So here's a recent discussion I had on facebook with someone I went to high school with but was never really friends with at any point:

immigration whole

It might be weird, but I always screen cap heated discussions/arguments I get into from facebook or wherever. Mostly because I find it really interesting the way people seem to argue and when you begin to look at a lot of them you start to notice similarities and the same tactics employed - and I'm not excluding myself from that - but it has helped me be a little more effective in the way I approach an argument or discussion, I think. But anyway, I'm posting this here for a few reasons because I'm really interested on what you guys have to say in regards to a few points:

1. How do you manage your facebook friends? There are some cases where I'm really happy that I caught up with someone from high school even if we weren't really friends then because a few of those people have changed over time, as we all do, and have become folks I now really enjoy having in my life in whatever small way. Plus we also share a common experience of attending this stupid screwy Mississippi Christian high school (which, as most private Mississippi schools, was pretty much founded on the basis of racism and an escape from integration - nice, huh) and I've been really grateful for some of the discussions, with one girl in particular, about how just fucked up and miserable that whole experience was and feeling outcast in such a large way. BUT there are also the others - the ones I was also never friends with and I also don't really have that much in common with now and who post thoughtless copy/paste political things like this. Let me preface by saying that I have no problem having people in my life that don't agree with me. I'm not the type who believes everyone should share my thoughts and politics in order for me to be friends with or even love them. And on the same hand, I'm also kind of against avoiding any discussion about the things we conflict on. BUT, I'll admit, sometimes it's really really annoying, especially when you're tired and irritable and things like what was posted above come up time and time again in your feed. I know the simple answer to a lot of this would just be to click "hide" next to their name, but I don't really want to put myself in a bubble where I only see or read things that align with my beliefs. I want to see a differing opinion and while a lot of times I do ignore it - I think it's helpful to sometimes engage. Maybe they'll walk away with something to think about - or if not, maybe I'll learn a little more about how they view things. A lot of times these discussions lead me to do more research and reading and sometimes I learn that my argument wasn't so strong, or even right, after all - other times I learn more points and reasons why my argument was a pretty damn good one to begin with - and I'm grateful for both sides of that coin because they both help me grow and learn and if I just talked with people I agree with all day I'd get none of that. But I'm curious, how do you all manage this? Specifically people whose beliefs are so different from yours to a sometimes infuriating extent but that you think are overall ok people? Do you just hide them? Filter? Or just scroll on past and ignore (what I do the majority of days)? And do you friend everyone you've known or are you more selective?

2. Do you have any argument pet peeves (and I'm not talking heated emotional arguments, but arguments on issues such as above)? Mine is when people make bold claims and have no fact whatsoever to back it up. I don't expect everyone to have their source on hand in a casual discussion, of course, but at least tell me you read it in the NY Times or saw it on the news or something so I can see what you're talking about myself... actually, now that I think about it, it's not that I even need that. I guess what it really is is that I hate it when there has obviously not been any sort of reading or delving further into an issue and they're just arguing with basic surface points or with how they feel (the worst). I'm a pretty big facts and numbers and studies person, so that sort of thing always strikes me. And I also hate when people present flat out lies as fact (such as the 7 year tax free business thing) - even if it's done unintentionally. Take time to look into the things you post to the world - especially things like the original post above which I find to be pretty dangerous rhetoric (with racist and classist roots) and feel is the sort of thing that inspires dislike and hate of the other - and it's even worse if it's based on lies.

3. I'd also like to hear your two cents on the argument above. How do you feel about our illegal immigration policies? If you think I'm totally off the mark with my argument I'd love to hear that too. Have you had that little meme show up on your feed as well (or maybe you were the one posting it)? For me it's obviously a very complex issue with so many aspects, though other people seem to hold the black and white view that illegal is illegal is illegal.

4. Also, the reason I blocked out their pics and names was not so much for privacy issues - though it was partly that - but mostly because every single one of these women had a photo of their children as their avatar. Maybe it's just me, but it's something that doesn't sit quite right. Wouldn't they stop to think that perhaps in the future their children might not agree with every thought and belief they have? And perhaps that in the future that child might not want their photo plastered next to all these statements made by their parent? I know that my parents and I virtually disagree on every political issue - not all - but most. And I know that there are photos of me as a child wearing campaign shirts for candidates that I would never ever in a million years in my adult life ever endorse, and though I didn't know any better as a child I'm now somewhat ashamed of those images. It's not something I really hold against them, but it's also something I'm not too happy about either. And I also know that I wouldn't really want my parents using my photo as their profile picture while they go around the internet exclaiming beliefs that I don't hold at all. Nor would they want me to do that to them. I know these women mean no harm and are probably just doing the proud parent thing, but on the other hand I can't help but find it just a little short sighted and thoughtless. Your thoughts?

(Ugh, sorry if you saw this posted all screwy earlier. Photo sizing upload issues.)

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