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The Great Unfriending

February 4, 2017

 

 

     An inauguration is upon us. Some people are ecstatic and others are not. Some are dealing with it in a healthy way and others are not.

    

     President Obama gave a final speech in Chicago. It was more or less a nice speech. One of the things that I really liked in his speech was an idea he gave about not isolating yourself in a bubble.

 

     As I listened to him talk about this I thought to myself this is a great piece of advice. I thought of several people who live in a social media bubble and I hoped they were listening.

 

     I determined that through the course of this most recent election cycle, 3 people unfriended me on social media. I find out someone unfriends me because I think “I haven’t seen what they have posted recently.” I go to their page and I find out why I don’t hear from them…they unfriended me.

 

     One thing to note is that I purposely didn’t post anything that was outright supportive of one political side or another. I made comments at times, but these were not overtly political as well.

 

     When a person unfriends me I get curious and so I sometimes message them and ask why they did it. The responses are varied.

 

Friend #1 I didn’t ask this guy why he unfriended. I hadn’t seen him for 25 years so wasn’t missing much.

 

Friend #2 I did ask this guy. He told me some comment I had made was too much and emotions were running high during this season. He apologized and we became friends again.

 

Friend #3 I left on a comment on this friend’s political post. My comment was one in which I questioned the veracity of the post. A few minutes late this friend messaged me telling me how I was arrogant and superior and who made me the police officer of Facebook. We went back and forth and I ended the conversation saying I would attempt to be less arrogant in my posts…she unfriended me.

 

     These 3 people had something in common. They wanted to make their bubble smaller. I must say that I agreed with the president on his idea of not isolating oneself. The more you isolate yourself the less critical thinking you do around important issues. When you surround yourself only with people that agree with you, you begin to think that what you are thinking is the only right way to think and others are wrong because they don’t agree with you.

 

     Broadening your horizons and your friends can be a good thing. You may learn something about yourself or change your mind about something and you may even feel good because your bubble hasn't been burst. 

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