Silence: the moral dilemma on hiding a Facebook friend

Wednesday, October 06, 2010 7:31 PM by nairdo

Facebook hidingYesterday I used the "hide" <friend> feature on Facebook and I'm torn over it.

For me, the Facebook trend had become something I dreaded because of a particular person I know who doesn't seem to have a day job other than to FB troll every day - all day. You know the type of person I'm talking about. Not the regular person who occasionally drops an agenda-based-topic into their socially acceptable narcissistic stream of consciousness. I'm talking about the super activist whose only job is to dredge up nonsense, pre-spun statistics, so-called facts and bogus "news" which they feel is going to influence the overwhelmingly silent majority of Americans.  In order to see what my other friends were up to, I'd have to wade through 6-12 other daily, inflammatory, repulsing posts from you-know-who, and after a year or so of doing this Facebook simply sickened me.

The act of FB hiding is something I've been struggling with internally for months now.  Most the people I've talked with say, 'yeah, it's fine to silence your friend, and you need to do it.'  But I can't help but feel: what's the point in calling someone a friend if you can't stomach what they have to say.  Hiding seems like a cop out - a lie to yourself.

Coincidentally, my pastor said today, 'to outright reject every detail of what someone says without measuring its truthfulness is foolish and you'll be seen as an idiot.'  While this applies to to all parties in a debate, what if only one side is being intellectually honest and reasonable?  I suppose it's only reasonable to end that debate and walk away from the unhealthy conversation.

I'm going to try it for a while and see how it goes. At least with hiding there is still some ability to participate in each others discussions, but I will definitely be mulling my decision over and may just pull the plug on the 'friendship'.

I knew something like this could happen.  It's one of the reasons why I've always been overly thoughtful about who I accept friend requests from. I don't generally think of my FB friends as simply co-workers or acquaintances.  I consider them real friends (someone I could call on for help) and I want to keep it that way.

[Note: In yet another coincidence, shortly after writing this post, Facebook announced a new version of "Groups" which could be the answer to the problem I've just described -- provided the trolls take their constant activism to their activist groups.]

Comments

  1. Robert Tewart Says:
    You're so much more thoughtful about these things than me buddy. Especially with the particular individual in question. It's far easier for me to unfriend or hide these types because our FB "friendship" was likely built on false pretenses.

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