To Friend Or Unfriend?
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To Friend Or Unfriend?

What to consider when deleting people from your Facebook

To Friend Or Unfriend?

Now that Donald Trump is the president-elect there has been a surge of conservative views that felt legitimized by his supporters. Many people that you didn’t know were his supporters are coming out of the shadows. Radical… let’s call them “opinions” have been surfacing in the form of a number of hate crimes as well as heated Facebook postings. Hillary supporters, liberals, Berniecrats, progressives, and those who are on the right who did not want Trump in power or the racist, homophobic, misogynist, violent tones of his message legitimized, are hurting. We are terrified that everything we’ve fought so hard for in equality and human rights are about to be tarnished. We are already seeing the effects, and it’s nothing Trump has done yet; it’s what hateful people feel they now have the right to do. Hateful people feel they no longer need to “hold back.”

While not everyone who voted for Trump is committing hate crimes, there is still a sense of betrayal from those who did because there was a deeply troubling and hateful message that had to be overlooked to cast that ballot. Part of that message may be that you as a person don’t have the right to exist. We are seeing those people like never before on our Facebook feed. It leaves us heart-broken, terrified, let down and ultimately wanting to hit that “unfriend” button. While you hold that power to unfriend people, and no one should make that decision for you, there are things to consider.

1. You have the power to delete comments

Are you afraid of posting your opinions because they will be completely undermined by someone in a non-constructive way? If you need to express the pain, and anger in the aftermath of the election don’t let potential comments from “friends” stop you. You can delete those comments without having to delete the person who made them.

2. You can mute people

Are there people you don’t want to completely unfriend, but are tired of seeing their posts? Unfollow.

3. Facebook is what you want it to be

Somewhere we got the notion that you have to add everyone you know, and can never delete anyone who was once a part of your life. Do you want your Facebook to only be people from your college, and a couple close high school friends? You can make it that way. Do you want your Facebook to only be people you actually talk to or would actually considering hanging out with? Make it so!

4. Self-care is important

If you are a minority, you are allowed to protect yourself from posts and people that don’t stand up for your rights, or are directly against them. If what you’ve been seeing is emotionally draining for you, you don’t have to put up with what can be gone in a click.

5. You can use your privilege

With number four in mind, you can use your privilege in areas you are not a minority in and speak up. If you delete certain people, they may never see your posts or comments that could change, or at least de-polarize a viewpoint. White people especially now can have an important role in speaking out to relatives.

6. You can find groups

This goes along with Facebook being what you make of it. You don’t have to your posts where everyone can see it, and instead you can seek refuge in a like-minded group. This summer my feed was filled with posts from “Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Singles” and it was the best part of my internet routine.

7. Facebook is a way of seeing different opinions

It is important to hear different viewpoints. They can change your mind about assumptions, or can strengthen the points you use to argue for something. It can be polarizing only hearing from the same like-minded bubble. Facebook can be your way of hearing from the other side. That being said, it doesn’t have to be. If you actively seek them out, there are plenty of other outlets to keep you views sharp and balanced. That also being said something on Facebook are not "opinions," they are just hate speech and you are allowed to see it as such.

8. It will not always be like this

Trump’s presidency will more than likely only be four years (if that.) Assuming there is the same government and a livable-planet when he leaves, there will be a new president. If Facebook still exists it will look different. Different people will have their views line up with who’s is in government. Things may change even sooner than that if the immediate rush of victory dies down from conservatives. Don’t let anyone silence you in the meantime.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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