July 21, 2016

I don't friend most people who request Facebook friending with me.

My blog is for the general public, and Facebook is something for family and friends (including friends from the distant past). But I must admit I've friended some people that I don't actually recognize and don't remember why I accepted their offer of friendship. Some of them post political things. This morning, someone wrote "If you believe Ted Cruz should have endorsed Donald Trump, please let me know by leaving a comment. That way I can unfriend and block you." And I'm thinking: I don't even know why you're up here as my friend in the first place. So I unfriended him. What kind of bullshit is this — stating political opinions with a threat to unfriend if you don't agree? What the hell kind of friendship is that? You can't fire me, I quit. And I don't care one way or the other whether Cruz endorsed Trump. I just don't need my Facebook feed containing the candyass bullying that is a threat to unfriend.

67 comments:

Scott M said...

As a frequent Facebook denizen and admin of a few groups, I see that very thing happen a LOT. "Friend" in Facebook terms, doesn't mean what we normally think "friend" means :)

"You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means."

Humperdink said...

My favorite is: "If you don't re-post this ....." I never do it.

Mike Sylwester said...

I must admit I've friended some people that I don't actually recognize and don't remember why I accepted their offer of friendship.

Maybe that was back in the days when you were playing Farmville.

The Cracker Unknown said...

Facebook is for chicks and men who think like chicks.

Gahrie said...

Every once in a while you post something that makes me think you actually get it.......

David Begley said...

Blackmail in 2016. Unfriend threat on Facebook.

Ann Althouse said...

"Facebook is for chicks and men who think like chicks."

You mean men who want to keep in touch with people they know?

But a lot of people are on Facebook to spread their political opinions and don't come across as affiliative at all, like the guy I unfriended.

Brando said...

I don't understand the benefit of a facebook feed that is only things you agree with. I can understand getting tired of dumb forwards (and there are a lot this year) and I suppose if they got to be too constant and annoying you could at least hide a person's feed for a while, but I rather like seeing posts (rather than forwards) from friends supporting Trump, supporting Hillary, and lambasting both. Every now and then there's a good point, and at least I know where my friends stand.

gspencer said...

It never fails to crack me up when I read about some socialite or Hollywood dumb bell or some dude with a lot of money throw a party for 200 [choose any number >5] of their "closest friends."

Even having 5 close friends is tough.

Matthew Sablan said...

This election has had worse politicking than the last. And I imagine that will be true forever and ever. Which is so weird since everyone tells me no one likes either of our options.

tim in vermont said...

Basically I don't post political stuff because I know I would get unfriended by half the liberals I know, and when liberals post political stuff, I turn off their feed. who needs politics interfering with genuine friendship and who needs friends that aren't genuine?

Bob Ellison said...

Facebook rose on teenagers, even though they were officially not allowed to join. Now it's all oldsters, and the young have left.

What's going to happen to the company?

Laslo Spatula said...

Renfro Jeffries. Nazi And Proud Of It!

Facebook is just another part of the Government Media Cosmopolitan Complex. I've had so-called 'friends' from the past Unfriend me because of my Beliefs. I consider this a favor, really: when the Shit Comes Down I know who I don't need to give a Fuck about. MY bunker's ready, bitches: good luck on the Outside, licking the same boots that kick you in the hopes of getting a crust of their bread...

I had one 'friend' from fifth grade whine about my Nazi beliefs, saying he couldn't believe who I turned out to be. Who I turned out to be? I'm the kind of Friend who will be at a True Friend's side with a pipe in my hand. I'll shank your enemy and share with you my beef jerky, that's who I am...

Meanwhile, little bitches on the Internet get all faint because I Represent. I won't forget how you turned on me in the Easy Times, and I will not spill a drop of my blood for you even when the Government and the Blacks kick in your door: the Government and the Blacks, they don't 'LOL', motherfuckers...

Helter Skelter is coming, and it's coming with Cattle Cars: don't say I didn't tell you...

I'm Renfro Jeffries, Nazi And Proud Of It!

I am Laslo.

bagoh20 said...

""Facebook is for chicks and men who think like chicks.""

You mean men who want to keep in touch with people they know?


