Before I begin the story about my friend, first let me explain upfront about my own philosophy on “personal” views and beliefs, and that I have never picked my friends based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or political philosophies…most of the time (but not all the time)…the closer I was to someone, the less we spoke about any of those “trigger” topics. However, IF it did come up, I had no problem discussing it…as long we BOTH respected each other’s views. There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree and then letting it go. I have NEVER unfriended a person (either in social media or personally) based solely on their politics.
I gotta be careful here. Lets just say that someone close to me that I know pretty well recently experienced a sad situation due to the current political climate we are experiencing. I’ll refer to this person as “person A”.
I don’t think I ever heard “person A” ever bring up the subject of politics FIRST in a conversation any time I was around them. In other words, the ONLY time “person A” would ever mention their political support or views was if it were brought up to them first. “Person A” is and was very careful about their views on a whole range of topics and usually kept them private.
So here’s the sad story…”person A” and this other person (“person B”) were friends for many years, in fact they were friends for more than 30 years. Their friendship had drifted apart over time and after almost 30 years they rekindled that friendship and began spending time together, even vacationing together. These friends became pretty close again and all was going well. At least it was going well until early 2016. Out of the blue, and without any explanation the friendship ended without argument or fanfare, it just abruptly stopped. It ended by being unfriended on social media, it ended with no more contact, it ended without returning of calls or voicemails, it ended without responding to cards of apology (not knowing why they were apologizing), it just ended completely without explanation.
Because I was as bewildered as “person A”, I decided to see if I could locate “person B” in other social media circles…mostly to see if this person was having health issues (which there was a history of health issues in the family). I eventually found “person B” on Twitter. Literally within seconds I could see what happened based on their Twitter feed. It was filled with political postings…almost exclusively. I “assume” (no, I have nothing to base any of this on), but I assume the friendship was ended because of their differing political views and who they voted for in the Presidential election. I am also fairly certain that any discussions about their views were brought up by “person B” first; I am also am fairly certain that the response by “person A” was both very brief and absolutely non-confrontational…and then dropped.
So why the story? Because it’s a pretty sad commentary about our society today that we choose our friends by any of these “standards”. It’s sad that if someone doesn’t MIRROR your views, whether it be race, morals, or politics…you write them off. I see it all the time on Facebook (with Facebook “friends”)… and that’s one thing, but to throw away a REAL friend or relationship of someone in your PERSONAL life is just very superficial and frankly shows a level of insecurity that borders on paranoia.
Is this a real story and is it true? You betcha! 100% real and probably not uncommon at all. You’ll notice I mentioned no names, nor did I specify if they were male or female, not even their political affiliations. The story was really not about any of that…it was simply about friendship, insecurity and unnecessary estrangement.