I have a Facebook Feed full of some of the dumbest shit I have ever read–a feed of racial slurs, hate speech, self-promotion, political photos, propaganda, and other, just stupid pointless shit, constantly flowing forth from my “friends”. I don’t know most of these people, some of them I met once on a project or something. I’m sure they don’t even remember me! So why not un-friend them?
Because un-friending people makes you a worse person!
I don’t mean the act of un-friending or passing judgment on someone affects the quality of your character or ethics–fuck them, judge that shit all you like! What I mean, is that you are choosing to not be exposed to beliefs, ideas, and/or people who do not agree with you. That sounds great doesn’t it? But this choice is not beneficial because it makes you comfortable to never have your personal beliefs questioned!
Damn, I’m not really selling this to you. Give me a sec.
Okay, so being surrounded and exposed (on your feed or in-person) to people who think like you means that you are never asked to re-evaluate your reasons or methods for thinking. This leads to a kind of intellectual contentment. This contentment is a satisfaction with your understanding of the world and your ideas which means you no longer need to learn anything else. And…
So by keeping those dip-shits on your friends list and voluntarily exposing yourself to contrary ideas, you might actually learn something new. What if someone makes an argument about gay marriage and you read it because you just HAVE to hear what this asshole has to say about it! Besides, reading his bullshit and hating him will make you feel better and feel more intelligent by comparison. So you read it and a few things can happen:
- Your perspective is completely changed on the subject and now you think like him!
- You gain insight on his perspective and maybe understand the opposition a little better.
- You were exposed to another person’s thoughts and it had little or no effect on you. Maybe you wasted some time, but you at least tried.
- You get all fired-up and start thinking about all the ways that he’s wrong! But keep it to yourself.
- You just have to tell this fuck-stick off! Here are all the reasons he’s wrong/flawed/misinformed! And as long as you stay away from the reasons he is ugly/stupid/prejudice then you will have participated in a debate of challenging and defending beliefs! Again, you might not change anyone else, but you will definitely learn something!
So the next time you see some moron from high school ranting about how he hates/loves something that you love/hate and start to mouse-over the “unfriend” button think about it for a second. What can you gain from this kind of “friendship”?
Passion? Intelligence? Insight? Enlightenment?
But what do you gain from expelling them from your life?