I answered that I had unfriended one person I only knew through Student Government due to the vulgar and misogynistic nature of his posts. But what surprised me? What other people answered.
One girl said she unfriended people if they were "boring." I sympathize with that (the other day one of my friends posted about how she had given her toddler just a little more cereal than usual but she ate it all and wasn't she such a good girl? You'd think the kid had invented a perpetual motion machine or something) but I don't understand removing them entirely from your network. Of course, I'm assuming these people are actually her friends so I'm wondering why you would cut off what is probably the only form of interaction with a person because everything they post doesn't entertain you.
And here's where I really start getting to the crux.
Another woman said she hid friends from view if they had different political views from her. That stopped me cold in my virtual tracks. I literally raised my hands and shouted "What?!" at my laptop. I'm fully aware that I'm more open-minded than most people, but I still can't believe someone would choose to isolate themselves in this way. This is a slap in the face of democracy and it's something I would expect only from cult members or extremists. I wanted to respond with so many snarky comments, but I don't know her so I held back - and am posting my response here instead.
Do people really do this? I don't know about y'all, but I welcome differing viewpoints. How else do you discover the difference between something you truly believe and something you were led to believe because you're lacking insight? And if you don't allow this difference of opinion in friends, what hope does that leave for intelligent political discourse between strangers and politicians? This is one of the things I think Facebook is good for - so long as both sides are open and peaceful (no name-calling). Maybe I'm overreacting, but this made me a little sick to my stomach. And it reminded me of this TED video that I hope everyone will watch.
(Now, it can be argued, and I know someone will, that maybe she only meant the type of people who are hateful and vulgar in the expression of their opinions. Like little wannabe pundits. But I'm pretty good at reading between the lines and I didn't get that feeling from her, so we're going to pretend this isn't the case.)
Anyway, I'm not really sure what the point of my post is. I just want to encourage everybody to be open-minded and to welcome thoughtful, peaceful discourse on all divisive matters - no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on. Because where the discourse ends, that's often where violence begins. And I think we've all seen enough of that lately.