How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

I got defriended today.  That’s O.K.  I didn’t actually know the woman in real life, and we didn’t particularly have a close facebook connection even, so I’m sure I won’t miss her much.  Also, since I’ve got about 1,500 friends on facebook, it happens sometimes.   It’s  probably even happened a few times without me even noticing it.  It’s only happened once or twice with people I also knew in real life, and one of those cases  I  didn’t notice for a couple of weeks.  I regret those cases but, what can you do?  It’s still not as bad as getting rejected in real life.

There are two ways of explaining why I got defriended today.  One is the difficulty of expressing  tone of voice in print.  The other is that she was being over-sensitive.  It was a  discussion of how to teach gifted children and the point I made was “gifted or not gifted, kids are kids and need discipline and a set curriculum.”  She accused me of lecturing her and talking down to her (no I  wasn’t),  of being old fashioned (perhaps true in this case, but not as a general rule) and responding to the headline without having read the article. (that’s true)

I  think part of the problem is that people have different  opinions of what the unwritten rules should be.  I see a lot of people post stuff and then get upset when somebody actually disagrees with them.  They want likes.  They want share.  They want comments limited to “That’s true,” or “That’s exactly how I feel about it.”

We’ll reach equilibrium eventually.  I’ll continue to say what I like and those people will all defriend me eventually.  Meanwhile, I will be left with friends who enjoy a spirited debate  once in a while.  Everybody will be happy.


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