Yes. Like keeping up on recipes, what her cat did today, and vegetables from her garden. Guys who think like guys are doing the same thing on Facebook that they do everywhere else - going through the social dance while quietly looking for sex partners.

Henry said...

I have a few iconoclastic friends with whom I'll share political opinions. Otherwise I just look for the kids and culture posts. If it wasn't for the kids and culture posts I'd quit.

bagoh20 said...

And grandads no longer think like men... entirely.

traditionalguy said...

Get a Twitter account. That is where the zingers fly.

chickelit said...

My problem with Facebook all along is that it is political to the core: Mark Zuckerberg. Name another social medium which personally benefits one individual.

Gusty Winds said...

Facebook has made me realize that many people I have know throughout the years were really just closet douchebags.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

When it comes to this sort of synthetic sociality kind of stuff -- and my definition is broad enough to include advertising -- my life's ambition is to craft myself to a state of being somewhere between oblivious and immune.

I'm generally far too irritable at present and Operation Disengagement has not so far proven to be an overwhelming success.

I forget the name of the comic (Rodney Dangerfield? Henny Youngman?) who said, "A friend in need is a pest."

Unknown said...

If you don't pass the purity test you cannot remain a Facebook friend. Political bullying even on Facebook. Are there no safe spaces?!

tim maguire said...

On a personal level, I don't care either that Ted Cruz didn't endorse Trump, but I have lost what little respect I had for Cruz and will definitely not support him in the future (a dubious repudiation, like one who boycotts a store they were unlikely to shop at anyway). But I distinctly recall pressure being brought to bear on Trump during the primaries to pledge that he would support the primary winner no matter who it was. Where are those pledges now that Trump is the nominee?

Unknown said...

If you're a man whose business is marketing, Facebook is a great tool.

Brando said...

"But I distinctly recall pressure being brought to bear on Trump during the primaries to pledge that he would support the primary winner no matter who it was. Where are those pledges now that Trump is the nominee?"

Probably became inoperative around the time the nominee broke precedent and mocked Cruz's wife's looks and said his dad helped kill Kennedy. The pledge probably didn't anticipate that.

Titus said...

The only reason I am on facebook is because all my friends use it. I never post anything because I don't want anyone knowing where I am or what I am doing. I am private like that. I think I have like 25 facebook friends-which are my real friends. Politics isn't something we discuss much. More like-"we will be in Ptown this Saturday-Saturday"

MisterBuddwing said...

I freely admit becoming a Facebook member basically because "everyone" is on Facebook. It comes in handy when it comes to staying in the loop with relatively distant relatives and friends. But what I also see are a lot of people I don't know arguing with each other.

I remember overhearing a disturbing story about person A getting into an argument on Facebook with person B - it got so heated, B actually showed up at A's house.

(Sometimes I wish somebody would invent "unsocial media," as in #hashtag leave me alone.)

tim maguire said...

My Facebook feed is about 50% "type Amen if you agree", 25% clickbait, 23.5% stupid politics, 1.4% useful interesting posts, and 0.1% intelligent politics.

PB said...

A few months ago as the deranged political comments increased from some of my "friends", I posted for all that I will be blocking (not unfriending) such people until after the November elections so I don't have to see their nonsense.

It really is stunning how quickly the same exact phrases rampage through the tribal echo-chambers.

cubanbob said...

I'm so retro I'm now cool: I do not have and never had had a facebook account. Nor do I suffer tweets from twits.

tim maguire said...


Blogger Brando said...
"But I distinctly recall pressure being brought to bear on Trump during the primaries to pledge that he would support the primary winner no matter who it was. Where are those pledges now that Trump is the nominee?"

Probably became inoperative around the time the nominee broke precedent and mocked Cruz's wife's looks and said his dad helped kill Kennedy. The pledge probably didn't anticipate that.


The pledge didn't anticipate a hotly contested political race getting dirty? That's the whole point of the pledge--when the race is over, you accept the results and rally behind the winner. Period.

This is what I hate most about politics and I'm seeing it absolutely everywhere this time around--bullshit self-serving hypocrisy masquerading as principled positions.

Rick said...

You can't fire me, I quit. And I don't care one way or the other whether Cruz endorsed Trump.

There is a 100% chance your quitting will be interpreted as support for exactly that. This is how you ended up considered the conservative professor.

