Unfriending in 2017

I remember, not so long ago, when political disagreements could easily come to a “let’s agree to disagree” conclusion. You could stay friends with someone with different beliefs than you, because it’s all just a spectrum anyway, and just because one person leans more right and one leans more left, that doesn’t mean you can’t be cool.

I feel like that has changed, though. Is it because the arguments are less abstract? Probably they were never abstract, so is the answer that more of us are less naive? Is the left leaning further left and the right leaning further right?

When someone disagrees with me on women’s rights or LGBTQ rights or immigrant rights or children’s rights or health care…I don’t feel like I can be like, Eh, that’s fine, we can just not talk about it anymore. Because it’s become abundantly clear that people are being harmed by far-right approaches to these issues. So if someone tells me that they believe in suppressing these rights, that immigrants should all go home and women’s access to health care should be restricted and everyone should have free and open access to guns, then I have one of two thoughts: either I need to speak up and try to make you see my side…but probably that’s never going to happen, in which case I don’t really see where to go from here but to part ways.

So I’ve become more liberal (ha!) with the unfollow and unfriend buttons on Facebook, even if, as I do it, I’m solidifying the echo chamber I live in 90% of the time. There’s a right and a wrong side to history, and while it’d be great if as many people as possible could be on the right side, I’m not going to waste more time than necessary on that second group.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Unfriending in 2017

  1. Suzanne

    Sadly, my “friend” list has dwindled for the same reason. Maybe not sadly? I chalked it up to being old and just not having the energy to converse, convince people that I feel are so wrong.

  2. Doris Langley

    Syche, Don’t unfriend your Aunt Doris! I may be on the right but i do not categorically subscribe to any of the things you listed as “rightish”. I think a lot of the discussion has been stated in extremes in order to shut down the conversation.
    PS: I love to talk about other things!

  3. I obviously live in a safe haven too, living in NYC, but increasingly I think it is important to take micro-stands against what is going on (which is 100% counter to how I was raised, btw).

    Usually I make it about the policies and my own position: “I disagree with these policies.” Period. Nobody can argue with me if given just that statement. But hopefully anyone who FEELS like arguing has to first consider the republican right, what it stands for and who it benefits, consider the success record of this party to actually improve American lives, and then they can let me know if they are still an active supporter of what is happening.

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