Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Out with the Old?

I'm not really sure where to begin with this.  How about a quick "about me".

I grew up on a farm in a small town.  We had maybe 2,000 residents.  My high school might have had 400 kids in it.  My graduating class would have been around 95, maybe.  Now, not to be overly critical, but my education while in this small town left something to be desired.  I was at the head of my class (I would have been valedictorian), but when I moved to a bigger city school, with lots more kids and programs and opportunities, I found that I was majorly behind.

Enter facebook.  While most of my friends on facebook are from more recent encounters, such as college and beyond, I still keep in touch with high school friends.

Unfortunately, some of them aren't what I'd call "friends" any more.  There have been things done and said in the past, and honestly I'm a little surprised THEY haven't gotten rid of me because of, heaven forbid, my inter-racial marriage.  (I do in fact know at least 2 or 3 of them are absolutely 100% against this).  Anywho.  Friends who aren't friends.  Yeah, but we were at one time, right?

But now that we're adults things are different.  We disagree.  Mainly on politics. I KNOW!  You don't have to tell me "you should just not discuss politics" or "Well, they are entitled to their opinions".  I understand.  I'm friends with a lot of people who disagree with me on politics, actually.  Including one of my closest friends.  We either agree to disagree and not discuss it at all, or we choose to have a wonderful, respectful debate.  It's quite fun, actually, and it keeps me up-to-date.

But other friends, specifically those who are less educated and from my old town, are less than nice.  They post things that are actually insulting to me, claim things like "Liberals don't support the military".  They call names and spread hate.  And as much as I would like to argue with them, you just can't argue with people who just refuse to accept even basic fact.  They hear things, but don't check the facts.  Then they are disgusted with something taken so out of context it's unbelievable.  These are the types of things I see.

Now, please don't think I'm being judgmental.  I'm really not.  I've tried.  I've tried reasoning, and even ignoring.  But I find that every day they find ways to bother me.  And I'm not judging their lack of education.  I do see it as a reason, though, and I think it's really sad.  But what can I do?

I want to know about their babies (3 on the way, with others growing up).  I want to hear about their family (2 of them are in Afghanistan).  I want to stay in touch.  But I just can't take it. 

So what would you do?  Do you remove the old and move on?  Do you say something?  Even though they have the right to say whatever they want (and I don't think it would go over well)?  Or do you just grit your teeth and deal with it.  I just can't decide.  I love these people, and it breaks my heart that they can be so negative without knowing the facts or even trying to know the facts (seriously... facts.  Not opinions or even projections or estimates.  Plain and simple, proven facts.)

Advice requested.  Please.


Bitterroot Mama said...

That's a tough one. I have a few good friends from high school and college that I contact every now and then. I have stayed completely away from Facebook, so I don't have to see anyone. (No one can find me unless they know my married name or somehow stumble across my blog).

You could stop following them closely and keep your political back-and-forth to a minimum. I wouldn't want to communicate with some of these people all of the time.

But, I also have the same problem with family members who are somewhat radical in their political ideas and I do the only thing I can do: tune out and love them anyway.

Lynzie said...

And thanks to my wonderful followers, I seem to have a brilliant idea that should have been very obvious.

I'll stay friends with them, but maybe hide them from my feed. That way I can still stay up to date, but on my terms and when I want to.