Fernandinande said...

What the hell kind of friendship is that?

A militant open-minded friendship...?

NYT: "Though Silicon Valley has well-known problems with diversity in its work force[sic], people here pride themselves on a kind of militant open-mindedness. It is the kind of place that will severely punish any deviations from accepted schools of thought—see how Brendan Eich, the former chief executive of Mozilla, was run out of his job after it became public that he had donated to a campaign opposed to gay marriage."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Candyass bullying, well said Professor!

TA said...

I laughed for a while at this one. You're such a hardass. God, I love it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I just don't need my Facebook feed containing the candyass bullying that is a threat to unfriend.

Exactly the reason that I don't do Facebook and never did have a Facebook account. Also like others have said, I don't think that the Facebook definition of "friend" is what a friend is.

I contact my friends and family in person, via emails, on the phone.....IF and when I feel like it.

Karen of Texas said...

A-Freaking-Men. Preach it, Sister Althouse!

Brando said...

"The pledge didn't anticipate a hotly contested political race getting dirty? That's the whole point of the pledge--when the race is over, you accept the results and rally behind the winner. Period."

Hey, a pledge is a pledge and Cruz broke it--but I can sort of understand behavior being nasty enough that you can justify breaking the pledge.

Is there nothing the nominee could do that could give a person a good reason for breaking the pledge? Let's say for example he physically assaulted the guy's wife. Should he still say "damn, still have to endorse..."?

Owen said...

Fernandinande @ 9:22: (quoting NY Times) "...militant open-mindedness. It is the kind of place that will severely punish any deviations from accepted schools of thought…"

Thanks for that awesome find. I am going to frame and mount it in a prominent location in my Gallery of Fatuity.

jaydub said...

I feel your pain! I went so far as to post a rant saying that I really, really didn't care to hear anyone's political opinions this election cycle, but if I was forced to read them on FB I'd "unfollow" them until after the inauguration. So far, I've unfollowed six of them, inlcuding three libs, two cons and one who's just bat-shit crazy. I also really resent all the people who post some plea for LGBT tolerance or racial harmony or the like. Do these people think their FB friends are all bigots who need to be converted, or do they just feel an overwhelming need to virtue signal? And, what's with the insecure women (it's always women!) who post "copy this and paste it so I know you're my friend" BS. Are people really that unaware of how pathetic that looks?

bearing said...

I had an immediate family member threaten never to speak to me again unless I told him how I was going to vote on a ballot initiative in my state. He got tired of me deflecting with "oh, I don't like to talk politics with family," I guess.

At the time, he was 25 years old. I was a 38-year-old married mother of four.

If I had it to do over again, I would have set that boundary more firmly and refused to cross it. As it is, I am no longer in contact with that entire branch of the family, but for another reason. Another immediate family member told me it would be easy for me to stay out of their lives after I finally did set a boundary: don't use homophobic slurs in front of my 14- and 11-year-old boys.

I'll give you two guesses what their party affiliation is.

eric said...

I unfriended Ted Cruz after last night.

Ugh.

Fernandinande said...

Owen said...
Thanks for that awesome find.


I shoulda thunk Sailer and gcochran.

coupe said...

I think Facebook was designed for kids, and then parents took it over.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Althouse does Facebook? (?!?)

If the object is to keep a common posting point for with controlled access, methinks it would be easier to set up a private FTP or email server than to learn Facebook.

pm317 said...

Ha! Now you know why I don't have a FB account and never will. And of course no way am I giving up my life info to that social misfit Zuckerberg.

Andrew Koenig said...

Not too long ago, someone I know IRL, and who knows my political viewpoint, tried to post an advertisement on my Facebook timeline that was diametrically opposed to that viewpoint. I have Facebook set to ask me to approve posts from other people on my timeline, so I disapproved that post.

I also sent the person who tried to post that advertisement a private message saying "don't do that again" -- and the poster unfriended me.

I consider that a win-win situation.

pm317 said...

Cruz is digging a bigger hole for himself this morning.

Bill Peschel said...

I've run into the same thing on Facebook. I've muted an ex who kept spamming her feed.

But I've also had a problem because I have a dual role as a person with family and friends and a self-publisher of books who also has Opinions. How much should I share and where?

In the end, I share nothing.

