Hello dear reader(s)!
What is a friend to you? Here is the dictionary definition:
1.a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Now, I am not so sure I 100% agree with that definition, but I think it is pretty close. My best friend is my wife. We break that “exclusive of sexual or family relations” bit. (Not that we are blood family, but we are definitely family now.) And we do have sexual relations, with that woman, (not Ms. Lewinsky.)
The first part, however, is spot on. Especially with my non-wife friends.
Early today I did a small Facebook purge. Why? I felt the people did not really know me anymore, and we lacked a bond of mutual affection. Now, I have a lot of friends I haven’t seen in years, and some of those friends have changed quite a bit since I regularly spent any time with them. And of course, I am definitely not the same person I was when we would hang out more often. But there remains that bond of mutual affection and I feel that they know me, even as we have changed.
So, I went through and purged anyone I didn’t really have anything in common with, or anything outside of some positive memories from when we were both different people. I don’t hate these people or anything, and I hope they are not offended, I just don’t see eye-to-eye on anything they have to say, they disagree with everything I have to say, and they will not have a rational discussion once they have left an irrational opinion.
But writing this blog-type-thing is not about friendship. It is (increasingly) about express my point of view. I welcome discussion and disagreements, as long as it is an actual discussion, and when challenged, is respected. This is my blog-type-thing, in fact, all my social media pages are my creation, so if I allow you on it I expect you to be respectful, even if you disagree. That can be anything from not using hate speech on my posts, to not accusing me of trying to draw someone into something when they comment on one of my posts.
As I’ve said before, I write for me. If I have 500 total followers, or if I have 2 followers, I write for me. This is who I am, I will not be fake to appeal to the group sensibilities. Why bother writing if you are only going to fit in the box people are happy with? Sometimes I call people out. Sometimes, I expect to get called out. Which is great, as long as I am being called out with anything other than a personal attack, or what I like to call a hit-and-run.
For those of you don’t know, a hit-and-run in the intertubes web world-wide word, is when someone leaves an opinion in your comments, and when you try to challenge said opinion, they decide they can’t be drawn into the discussion they started. I think I would rather be personally insulted, than to be made to deal with that level of cowardice on my blog-type-thing.
I DO have some blogging friends. I also have some blogging acquaintances who I admire for their thoughts, art, and/or writing. Then I have bloggers who occasionally comment that I KNOW I would not get along with, or who I know I would disagree with on almost every single issue…but I respect them, and they show me respect. I follow the blogs of people I consistently disagree with, but read because the person struggling underneath seems like he/she is trying to do what they believe is right, and is respectful and reasoned enough to make their points interesting, no matter my opinion on the foundation of those posts.
I would never go onto someone’s blog and say, “This is why you are wrong, and don’t talk to me about it again.” I would never go onto someone’s blog and tell them, “You are a stupid _____.”
It doesn’t mean I have never thought it. I just choose to show respect on other people’s creations. If they are looking for a debate, I will engage, but I will do so as a debater, not an arguer.
And if I think someone is a stupid idiot enough times, whether it be on the pressed words or the book of faces, I have a simple little tool always at my disposal. I can get the fuck off their page.
Just like you can do to mine if you don’t like it.
Thank you to all my friends, both real and virtual, and all of my acquaintances who continue to read my drivel; and engage in respectful dialogue about the things that interest me, you, or should be discussed even if we would all rather tune out some times.
What is your idea of friendship, both personal and online?