Apparently this past Sunday Facebook unfriending was at an all time high as a result of the Zimmerman trial verdict. This isn’t surprising to me when you consider how Facebook pages have really just become personal platforms for a vast majority of internet users. In regards to the mass defriending, let me just say that I’m pretty sure it’s a major faux pas to discuss religion, politics, or money in polite company. The fundamental flaws in publicly discussing these controversial topics are that, in general, you are either already preaching to the choir, or you’re going to seriously piss someone off and end up only further feeding their seemingly irreverent fire. This being said, on the wider internet people have largely found ways to circumvent the notion of “polite society” by posting their thoughts whilst remaining relatively faceless. But not on Facebook. After all, “face” is in it’s name.
Don’t get me wrong. We the people should have a voice, and we should be given every opportunity to vocalize our thoughts and ideals, but aggressively and condescendingly expressing yourself on Facebook doesn’t promote active change. Instead it only enrages individuals and thus creates an even more polarized state of affairs.
So, what to do? Defriending is non-confrontational (for the most part, I don’t think one really notices when they’ve been defriended), it can be therapeutic, and it can help us to, in a bizarre sense, unclutter our lives, weeding out the many “friends” we realize we don’t actually know or haven’t spoken to since 5th grade. These are, to me, rational defriendings. However, I feel that with this recent stream of Zimmerman defriendings some people are being unforgiving and irrational. To me, the fact that my opinions can and do differ from those of my friends isn’t bothersome (after all, many of my friends liked The Captain America movie…ew gross). What’s important is that whilst I might fundamentally disagree with a friend, he or she will at least hear me out before attempting to change my mind. That said, it really is easier to solely have friends who share your philosophies on religion, politics, and money.
Personally, I disagree with the Zimmerman verdict. Zimmerman is a vigilante and I firmly believe that unless you have superpowers, one should never take the law into his or her own hands as the consequences are most often tragic and irreparable. After all of that, if you feel the need to defriend me, go ahead. I’ll forgive you.