Mark said...

pm317, Cruz is so excited that he is a temporarily relevant story again that he cannot help himself.

Gotta soak up the end of his 15 minutes, burning out instead of fading away.

mockturtle said...

I don't do FB but I have a couple of 'friends' who became notably cool toward me when they found out I was supporting Trump. Liberals are SO narrow there isn't room for tolerance.

mockturtle said...

And I might add that it's my liberal 'friends' who can't help talking politics.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

I've got such a weird mixture of FB friends that I try & avoid the political, except with a few friends that I know can withstand a good verbal slugfest. Some folks, however, are just unrelenting in their propaganda. I just let it roll by, as it shows me how the other half lives.

I gotta tell ya, though, one thing FB has me muttering on a daily basis: "My God, do you lefties know how smug you sound?". I think I can explain the political rise of Trump as a hearty "Fuck you!" to about 1/3 of people in my FB feed.

Skeptical Voter said...

Lie down with candy ass facebookers, get up with fleas. I agree that the idea of Face Book as a means of keeping up with real friends and family is attractive. But mostly it dribbles down to dreck. So I don't waste my time with Face Book or Face Bookers.

James said...

>>But I distinctly recall pressure being brought to bear on Trump during the primaries to pledge that he would support the primary winner no matter who it was. Where are those pledges now that Trump is the nominee?<<

The pledge ended on March 29, 2016 when Trump, Cruz, and Kasich stepped back from their promises to support the eventual nominee.
GOP candidates back off pledge to support nominee

"No, I don't anymore," Trump said, when asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper if he continued "to pledge to support whoever the Republican nominee is?"
Trump said he has "been treated very unfairly" by the Republican National Committee and party establishment figures. The billionaire front-runner accused rival Cruz of "essentially saying the same thing" in response to a question about the pledge.

Our votes cancel out each other because my opinion of Ted Cruz rose inestimably after he refused to kiss Trump's ring. Could Trump reasonably expect an endorsement from Cruz after insulting Cruz's wife(Trump's Twitter feed still has several photos of Heidi Cruz that he couldn't summon the decency to delete); and suggesting that his father was complicit in Kennedy's assassination. Then just yesterday Trump flew his plane over a rally while Cruz was speaking, his supporters sabogated the video displays during Cruz's speech last night, Trump interrupted the conclusion of Cruz's speech by entering the auditorium at a time designed to distract, and his goons on the convention floor organized the booing and heckling.

Two sources tell me Trump team actively whipped the “boos” at the end of Cruz speech

After all that you expect Cruz to endorse Trump?

Jenny said...

"You can't fire me, I quit."

My very favorite line from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Remember, though: only one "side" is ugly and intolerant.

jaed said...

I just don't need my Facebook feed containing the candyass bullying that is a threat to unfriend.

Althouse, you should consider adding a "candyass" tag.

It has wider application than just bullying!

Ann Althouse said...

The relevant existing tag is "lameness," which I used to use a lot but had forgotten about.

Sydney said...

Thanks to this post and the comments, I now know I can stop someone's nonsense from coming into my facebook feed without unfriending them. Just did it to two annoying progressives who slam Republicans/Christians/gun owners all the time. Thanks!

Jon Ericson said...

Uh, when does "lame" go the way of "retarded" or "crippled" ?

Jonathan Graehl said...

'candyass' - forgot that one.

lame is here to stay. too short to fail.

rcocean said...

I'm not going to give Zuckerprick one red cent. I follow my family and friends in other ways.

Jon Ericson said...

I see, like "fag" is too short to go away.

Jon Ericson said...

I see Milo embraces the word.

mikee said...

I have found a new favorite phrase: "Candyass Bullying."

I intend to use it in any political arguments that occur between now and November.

Thanks!

richardsson said...

The real kicker is when you try to quit facebook, they do something to you so that your "friends" who you knew before facebook won't communicate any more. I think what happens is when you leave facebook, they list you as unfriending everyone you had friended. Well, that's nice of the cheezy bastards isn't it? But, its better to know that sooner rather than later. I never bothered with Twitter because I don't have a "smart" phone. Everybody on Twitter updates their feed anyway. I think of facebbook as being like Disco music. A taste quickly acquired and soon forgotten.