The Morning After: An Open Letter to People I Un-Followed During the Election

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It's been a particularly rough election season if you spend any time at all on social media. Worse than Farmville, worse than exercise tweets and worse than food photos, the presidential election seems to have brought out the most annoying in many, especially relatives you rarely talk to and "friends" you haven't seen since high school.

The temptation is to extricate these people from your online life, but it can be a complicated equation. How awkward is Thankgiving going to be if you un-followed your aunt over that pro Tea Party rant or what will happen at the high school reunion if you blocked that buddy who was convinced only the Green Party could lead us into the future.

If you are like me, you probably just hid them from your time line or put them on mute on Twitter, but if you did stop following some people or even block someone, now is your chance to bury the hatchet. Here's my open letter to those on my list. Feel free to use for yourself.

Dear Friend/Follower,

As a fellow denizen of the social media universe, I would like to say how much I appreciate your participation in my online life. I find your [common post such as: inspirational sunset banners] and [common image or video post such as: photos of every meal you eat] just so, what's the word, wonderful. We're kindred spirits, you and I, with our tweets and posts and Instagrams. It's heartening, really.

But, a few months ago, I was forced to block you after your rant about [insert political candidate name or cause]. I'm sure you understand that we can't agree on everything. Oh, sure, we both really enjoyed [insert TV show or movie like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo] and love making jokes about [insert something you find funny like Klingons or hipsters], but our political opinions just seem to diverge. And that's OK. This is America and while we may not agree on [insert candidate name or cause] or [insert controversial topic like whether there should be beans in chili], we can both agree that opinions are what make this country great...that and [insert name of attractive woman if both of you are men, attractive man if you are both women or simply "kittens!"].

So, in the spirit of reconciliation, I'd like for us to be [Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / MySpace (seriously?)] friends again. And I promise to do my best not to openly discuss politics with you or anyone else online if you can try to do the same. It's détente!

While we are on the topic, I'd also like to request you refrain from the following topics: religion or lack therof, children, food, the economy, your exercise routine, counting your blessings, how much you hate [insert brand name such as Walmart or Starbucks here] or [insert name of sports team they love but you hate]. Mainly, it would be great if you stuck with funny YouTube videos of people falling down and...well, that's it really. It is so easy if we stick with the rules. That way, I won't have to un-follow you again...until the next election.

Thanks so much for being my friend. Never change...but, seriously, you really do need to change.

Sincerely,

[Your Name or Handle]

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11 comments
reeseman
reeseman

Here is an actual post from yesterday by one of my Facebook "friends" (we went to high school together decades ago):

 

"Today I am ashamed of this country. I have one very sincere request. If anyone on my "friends" list voted for Obama, PLEASE unfriend me! You have no place in my life. I know of a few and have already gotten rid of them. But, hopefully, the rest will honor my request."

 

So, I'm supposed to unfriend you because of something I did? Um, bite me, princess.

Anse
Anse

I went from being very happy about Obama's reelection to being somewhat saddened by the collective meltdown among my conservative friends and family. So many cries out to God, so many rants, so many posts of quiet resignation; we're seeing a whole movement of people waking up after a dream and realizing that the world of Fox News is not the world as it really is. I'm actually saddened by it. I want to reach out to them and let them know that it's okay, that maybe the America they thought they knew doesn't actually exist but rather than be down about it, thrill in the possibilities; you've got a new country to discover. Go out and get in it and find out what it's really like. You may be shocked to discover that it's not so bad.

LauraHatesStupidity
LauraHatesStupidity

Sorry but I've taken to deleting friends POST election more so than before.  I've deleted all titty-babies.  That is all.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

"worse than food photos??"  You had me on your side until then.  Want more food photos!

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

How did I know the very first comment would be about beans in chili? LOL!

anonymous
anonymous

Beans? In chili? Friendship over.

H_e_x
H_e_x

 @Anse Ha, I heard so much talk about god as well. The narcissism that goes into thinking that god is sad because your candidate lost is damn pathetic.

IGiveUpYouWin
IGiveUpYouWin

 @Anse The world out there is simply becoming more like Europe.  That's not in and of itself BAD... it's just not the America that was.  That is why many are sad.  I personally was sad that so many of my friends chose not to see the flaws in their candidate... the major flaws, the kind that will affect my family and my earnings for years to come.  It's not like my team lost the Super Bowl.  It's that the team that won will take my stuff and give it to the spectators.   It does become personal with me in that respect.   The fact that I DO love my Democrat friends and have respect and laughs with them doesn't align in my mind with the Democrat strangers who appear to hate my husband climbing the corporate ladder and say it's not fair that I have more than they do and that I should give more of my hard-earned money away.   So for a while, I'll mourn the loss of a little of that love and respect, as those Democrats are one in the same, friends and foes.    I'm sure they lost a bit of respect for me, too, as I do think this is the slippery slope of the end of a capitalist America and I said so.  So be it.  Opinions and respect work both ways, and I found their vote and the Democrats win a slap in my face.    I will refrain from working harder, though, to avoid being taxed more, so you've succeeded in creating a mediocre society.   Sounds like a fun place to live.  Very European. :) 

IGiveUpYouWin
IGiveUpYouWin

 @Anse Also, Fox News is pretty fair, but I can see you finding it leaning right.   MSNBC on the other hand is blatantly liberal, and I never ever hear anyone calling THEM out.   I mourn for the days of objective journalism (if they ever really existed).   I blame the media for the division of this country, because they tell us "truths" on both sides that are simply meant to inflame and ignite anger.   Just tell us what happened and stop the talking head to tell us why we should care.  The entire news cycle turns into a Jerry Springer show on most of these stations.   So please don't just single out Fox News as a source of your friends' misinformation.  

Kilgore
Kilgore

First of all, journalism has never been objective. Let's not pretend otherwise. What we have today is more editorializing; MSNBC and Fox are about 90% opinion, 10% reportage, and when they give the straight news, both networs can be reasonable. But why are we afraid of partisan news? Why are we afraid to admit that newspapers have been openly partisan for 200 years? Why is it that "objective" to the average person is really just "tell me what I believe to be true"? Why is it that some of us have convinced ourselves that we, only we see the *truth* about some nefarious media influence while everybody else is the blind fool led astray by media bias?

 

 

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