I Hate You. Will You Be My Friend?

I *love* Facebook. I love that I can reconnect with old friends. I love that I can get to know family members and current friends in a different context. I love the sharing of ideas. I love the silly conversations. I love the serious discussions.

What I do not love is when a discussion accelerates into a name-calling argument. It *is* possible to disagree with someone without being hateful and calling them names. I am on a Yahoo group with 145 other homeschoolers from around the world. About 50 of us are active on the list. We have probably discussed every topic imaginable at some point. As you can imagine, we don’t all agree on everything. Yet our discussions never denigrate into name-calling or rudeness. It’s not because we’re all perfect. (Well, maybe… Oh, all right.) It’s because we respect each other and we respect that other people have a right to have opinions that don’t mesh with ours.

For the most part, I see the same thing on Facebook. If people don’t agree with a post, discussions are usually respectful. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I’ve seen several posts recently to which the responses were rude and hateful. Now, I’ve been unfriended by a few people who (I presume) didn’t like the things I post. They didn’t tell me why they removed me from their list and I didn’t contact them to ask. Facebook is supposed to be fun and if something is detracting from that, each person has the right to add or remove friends and/or applications as they see fit. There is also a handy “Hide” function. So if you don’t like to see all the things a certain friend posts, but you don’t want to unfriend them, you can still hide them from your News Feed.

So with these options, I can’t really understand why I keep seeing all these rude comments. Especially in one case, where I get the impression that the commenters don’t even *like* the original poster. Why would you be friends on Facebook with someone you don’t like? It’s a co-worker… So what? It’s a family member… So what? You’ll still be co-workers or relatives without Facebook… And without the ugly online arguments, even if you don’t care much for one another, you’ll probably get along better.

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