December 20, 2013

Friends, Facebook Friends & Exemptions

In the last few years, I've started trimming my Facebook friend list to people that I genuinely like and would hang out with on a voluntary, one-on-one basis.

I don't see Facebook as a means to keep tabs on the lives of people that I don't care about. It seems to feed that destructive, "how much happier is X person than me?" mentality that is bad enough with actual friends. Since I have a hard time with not being competitive and I obsessively try to keep up with my feed, removing that kind of input undoubtedly helps me to be happier.

The problem that I'm currently dealing with is the "exceptions" that I've made. The biggest one being family members. Currently they're all under some privacy controls, but due to some major, glaring, differences in opinions and beliefs, and with the eventual divorce, I've been mulling over de-friending the in-laws. There's still about 5 months left in the lease on the current place, so there's a possibility that some of them might come up to visit again during that time, but it's unlikely that I'm going to go out of my way to hang out with them or visit them when I'm in town.

That's not to say that they're not good people. But their opposing fundamental opinions and beliefs about things that are extremely important to me are not things that I want to spend my time and energy fighting them over or see pop-up in my feed. It makes me sick and sad that they pass judgment and support people that perpetuate that kind of thinking. Could I just ignore that part? I could, but I feel like I'd be constantly lying, to them and to myself that it's not a big deal. 

I know I'm not obligated to have anything to do with them and yeah, I think they expect that they're not going to see or hear from me, but it's still hard cutting people out of your life. "I'm sorry, but you're not someone who enhances my life." Is it selfish? Self-preservation? Passive aggressive?

But I think in the long run, I'll look back and know I made the right choice. It's not my job or responsibility to educate or change their minds, and it's not worth the emotional stress.