me pointing out that if I’d realized what an ass she is, I’d have de-friended her ages ago and thus spared her the two years of posts about my unruly child. (Except I’d have called her something a lot worse than an ass. I think I’d have used the C word. The one that is a euphemism for the lady bits. I NEVER use that word.) Another one involves me just telling her to step back and read her own email to me and then ask herself if my decision to defriend her was really about her “expressing [her] beliefs.” The rest of them fall within a wide spectrum between the two on a scale of jerkiness to non-jerkiness.
But really, I think I need to just not dignify any of this with a response. And I’m trying not to worry what she’s saying to our various mutual friends about all this. And part of me wants to just delete my whole profile on FB because if that site opened me up to that kind of crazy from this person, what other craziness has it opened me up to?? (Except wait – I’m a stay at home mom, which can be really isolating at times, and as sad and pathetic as it is, I’ve gotta admit that I use FB to feel connected to other people on a pretty regular basis.) And part of me wonders – not whether people are judging my parenting based on what I post on Facebook (because really, how can anyone who isn’t close to me in real life know diddly-squat about my parenting?) – but whether my incessant posting of pictures and comments about my child is annoying everybody else on my friend list.
But you know what? My faith in humanity was restored a little bit later today. Do y’all read Momastery? I do sometimes, and although some of the language is a bit flowery, I really like it, and I especially love the Holiday Hands program. Just reading updates on the Momastery Facebook page with people filled with gratitude for the kindness of strangers made all this other Facebook silliness seem like…well, silliness.
And suddenly, all’s right with the world. Not EVERYBODY in the world is vicious. Not everybody in the world reacts to a misunderstanding by trying to cut other people down.
So, yay! What craziness did you experience today?