Thursday, February 2, 2012

Facebook Follies - Dropping friends

With the upcoming IPO of Facebook, I've been thinking more about this particular tool.  When I decided to run for political office, I decided to open start a separate Facebook page for that part of my life.  Some of my friends get a little confused because they see things from "me" from both accounts.  However, I think it's better overall because those that don't want to see items regarding my political views can just not friend me or exclude that persona from their news stream.

I can't tell you how many of my friends that I wish would do the same thing.  Seems like I have a number of governmentalists (my term for statists - but harder to say) like to proselytize for liberalism.  One friend in particular seems to post constantly, and monitor everyone else's posting too (I got flamed by her once ... if only she would read first), to the point that I wonder how she can get her work done.

Fortunately, I've found the part of Facebook to allow me to exclude them from my news feed.  Before I found that I was seriously considering having to 'drop' these friends.  But the question still remains, at what point do you 'drop' (unfriend) a friend. 

Unlike many people, or even my political account, I restrict everything to only my friends.  Not friends of friends, so I feel mostly comfortable that information is protected.  However, again, what would it take to unfriend. 

I think that the most egregious act would be to be overly aggressive to others in joined conversations.  While I appreciate passionate people, the electronic environment is context insensitive.  What I may write, may not be what others "hear".  Having taught in the online forum, I've seen a lot of passionate discussions.  I've also had numerous discussions with people on how they interpreted what was written.

Further, by allowing one friend to be abused by another in your "home" (basically, your Facebook page), you show a lack of appreciation for the abused friend.  Anyone can have a bad day, so caution is recommended, but in the end, if something happens on your page that you wouldn't do yourself, you have to take a remedy.  Sometimes, the right answer is unfriending.

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