Wednesday, November 21, 2012
An open letter to my Facebook friends...
Dear Facebook friends:
I love you all. I really do. I would not have friended you unless I like you and enjoy your company, online, in real life, or both. In fact, I've only got only a very few out of nearly 100 friends on FB whom I have not at least met in real life, and of those who I have not yet met in meatspace, at least half of you have come to me through real-life friends.
Also, I respect all of you and your right to hold and express opinions on your FB feed, even if I don't always agree with those opinions. You might not even know if I disagree with you because, in general, I don't like to argue about those things on FB. If you have posted something that has really and truly offended me, I have quietly hidden in on my feed and let it go at that. It was really difficult, in some cases, to do that during the run-up to the recent election, but I tried very hard to just let those things go. Because I do love you all.
There is one thing, however, that really bothers me about FB. And that is the posting of things - messages or photos or photos with messages - that are accompanied by the admonition that if I don't share them or re-post them, that I'm uncaring or evil or stupid or lazy.
In fact, I might agree with you and care very much about your cause or your opinion. However, I try to make it a practice not to share or like socially or politically or religiously charged messages, even if I agree with them. I have made a couple of exceptions to this in cases of messages regarding bullying. This is because I was bullied as a child and adolescent and I know how harmful it can be.
Other than that, I try not to share those "message" posts. I am probably not perfect at that, and I don't claim to be, but I am very careful even when I do share or like something not to request re-posts or shares, because I don't like being asked to do that, and I really believe in that "do unto others" thing.
In fact, I have to admit that those messages about "if you don't share, you just don't care" feel an awful lot like bullying sometimes. Even if I agree with everything else in the post.
So, please, next time you post something, even something you feel very strongly about, think very hard before you attach a message that essentially attempts to bully others into sharing your message.
Please. And thank you.
Love you (and I really do, you know),
Your Facebook friend