Author Topic: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What? (Update on Page 2)  (Read 9360 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Nannerdoman

  • Mistress of the trivial and arcane.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4423
I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What? (Update on Page 2)
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:14:10 PM »
Drat this stupid election and drat stupid Facebook.

A couple who have been very good friends IRL and on Facebook for years is far to the other end of me on the political spectrum. We had exchanges of opinion during the run-up to the election, and I tried very hard to be courteous and non-judgmental.

Well, evidently I failed. Last night the DW of the couple sent a rather bitter post to my sister accusing her of being condescending in her response to the election results. I sent the wife a PM assuring her that my sister had no such intention and got back a message of my own that I had been "vilifying and calling names" for months and now was only "pretending to be gracious".

Then both of them unfriended me and my sister and our roommate.

I'm honestly flabbergasted. We've been friends with these people for decades, and never during the campaign did I get a hint that I was saying anything particularly objectionable (except insofar as disagreeing with their opinions was objectionable). I don't want to lose these people as friends. I sent another message via EM to the DW asking her if she could point out anywhere specific where I've vilified anyone or called names. So far, no response.

How have other people handled this? I'm seriously considering just giving Facebook up.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 01:41:36 PM by Nannerdoman »
I'm the grammarian against whom your mother warned you.

SleepyKitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 576
  • Quid plura?
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 04:16:58 PM »
I think you need to take this off of Facebook. Clearly something in your message is not coming across in text, and if you've been friends with these people for decades, I'm going to assume they are usually pretty reasonable people.

Pick up the phone and call them, so they can hear your tone of voice and you can talk "real time". Even better, meet up for coffee and have a face-to-face talk.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6284
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 04:19:37 PM »
How have other people handled this?

I generally never post or comment in any way that would alienate one set of friends or another.  This means you probably can't tell who I voted for or how I really feel about the issues.  I also just ignore people who anger me in their posts because I won't change their mind and it would just bring stress into my life to try.  I would contact the people in real life and just keep politics out of the friendship. 

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6372
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 04:30:20 PM »
I was unfriended by a relative for what has to be political reasons. It was upsetting at first but then I realized if I am nothing more to him than my political position (which is actually pretty moderate but his is very extreme) then good riddance. This lady has reduced you to one aspect of your life, which she disagrees with, and that's all she sees in you. It's possible she's upset about the election and you'll hear from her after she has a chance to calm down, but if not, I'd let her go.  :-\

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4263
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 04:55:08 PM »
I'm honestly flabbergasted. We've been friends with these people for decades, and never during the campaign did I get a hint that I was saying anything particularly objectionable (except insofar as disagreeing with their opinions was objectionable). I don't want to lose these people as friends. I sent another message via EM to the DW asking her if she could point out anywhere specific where I've vilified anyone or called names. So far, no response.

How have other people handled this? I'm seriously considering just giving Facebook up.

To some people, a polar opposite political stance, no matter how politely stated, is a grave offense. Saying "I'm voting for Mickey Mouse" is interpreted as "I'm voting against the One True Candidate just to spite you, you vile, scum-eating, worthless heap of rotten dung."

To be honest, I would call it a loss and move on with your life. In my experience, people like this are nasty and bigoted in other areas of life as well. I wouldn't want to be friends with them after that.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 05:08:06 PM »
Well, evidently I failed. Last night the DW of the couple sent a rather bitter post to my sister accusing her of being condescending in her response to the election results. I sent the wife a PM assuring her that my sister had no such intention and got back a message of my own that I had been "vilifying and calling names" for months and now was only "pretending to be gracious".

Well that ^ alone could be considered pretty vilifying.  I mean why are you getting involved?  You are telling this woman how to take something someone else said to her - if not actually vilifying, its certainly condescending and kinda ganging up on her; it was between her and your sister and you are all adults.  It was not your place to butt in.

kckgirl

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2933
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 05:10:04 PM »
I decided at the beginning of the "political season" that nobody on Facebook would know what side I was on about any issue. I saw many posts in my news feed from extremely liberal to extremely conservative and everything between. Since nobody was going to change my mind and I wasn't going to change theirs, it seemed best to just remain silent about politics and avoid all argument.
Maryland

Vall

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 795
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2012, 05:30:15 PM »
Prior to you sending the wife a PM, how did this involve you?  It seems like there's something missing from the story.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5303
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 05:50:51 PM »
I agree that where you erred is in getting in the middle of whatever was between your friend and your sister.  That was between them and your sister was responsible for handling it...not you.

I've been pretty careful not to post anything political on FB.  People do tend to get over emotional when discussing politics and I've seen a lot of "lively" debates between my freinds...ones that often get personal and none that seem to strengthen understanding of the "other side."  So lesson learned:  It's not usually a good idea to debate politics with friends with very different viewpoints from yours.  I have no doubt that you tried to be polite about it and probably were...but just the act of not agreeing with something someone else is very passionate about can be seen as insulting.  So, I just don't do it.

As for what to do now.  Let it go. At least for now.  After you've given her some time to cool off, you can maybe call her up and ask her out for lunch or coffee to catch up.  Since you've been friends for decades, I'm guessing that she just needs time to settle down.  And when you do start talking to her again, don't push her for examples of your offense.  It's hard, but just let it slide and build your friendship back up on things you both enjoy vs. this.

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8079
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 06:13:04 PM »
During the election season, I was completely neutral on electronic media. Since the election, I have been appalled by things written by otherwise reasonable people online for everyone to see. I hope reason reigns again soon.

As far as etiquette goes, you can't force these people to talk to you or be your friend. I would just move on with my life.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5723
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 06:18:46 PM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with posting political commentary on facebook. I get a lot of news from facebook and I appreciate the political commentary.

I also don't think there is anything wrong with blocking or defriending people on facebook if they post things you don't want to see (political, religious, kitten overload). My Facebook exists for me and I don't pretend it is a reflection of my real life, except in some odd and distorted fashion.

So I'd ignore the facebook part and see how the real life friendship plays out.


RegionMom

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6240
  • ♪♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪♫ ♪ ♪♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 06:21:44 PM »
A radio show this morning had this same topic, and he concluded that because of social media, we can create our own little world, where we only listen to "our" music, watch "our" tv shows on our own schedule, support "our" causes, and never have to be confronted with other opinions and viewpoints simply by hitting one button. 

Click!

And you have created your own little cocoon.

As a result, we have lost connections, while supposedly being the most connected.

A suggestion was to invite that couple/friend/family over, that has "defriended you for political reasons" and serve a lovely meal, and talk about...anything! other than politics.  And reconnect to why you were real life friends in the first place!

I like that idea. 
:)


Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Jaelle

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1520
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 06:25:52 PM »
I agree with CakeBeret and JenJay.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31345
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 06:27:23 PM »
Act as though it never happened.

They're temporarily insane.

Maybe they'll recover, but is it not written in the wisdom of Mrs. Cosmopolite:
"It won't get better if you pick at it"?

Just wait for them to get over it.

If/when you see them in real life, be friendly. Do not EVER talk about politics or Facebook.

Talk about other stuff.

In about two months, invite them to dinner or an art gallery (but not to church!)

In about three months, send them a friend request.

(and I'm in the camp that says you shouldn't have tried to intervene--let your sister handle her own battles. And you shouldn't have said, "please show me where I was condescending or whatever"--just don't go there. Don't ever bring it up again.

Try to forgive her--people all over the country have worked themselves up into a tremendously heightened sense of panic (both sides), and the adrenaline overload is messing them all up.


Emmy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3804
Re: I've Been "Unfriended"--Now What?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 07:10:34 PM »
I'm honestly flabbergasted. We've been friends with these people for decades, and never during the campaign did I get a hint that I was saying anything particularly objectionable (except insofar as disagreeing with their opinions was objectionable). I don't want to lose these people as friends. I sent another message via EM to the DW asking her if she could point out anywhere specific where I've vilified anyone or called names. So far, no response.

How have other people handled this? I'm seriously considering just giving Facebook up.

To some people, a polar opposite political stance, no matter how politely stated, is a grave offense. Saying "I'm voting for Mickey Mouse" is interpreted as "I'm voting against the One True Candidate just to spite you, you vile, scum-eating, worthless heap of rotten dung."

To be honest, I would call it a loss and move on with your life. In my experience, people like this are nasty and bigoted in other areas of life as well. I wouldn't want to be friends with them after that.

I agree, it sounds like she takes disagreeing with her point of view as a personal affront.  It doesn't matter if you state your point of view politely and as non-offensively as possible, because it is not her point of view, she takes personal offense.  Honestly, she sounds like a bit of a drama queen to chew out your sister, accuse you of "vilifying and name calling", then defriend you, your sister, and your roommate (who doesn't have anything to do with it according to the post).  Since she is so far on one end of the political spectrum and engaged in political banter, I imagine people found her comments judgmental and offensive.

If you really enjoy her company and consider her a good friend, maybe you can agree to disagree on politics and make it an off limits topic of conversation.  I know many people aren't fans of "I'm sorry that you felt offended", but I think it would be appropriate in this case.  Based on this story and her reactions, this doesn't sound like a person I'd want to continue a friendship with.  Does she get bent out of shape or take personal offense if people disagree with her on other topics?  If you do continue a friendship with her, it may not be a good idea to refriend her on facebook.  This drama could play out again if she doesn't agree with one of your posts.